Posts Tagged Town Planning

National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG)

National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG) published online

I came across an interesting piece of news online. A final version of National Planning Practice Guidance has been launched by DCLG (Department for Communities and Local Government) with an aim to make the planning system easier to use.

The Planning Minister Nick Boles in his written ministerial statement said, “Planning should not be the preserve of lawyers, developers or town hall officials” and that local communities should be able to shape the new development. They should possess the knowledge as to where the development should and should not go.

Boles highlighted a number of points of how the government was going to tackle the issues in planning which include,

Issuing robust flood risk guidance;

Green belt protection to be taken seriously;

Testing the soundness of the local plan where the authorities have failed to identify land for growth;

Counting of windfalls over the whole local plan period;

Considering student housing, housing for the aged and reusing vacant properties in order to assess the housing needs;


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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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Why is Transportation Planning important?

Transportation Planning

Introduction

Transportation planning’s related disciplines of land use planning, architecture, landscape design, urban economics and social policy have undergone major internal reform efforts over the past few decades but unfortunately, transport planning seems to be stuck in the 1950s mentality and believes that all the urban problems such as congestion, mobility and economic development has an engineering solution.

Types of streets

Sustainable Urbanism has been identified as the most important environmental concern of the coming century by different experts from different fields whereas transportation planning remains isolated forming a large gap in the strategies of urban sustainability.

Importance of Transportation planning

Transportation is not an end in itself. Rather, it is an investment tool that cities use to help achieve their larger goals. Transportation planners and engineers always focus on the efficient movement of people and goods across the country. However, transportation touches all aspects of city life such as economic development, quality of life, social equity, public health and ecological sustainability.


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Necessity of Town Planning

What is Zoning?

The local governments in developed countries designated permitted uses of land based on mapped zones. The mapped zones help in separating one set of land uses from another. This device of land use planning is called zoning.(1) Zoning is one of the principles of town planning.

Zoning is used to specify the use of land and is called functional zoning. It is also used to regulate the height of the buildings and density (ground coverage specifications).

A town/city is divided into different zones such as:

  1. Residential zone (housing)
  2. Commercial zone (retail/wholesales shops/malls – anything related to commerce)
  3. Industrial zone (Industries/factories)
  4. Recreational zone (Parks/Playgrounds/spaces for recreational activities)
  5. Mixed use zone (Commercial + Residential)

All of the above mentioned zones cater to their specify type of usage.

Why is Town planning important?

It is evident that a small house if well arranged and planned, looks far more better than a disordered big palace. In a similar way, a town which is properly planned provide people with more comfort and convenience.

The necessity of town planning can very well be appreciated by mentioning the evil situations which a town has to face in the absence of town planning. They are as follows:

1. Defective road system resulting in the formation of narrow streets and lanes;

Defective road system is a problem in most countries. It is due to the fact that towns and cities were never planned. They gradually grew with the help of the developers which resulted in bad road network giving rise to bad transportation network.


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