Integrated spatial planning refers to the modern urban development strategies and approaches used to design and plan the distribution of people, facilities, infrastructure, spaces and activities in set regions. In simpler terms, it refers to the coordination and management of practices that influence spatial organisation. The approaches have originated in Europe, but are now widely used across the globe for the development of urban areas to ensure sustainable economic growth and to reduce the human and economic impact on the environment.

Transport, land usage, environmental protection, housing and community planning form part of integrated spatial planning and take place on local, provincial and governmental level. Such planning is an administrative method, as well as policy that follow a comprehensive and integrative approach to ensure balanced development and organisation of spaces in support of sustainable economic growth and human settlement.

The form of integrated spatial planning is specific to the country and region where it is applied. Features of integrated spatial planning include the minimisation of adverse impacts on the environment. With such, provision is made for conservation areas, places of special interest, landscapes and scenic regions. The modern approach to integrated spatial planning also takes world heritage sites, monuments and historical buildings into consideration, while the general wellbeing and quality of life of the communities within the spaces are considered.

Improvement of life quality of communities is still central to the approach, while it also becomes imperative to improve the aesthetic appeal and comfort of the areas in which communities live. However, with an international focus on ways to counter climate change, energy efficient building design, transportation and resource usage also play an important role in urban and rural space design. As part of this planning process, the selection of energy efficient and low environmental impact building materials must be taken into consideration.

Job creation through the focus of critical economic growth points is encouraged, while the planning takes into consideration where housing is located in relation to employment places. Where possible, mixed usage regions or hubs are developed to reduce the distance that people have to travel to get to work, education, sport, leisure, medical and business facilities.

Such planning also aims to minimise the impact of transportation on the environment through energy efficient transport systems as opposed to conventional passenger vehicles. With the reduction of traffic, it is possible to reduce carbon emissions, accidents and the time it takes people to travel to and from work. The above being said, it is essential to ensure that mixed use communities, where the employment opportunities are within close proximity of the residential spaces, do not negatively impact on the employment land.

Key economic sectors can include tourism, food and beverage, digital media, tourism, and energy. Such key economic sectors differ from one country or region to another. Local development plans must include protection of the mineral resources and any other resources of value, such as water, to ensure sustainability of the region.

What We Do

We are an established urban and town planning group in South Africa. We provide our integrated spatial planning expertise and services to local and national governments, municipalities and developers.