Town Development Planning

Challenges for Town Development Planners in South Africa Town development planning entails control over the current development and new developments, in addition to the strategic plan for the management of resources to meet the community’s future needs. It is a dynamic process that changes, as the community’s town development needs change. Town planners play an integral role in town development planning, as they draft the strategies and work closely with communities to ensure a balance in the human, socio-economic, and environmental development of an area. They must consider cultural influences, environmental health, human health, community needs, economic viability, and overall quality of life when they perform town development planning activities. The idea is to develop the urban landscapes in the correct relation to the size of the population, thus ensuring that the various needs of the communities can be met. As town development planning cannot be done in isolation, the town planners work closely with other professionals, such as land surveyors, quantity surveyors, engineers, developers, environmental specialists, lawyers, economists, architects, and politicians. Urban areas are rarely designed from scratch, as most of the towns and cities in the country have already been established. One of the challenges that town development planning professionals face is to address changing community needs in towns and cities developed in the past for societies of the past. Rapid urbanisation today has brought new challenges. The influx of people from other countries in the world in the hope to make a living in the cities has also brought about challenges. Water resources and supply services in various cities in South Africa are simply not sufficient...

Integrated Development Plan

What Is the Integrated Development Plan? An Integrated Development Plan, also known as an IDP, is a five-year plan used to identify the development needs of a particular municipality. It is drafted by the local government. All projects in the Integrated Development Plan must be completed with the municipality’s budget. The Integrated Development Plan is reviewed every year to make provision for changes that have taken place during the 12 months prior to review and to ensure that the plan can be adapted to ensure that the municipality stays on course in achieving the objectives of the five-year plan. The annual review is also necessary to establish the relevancy of projects. Some projects may no longer be viable and must then be scraped from the IDP. The priorities of projects are also set during the annual review process. The annual review is concluded after full public participation has been achieved. The process provides citizens with the opportunities to object to developments and to bring attention to developmental needs that they feel should receive priority. The municipality has a limited budget and as such, not every priority project can form part of the Integrated Development Plan. To cater for important projects for which funds are simply not available in the budget, the wards receive specific amounts that must be spent in their wards to address the developmental needs in their specific communities. Public participation is important and the citizens also have opportunities to participate by means of communication through ward councillors and committees. To understand the role and importance of the IDP, one has to understand what is seen as...

Town Planning

What is the Role of Town Planning in the Development of Sustainable Urban Areas? The recent drought experienced across large parts of South Africa has once again highlighted the importance of responsible resource management. Town planning plays an integral role in ensuring the best usage of the available water resources, adequate sewage systems, storm water drainage, energy infrastructure development, and communication networks. Failure on the front of resource management and planning can lead to dissatisfaction for a large part of the population of a city. One cannot ignore the concerns related to clean air, potable water, population density management in specific areas of the urban area, and socio-economic needs of the urban area’s population. To ensure that the cities of South Africa can handle the rapid growing population of city dwellers, it is essential to involve various town planning experts. Sustainable town planning entails planning to ensure sustainable development and as such, development that ensures that the needs of communities of present are met without negatively affecting the future generation’s ability to meet their needs in future. Such town planning is not done in isolation of other professions. Indeed, collaboration amongst professionals such as architects, town and urban planners, scientists, engineers, biologists, and environmental specialists is essential to ensure that the objectives of sustainability can be reached. Governments, NGOs, and the local governments must also be involved and in support of such town planning to ensure that the sustainable development goals can be reached. Practical approaches must be followed regarding resource usage, human settlements, land use management, and more. Green building codes must be in place and private sector...

Strategic and Integrated Spatial Planning

The Smart Approach in Urban Design Forming Part of Strategic and Integrated Spatial Planning The world is changing fast. Issues such as climate change, rapid urbanisation across the globe, water scarcity, shortage of housing, immigrants, and shifting populations are all factors that must be considered in strategic and integrated spatial planning. Strategic and integrated spatial planning takes place at the upper levels of land use management planning. However, at the ground level, urban planning must be done in consideration of the broader strategic and integrated spatial planning goals on national level. To effectively address the changing urban landscape and needs of its dwellers, it is essential to balance the various environmental, political, social, technological, and economic inputs. It cannot be done without a clear long-term vision, the financial support of private and government role players, and exceptionally strong leadership. It has become important to adopt a smart approach regarding urban planning as part of strategic and integrated spatial planning. City planners and leaders should collaborate to ensure that best practices are followed in city planning. Part of this process entails using the technology available to put the needs of the people first. Design plays an integral role in the improvement of cities. The increase in land invasions and protests about affordable housing closer to work in South Africa are examples of how decisions related to strategic and integrated spatial planning from the past can affect the current and future wellbeing of residents in such cities. The central parts of Cape Town, for instance, become extremely expensive to live in. The job opportunities are closer to the city centre, but...

Urban Planning

Key Factors to Consider in Modern Urban Planning If you have ever driven in Cape Town along its many highways, you would have realised that extensive planning must have gone into the design of the city’s road infrastructure. Getting from one point to another in any city can be challenging if the road infrastructure planning has not been done with the long-term development of the city in mind. Urban planning plays an important role in making it possible for urban dwellers to get to and from work, navigate from one area to another and make use of public transport. Urban planning entails extensive coordination and collaboration between the urban planners, the local government, private sector stakeholders, and the public to determine the needs of specific areas. With more than 50% of the global population already urbanised, it goes without saying that urban planning must be done to address the service delivery, transportation, relaxation, environmental protection, safety, and security needs of the urban residents. Rapid urbanisation over the past two decades in South Africa has brought about challenges such as ensuring waste disposal, energy supply, clean water supply, storm water drainage, road infrastructure, public transportation, education, religious places of worship, medical facilities, work places, and housing to meet the demands for such. Below are important factors that must be considered in modern urban planning if the above is to be addressed with sustainability in mind. Surrounding Environment Any addition or changes in urban space should be done with due consideration of the particular area’s environment, including the physical, social, and economic environment of the communities occupying the space. The urban...

Strategic Development Planning

The Importance of Strategic Urban Development Planning Focused on Sustainability Strategic development planning, as related to urban planning, entails the clarification of the most appropriate urban model in order to reach developmental goals. It is not just a government initiative. Instead, it is a coordinated effort between private and public sectors to ensure that the urban model meets the requirements for energy, environmental protection, sustainability, and the improvement of the living conditions of the residents in the particular urban environment. On a national level, strategic development planning focuses on the overall model and framework for land use management, in order to achieve the goals of sustainability, economic viability, environmental protection, and the improvement of the living conditions of the country’s citizens. Modern strategic development planning entails a public process and is not simply a top-down approach. South Africa forms part of the larger global development framework. Within South Africa, each of the cities must be developed in such a way so as to address the environmental impact of urban development. There is a growing trend internationally to move from only focusing on the individual city facilities to a strategic development planning approach that focuses on sustainable development. In turn, sustainable development is connected to the need for modernising cities to ensure comfort, economic growth, and environmental sustainability. With sustainability as the focus in strategic development planning for cities, it is possible to improve the environmental quality of the affected areas. Such development strategies should form the basis of modern architectural planning and the design transportation routes. Indeed, globalisation has been the main influence in urban design over the past...