Posts Tagged City planning

The Concept of “The Just City”

Urban Theory of Social Justice by Susan Fainstein

Susan Fainstein is a professor of urban planning at Harvard. She wanted to achieve social justice within the context of urban planning. She had a vision of creating a city where public investment and regulation would produce equitable outcomes rather than support the wealthy.

There were a lot of social theories that came round in 1970s. She says that there were excellent theories of justice but none of them talked about justice. One of the political philosophers she mentions is John Rawl. She got an opportunity to interview one of the philosophers and she asked her if the theories of social justice worked in the real world to which the philosopher replied that she was a philosopher and did not worry if the theory worked in the real world or not. So Fainstein says that she is an urban planner and would have to worry about the working of social theories in the real world.

Amsterdam - The Just City Model

Amsterdam – The Just City Model

This inspired her to come up with an urban theory of social justice. She coined the term “The Just City”. She says, the just city does not necessarily mean a good city because a good city would have many more attributes than just the three central principles proposed by her.

The three central concepts proposed by Fainstein that would constitute “The Just City” are:

  1. Equality
  2. Democracy
  3. Diversity

She conducted three casestudies namely New York, London and Amsterdam and studied them in detail with respect to these three central concepts. She was of the view that New York was very close to the third principle i.e. Diversity but was distant from the first two principles namely Equality and Democracy. London had Diversity and Democracy but lacked Equality. She was of the view that Amsterdam was the closest we could possibly get to an ideal just city. She says Amsterdam was a more equal city than it is now.


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Energy Efficiency through Urban Design and Urban Planning

Energy Efficient Methods to be adopted for Town and City Planning

Urban Design and Urban Planning plays a great role in achieving energy efficiency. Planning of towns and cities is an extremely important aspect in order to achieve energy efficiency.

In this article, we will discuss how efficient town planning can help in achieving energy efficiency. We will mainly focus on the architectural planning part of the town planning.

Rectangular Pattern with superimposed diagonals

Rectangular Pattern with superimposed diagonals

How does town planning help in resolving the problem of energy consumption?

A town planner has to take into consideration various amenities and facilities that are to be incorporated in a town. For resolving the problem of energy consumption, “Polycentric urban structure” has to be designed.

The centralization of all various important amenities and facilities has to be necessarily incorporated. This will help in reducing the distance of the people travelling from various points in town. The shape and form of the town and the road network should be so designed that the walking distance from any point in town is not more than 7minutes to 10minute walk.

If possible, pedestrianized streets have to be designed in order to create a safe pedestrian environment.

Encouraging travel by foot will help reduce the need for two wheeler and four wheeler vehicles. This will help in saving fuel. Saving fuel will cut travelling costs as well as it will help conserve the non-renewable sources of energy.


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Role of a Town Planner | Town and Country Planning

Town planner | Master of Town and Country Planning

Who is a town planner and what does he do?

The answer to this question is not as simple as it seems. A “Town planner” is a person who not only designs a town but he is an influential person who can change the lifestyle of the people.

Now some people reading out there might just think… HOW? How could anyone possibly change or influence somebody’s lifestyle??

Before we start our discussion on what the role of a town planner is and what all he thinks, understands and executes…?

Let’s start with analyzing our own life styles… How did we start to live in a way we are living today? Has anyone given a thought about that? I don’t think so…

View of the Commercial street in a town

View of the Commercial street in a town

Let’s make three broad categories that influence us for the way we live today:

First and foremost, our culture

Our culture and traditions do have a major impact on our minds that mould us and help us live morally and in a specific way. Different countries have different cultures and every person belonging to a particular country or state thinks and follows particular things. This is something that is at spiritual levels.

Second:  by your city or town in which you live.

The town or city, the way it is designed or has gradually developed radiates some negative emotions and some positive. Our mood swings are very prone to the kind of surroundings we live in. Our habits and our mannerisms are also influenced by the way the city is developed and the people you are surrounded by.


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