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:
Residential zone (housing)
Commercial zone (retail/wholesales shops/malls – anything related to commerce)
Industrial zone (Industries/factories)
Recreational zone (Parks/Playgrounds/spaces for recreational activities)
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.
In a metropolitan city, Master Plans lay down the space requirements for the coming years; sometimes decades. The plans suggest future width of roads that are already existing. They also suggest new roads. For the additional population that is expected to arrive in coming years, the plans provide for new residential areas along with amenities and services. The plans also reserve sites for future schools, colleges, hospitals and Bus Depots, shopping plazas in areas which may be totally uninhabited today.
A master plan is a long term perspective plan. Mid-term plans such as the Mega City Project and the Green belt project are formulated within the framework of such Master Plans. All the Green belt Project zones are made special reservations in the Draft Master Plan.
If an existing road which is only 12km wide today, is proposed in the Master Plan as 30 metre wide, it does not mean that all the structures existing in its way will be overnight bulldozed. It only means that all future construction must be allowed after leaving the 30 metres width. The actual road widening may be a specific project by the concerned local body.
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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.
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.