Urban Development Planning & Consulting

Urban Renewal Lessons from the Past Urban development planning and consulting firms such as The Practice Group play an integral role in helping governments, provincial administrations, councils and municipalities to achieve their respective urban development goals. Urban renewal is of particular importance when it comes to urban development. Firstly, it helps to ensure optimal usage of urban space, and secondly, it helps to revive areas which became unsafe and unpopular because of factors such as over population, lack of road infrastructure, rapid urbanisation, economical changes, etc. With the focus of urban development planning and consulting being to optimise land usage and resources for maximum benefit to the community with minimal impact on the environment, the need to revive inner city areas can be addressed effectively. Why is urban renewal so important? It is vital for the reform, enhancement of living and working quality, and the revitalisation of the central business districts. Critics of urban renewal argue that existing communities are often disrupted in favour of development. Though some neighbourhoods may be demolished in the process and a part of their culture lost for future generations of urban dwellers, it is often necessary to ensure that living spaces can be improved. Urban renewal programmes of the past often focussed on developments to modernise the central business districts, and part of these programmes entailed demolition of neighbourhoods. Over time, however, the focus changed from demolishing to renovation, improvements in access to the CBD, plans to curb pavement selling, and ways to ensure investment into the derelict parts of the city. With such in mind, local governments now often provide incentives to...

Town Planning & Property Development Consultancy

What to Do If You Want to Apply for Zoning Changes or Approval for Building Plans It is important to understand that the Provincial Administrations and relevant Ordinances govern the town planning for each specific area. What is allowed in one council or municipality may not be allowed in another, and the same applies to regulations in the various provinces. Accordingly, there are certain procedures that a town planning and property development consultancy has to follow when they apply, on behalf of the client, for approval of development and building plans, or approval of zoning changes. The local municipalities are responsible for managing the land use in their jurisdiction. As such, there are specific zoning and land use rights in place in each municipal area. A person, for example, cannot simply open a commercial business in a residential area if the property is not zoned for commercial use. Moreover, any structural changes to a sectional title unit, for instance, cannot commence if the sectional title plan has not been amended to allow for such, and if the local authority has not yet provided the necessary approval for these alterations. In order to convert the residential home into a full commercial office, the developer or business owner must apply for changes in the zoning to allow for such. Certain usage restrictions must therefore be lifted. This is where the expertise of town planning and property development consultants is useful as they can provide the client with details regarding the rezoning process and the timeframe in which such normally takes place. Residential buildings, sectional title units, such as housing schemes, townhouse...

Integrated Development Planning

The Importance of Modern, Integrated Spatial Development Planning Principles Integrated development planning forms an important part of modern spatial planning. The spatial planning function is seated mainly in the public sector with the purpose of affecting the distribution of activities in specific spaces. Integrated development planning aims to achieve improved distribution and organisation of the land use in a region, and the country as whole. Part of this focus is to create balanced development, which helps to minimise the effects of human and economic activity on the environment, whilst still ensuring that economic and social objectives can be met. Integrated development spatial planning therefore entails measures for coordination and improvement of economic distribution within a specific area that would otherwise have developed according to the economic influence, regardless of what impact the developments would have had on the environment and sustainable practices. The main function of spatial planning is to improve integration between the various systems and sectors, such as transport, energy, industries, and housing, with due consideration of possible environmental impact. In a regulatory capacity, spatial planning on national and local levels forms the framework in which specific activities are permitted. In a developmental capacity, it is used for the creation of infrastructure and directing development, whilst also creating a positive investment environment and ensuring the sustainable use of national resources. The main aims of integrated development planning are to improve territorial unity through better planning of economic and social development in the particular areas and to improve accessibility, reduce environmental impact and create better relationships between urban and rural areas. It also aims to protect natural heritage,...