Spatial Planning

The Connection Between Spatial Planning and Sustainable Land Use Management To understand how spatial planning relates to sustainable land use management, it is essential to understand the function of spatial planning. In essence, the latter is a function performed in the public sector regarding the distribution of land use activities in a particular geographical area. What Is Spatial Planning? It entails the organisation of spaces and the uses thereof. It is essential to create a balance between the demands for spatial development and the protection of the land in use. Social and economic objectives should be attained while using land effectively, as opposed to stripping the land or spoiling it for future generations. Spatial planning, if the right principles are followed, helps to improve quality of life and ensures sustainable economic and social development. It is a method whereby the public sector ensures the distribution of activities and people according to a plan (typically a Spatial Development Framework) for improvement in the organisation of the social, structural, and economic development of communities. It involves various disciplines and includes aspects of urban planning, transportation planning, and land use management. It can take place on various levels – local, national, or international. The focus of modern spatial planning is to encourage sustainable development. The latter is development that minimises the environmental impact whilst meeting the needs of current and future communities. As such, it also entails the distribution and use of resources to ensure equal distribution amongst the communities in a specific region, province, or country. What Is Land Use Management? In the simplest of terms, it is the regulation of...

Urban Planning

What Is the Role of Modern Urban Planning in South Africa? Urban planning entails the focused design and management of space usage as related to economic activities, physical presence, and social impact of human activities on the particular urban environment. Urban planning involves professional urban planners, policy makers, engineers, land surveyors, architects, attorneys, public relations officers, and more. It also involves public participation, as the communities affected by urban planning policies and goals have the right to make objections and be involved in how their spaces are developed. Urban planning covers open land and land already in use. It covers the setting of development goals, the collection of relevant data for decision-making regarding development, the analysis thereof, projections, public participation, and the implementation of plans. It is both a political and technical process whereby the land use is planned as related to water, infrastructure, soil, minerals, and air directly related to the town or city environment. It includes the planning of communication, networks, transportation, service delivery, and more. It also includes the creation of plans based on the available resources and infrastructure. Considerations include the need for sanitation, transport, education, healthcare, religion, and housing infrastructure. Urban planning can thus not be seen as a standalone activity, since the infrastructure and activities mentioned affect all areas of human living in built-up city environments. The physical layout and infrastructure associated with human activities and settlements are the focus points of urban planning. The main objectives are to ensure quality of life, public wellbeing, economic activity, and resource management. Urban design or spatial planning is closely related to urban planning. The orderly...

Strategic Development Planning

Modern-Day Strategic Development Planning Challenges in South Africa More than 3,3 billion people live in towns and cities around the world and it is expected that more than 5 billion citizens will live in urban areas a decade from now. Therefore, in future, most structural growth will take place around cities. You just have to look at the challenges that South African cities face to understand the importance of strategic development planning for sustainable urban areas of the future. A trend that has become rather noticeable over the past few years and that is a pressing concern for professionals involved in strategic development planning is the growth of megacities. What do we mean? Think Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Midrand, and you will have an idea of how cities grow into each other, thus creating megacities. The same is true when thinking of the Western Cape. Not too many years ago, there were fewer than 12 such megacities worldwide. Such cities had populations of more than a million each. However, it is estimated by the United Nations that by the year 2030, there will be more than 490 such cities with populations of one million or more each. One of the strategic development planning challenges of today is to minimise the environmental footprint of such large cities. In addition, the large-scale poverty often experienced in such cities because of high unemployment rates, as experienced in South Africa, leads to various social, economic, and political conflict situations. More and more poor people find their way to cities in South Africa. These people mainly come from rural areas. With limited infrastructure and environmental...

Urban Development

Smart Cities Are the Future of Urban Planning and Development Urban development entails all the elements of design that lead to the creation of the city’s environment and structure. As such, urban development design affects the following: • Buildings • Streets • Landscape • Transport • Public spaces In the simplest form, urban design coordinates and combines the above and other elements into a coherent development, which can be called a city or town. It is what civilizations have done from the earliest of times. When it comes to smart city or smart urban development, innovative approaches are followed to bring the elements together. Smart urban development is not only focused on design to reduce traffic congestion. Instead, it is an approach to urban development to ensure the sustainability of all structures, resource usage, and healthy living and interaction with the surrounding environment. The essential components of smart urban design and development are briefly discussed below, giving you a glimpse into the future urban environments of the world. Research & Analytics Without all the relevant data, the smart city is simply not possible. The smart urban environment collects data with the use of technology. The problem is how to use the data to improve the urban environment. You need to identify problems such as too many cyclist injuries or too slow reaction times of emergency response teams. Now that you know which problems to solve, the next challenge is to make sense of the data collected. This is the analysis phase. The smart city development concept also entails the collection of data about everything that forms part of city...

Land Use Management

The Value of a Land Use Management Plan for Future Sustainability The land use management plan is the master plan that is used to guide the future use of land in a specific area and the actions of the community on that piece of land. In general, the land use management plan is the vision of the future of a community in a particular area. It is about the long-term goals, as well as objectives, related to the activities under local government control. The plan includes guidelines for decision-making regarding property development plans, whether such are for private or public properties. It also gives the guidelines for using public funds. The comprehensive plan includes guidance on cooperation efforts regarding important issues including, for instance, the preservation of agricultural land or renovation of run-down inner city sectors. The land use management plan serves to give direction regarding future activities related to land use. It can be a five-year, ten-year, or twenty-year plan. What is important is that the land use management plan must be reviewed at least every five years and either scraped because it is no longer relevant or is not working, or adapted to stay on course regarding an overall twenty-year land use vision. Such a plan has several important functions, as briefly described below. Providing Permanence to Plans Continuity of actions in order to reach a long-term goal is essential. The land use management plan makes it possible to ensure that successive local government bodies can work within a set framework to address specific issues related to land usage. Balancing Interests No doubt, competing interests can cause...