Urban planning, also known as regional planning, town planning, city planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design of land use and the built environment, including air, water, and the infrastructure passing into and out of urban areas, such as transportation, communications, and distribution networks and their accessibility. Traditionally, urban planning followed a top-down approach in master planning the physical layout of human settlements. The primary concern was the public welfare, which included considerations of efficiency, sanitation, protection and use of the environment, as well as effects of the master plans on the social and economic activities. Over time, urban planning has adopted a focus on the social and environmental bottom-lines that focus on planning as a tool to improve the health and well-being of people while maintaining sustainability standards. Sustainable development was added as one of the main goals of all planning endeavors in the late 20th century when the detrimental economic and the environmental impacts of the previous models of planning had become apparent.. Similarly, in the early 21st century, Jane Jacob’s writings on legal and political perspectives to emphasize the interests of residents, businesses and communities effectively influenced urban planners to take into broader consideration of resident experiences and needs while planning.
Urban planning answers questions about how people will live, work and play in a given area and thus, guides orderly development in urban, suburban and rural areas. Although predominantly concerned with the planning of settlements and communities, urban planners are also responsible for planning the efficient transportation of goods, resources, people and waste; the distribution of basic necessities such as water and electricity; a sense of inclusion and opportunity for people of all kinds, culture and needs; economic growth or business development; improving health and conserving areas of natural environmental significance that actively contributes to reduction in CO2 emission as well as protecting heritage structures and built environments. Urban planning is a dynamic field since the questions around how people live, work and play changes with time. These changes are constantly reflected in planning methodologies, zonal codes and policies making it a highly technical, political, social, economical and environmental field.
Urban planning is an interdisciplinary field that includes Civil Engineering, architecture, human geography, politics, social science and design sciences. Practitioners of urban planning are concerned with research and analysis, strategic thinking, Engineering architecture, urban design, public consultation, policy recommendations, implementation and management. It is closely related to the field of urban design and some urban planners provide designs for streets, parks, buildings and other urban areas. Urban planners work with the cognate fields of Civil Engineering landscape architecture, Architecture, and public administration to achieve strategic, policy and sustainability goals. Early urban planners were often members of these cognate fields though today, urban planning is a separate, independent professional discipline. The discipline of urban planning is the broader category that includes different sub-fields such as land-use planning, zoning, economic development, environmental planning, and transportation planning. Creating the plans requires a thorough understanding of penal codes and zonal codes of planning.
Another important aspect of urban planning is that the range of urban planning projects include the large-scale master planning of empty sites or Greenfield projects as well as small-scale interventions and refurbishments of existing structures, buildings and public spaces. Pierre Charles L’Enfant in Washington DC, Daniel Burnham in Chicago and Georges-Eugene Haussmann in Paris planned cities from scratch, and Robert Moses and Le Corbusier refurbished and transformed cities and neighbourhoods to meet their ideas of urban planning.
BRIF HISTORY OF URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING.
There is evidence of urban planning and designed communities dating back to the Mesopotamian, Indus Valley, Minoan, and Egyptian civilizations in the third millennium BCE. Archaeologists studying the ruins of cities in these areas find paved streets that were laid out at right angles in a grid pattern. The idea of a planned out urban area evolved as different civilizations adopted it. Beginning in the 8th century BCE, Greek city states were primarily centered on orthogonal (or grid-like) plans. The ancient Romans, inspired by the Greeks, also used orthogonal plans for their cities. City planning in the Roman world was developed for military defense and public convenience. The spread of the Roman Empire subsequently spread the ideas of urban planning. As the Roman Empire declined, these ideas slowly disappeared. However, many cities in Europe still held onto the planned Roman city center. Cities in Europe from the 9th to 14th centuries, often grew organically and sometimes chaotically. But in the following centuries with the coming of the Renaissance many new cities were enlarged with newly planned extensions. From the 15th century on, much more is recorded of urban design and the people that were involved. In this period, theoretical treatises on architecture and urban planning start to appear in which theoretical questions around planning the main lines, ensuring plans meet the needs of the given population and so forth are addressed and designs of towns and cities are described and depicted. During the Enlightenment period, several European rulers ambitiously attempted to redesign capital cities. During the Second French Empire, Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann, under the direction of Napoleon III, redesigned the city of Paris into a more modern capital, with long, straight, wide boulevards.
Planning and architecture went through a paradigm shift at the turn of the 20th century. The industrialized cities of the 19th century grew at a tremendous rate. The evils of urban life for the working poor were becoming increasingly evident as a matter of public concern. The laissez-faire style of government management of the economy, in fashion for most of the Victorian era, was starting to give way to a New Liberalism that championed intervention on the part of the poor and disadvantaged. Around 1900, theorists began developing urban planning models to mitigate the consequences of the industrial age, by providing citizens, especially factory workers, with healthier environments. The following century would therefore be globally dominated by a central planning approach to urban planning, not necessarily representing an increment in the overall quality of the urban realm. At the beginning of the 20th century, urban planning began to be recognized as a separate profession. The Town and Country Planning Association was founded in 1899 and the first academic course in Great Britain on urban planning was offered by the University of Liverpool in 1909. In the 1920s, the ideas of modernism and uniformity began to surface in urban planning, and lasted until the 1970s. In 1933, Le Corbusier presented the Radiant City, a city that grows up in the form of towers, as a solution to the problem of pollution and over-crowding. But many planners started to believe that the ideas of modernism in urban planning led to higher crime rates and social problems. The Decline of Detroit is an example of the impacts of social planning on a large urban area.
In the second half of the 20th century, urban planners gradually shifted their focus to individualism and diversity in urban centers
ROLES OF PLANNER IN BOTH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTOR.
A town planner helps communities, companies and politicians to decide on the best way to use land and buildings.
A planner’s main aim is achieving sustainability. This means balancing different social, environmental and economic issues when official decisions are made on whether a piece of land is built on or not. Another way to describe this job is ‘making places’, such as towns, for people to live and work. Planners do not construct buildings but recommend how and where buildings should be built, what they should be used for and how they should fit into the local surroundings. Our About planning guide gives you a taster of what you could do.
Planners are known by many names;
• Town and country planners
• City planners
• Land use planners
• Spatial planners
• Urban designers
• Environmental planners
• Development planners
Projects and responsibilities;
• Making sure people have access to homes, jobs and facilities such as schools, hospitals and open spaces
• Designing new towns, garden cities or villages
• Balancing the needs of communities, businesses and the environment
• Setting out and using development rules and guidelines across the country
• Protecting buildings and areas that are of environmental, historical or architectural importance
• Preparing and assessing applications for new buildings, masterplans or land uses
• Meeting architects and local people, explaining your ideas and proposals, and listening to other people’s views
• Marking up suitable land for development and making sure it becomes available
• Presenting to committees and meetings on planning proposals
• Managing and leading different projects at the same time
Who planners work with;
Planners work with construction professionals such as builders, architects and engineers as well as the local community. The community includes politicians, businesses, shops, schools, older residents, families and young people.
Where planners work;
Planners work for many types of organisations in the public, private or voluntary sectors, or are self-employed. You could get a job with local government departments, national government agencies, large engineering or transport firms, private development consultancies, house builders, energy companies, universities, environmental think-tanks, charities and aid organisations.
What being a Chartered Town Planner means;
Becoming a Chartered Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (the RTPI) – which was given its title by Her Majesty The Queen – means you are fully qualified, can officially call yourself a Chartered Town Planner and put the professional letters ‘MRTPI’ after your name. This will open up doors because it is:
• The hallmark of professional expertise and integrity,
• Recognition of high quality skills,
• An achievement that is recognised around the world, and
• A way to increase your employability.
STRATEGY AND POLICY
State and local government prepare strategy plans and policy that shape the way our environment is managed and developed.
Local Government councils focus on issues affecting their municipality and develop the framework about the use and development of land and making planning decisions.
Planners in local government can:
provide pre-application advice to permit applicants
initiate strategic studies
project manage consultants
manage the permit application process assess applications for use and development undertake planning research and demographic analysis provide planning advice about the planning scheme and interact with State Government about policy and any legislative changes.
Heritage and Conservation is a specialised area of planning knowledge related to the use and development of our heritage building assets which are protected.
Planning Law will require the candidate to have a planning and law degree. There are many opportunities for planning lawyers to be engaged in the planning process.
Environmental planning addresses climate change, planning for rural areas, protection of our coastlines and rivers, management of our lakes and waterways, conservation of parks and gardens, waste reduction, energy efficiency and sustainability.
Environmental planning also covers forest management and other natural resource protection. Given the breadth of knowledge required in this area, graduates may choose to specialise. There are jobs in local government, consultancy and State Government for environmental planners.
Planning for the community ensures that there is social equity, space and recreation and employment generation, and that plans promote active and healthy lifestyles for an ever-growing population. Planners can work as social planners considering the needs of the community, or economic development officers and help revitalise retail shopping precincts through strategic policy directions. There are also jobs in the private sector preparing a variety of reports for different sectors.
A vital component of planning is mediation and conflict resolution where there is a neighbourhood dispute about a proposed building for example. The process of community consultations and mediation is an important skill set for all planners.
The ability to project population with detailed demographics, interpreting the census and identifying the needs of different community groups is another vital ingredient to successful planning. Specialisation in research methods and data interpretation would be a valued skill in all employment sectors.
Urban design is the practise of shaping the natural and built environment to create places for people that function well and to make high quality connections between people, places and buildings.
While creating places for people, urban design must respect and enhance the natural environment and use resources efficiently.
Consideration must be given to resources serving the needs of the people including roads, subdivision layout, public transport, schools, hospitals, retail precincts and commercial buildings.
Specialist urban designers may be architects or planning graduates who have undertaken further studies in urban design. However all planners should apply urban design principals to decision making. Successful urban spaces are safe, inclusive, ecologically sustainable, adaptable, engaging and distinctive.
Landis, John D. (2012). “Modeling Urban Systems”. In Weber, Rachel; Crane, Randall (eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Urban Planning. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. pp. 323–350. ISBN 978-0-19-537499-5.
^ Codes, rules, and standards are part of a matrix of relations that influence the practice of urban planning and design. These forms of regulation provide an important and inescapable framework for development, from the laying out of subdivisions to the control of stormwater runoff. The subject of regulations leads to the source of how communities are designed and constructed—defining how they can and can’t be built—and how codes, rules, and standards continue to shape the physical space where we live and work. Ben-Joseph, Eran (2012). “Codes and Standards in Urban Planning and Design”. In Weber, Rachel; Crane, Randall (eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Urban Planning. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. pp. 352–370. ISBN 978-0-19-537499-5.
^ Smit, Anneke; Valiante, Marcia (2015). “Introduction”. In Smit, Anneke; Valiante, Marcia (eds.). Public Interest, Private Property: Law and Planning Policy in Canada. Vancouver, British Columbia: University of British Columbia Press. pp. 1–36, page 10. ISBN 978-0-7748-2931-1.
^ Kamenetz, Anya. “Ten Best Green Jobs for the Next Decade”. fastcompany. Fast Company. Archived from the original on 26 August 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2009.
^ Friedman, John (2012). “Varieties of Planning Experience: Toward a Globalized Planning Culture?”. In Weber, Rachel; Crane, Randall (eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Urban Planning. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. pp. 87–98. ISBN 978-0-19-537499-5.
^ “American Institutes of Certified Planners Certification”. American Planning Association. American Planning Association. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
^ “Professional standards”. Royal Institute of Town Planners. Royal Town Planning Institute. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
^ “About ISOCARP”. International Society of City and Regional Planners. Retrieved 20 July 2017.