Modern urban planners, also in Gauteng – South Africa, keep sustainable urban planning principles in mind regarding the management of land use.
The planning of land use in urban environments with consideration of the environment, living requirements of residents, and commercial needs, is essential to ensure sustainability of cities in Gauteng.
Such urban planners take factors such as the need for open spaces, areas to walk, and the responsible consumption of water resources into consideration. We briefly take a look at some the land use needs which modern urban planners in Gauteng should consider, which will help you gain insight into the importance of urban planning that is focussed on sustainability.
Water Resource Management
Water is a scarce resource and with limited water available, it is essential to consider the availability of the resource when planning land use. Planning must be done to ensure the responsible use of the local water resources and protection thereof for continued availability.
Creating Open Spaces
The creation of green open spaces is important, as the spaces improve the overall quality of life for urban dwellers, and add to the passive and active use of the spaces. In addition, green spaces contribute to the aesthetic appeal of cities.
Creating Walking Spaces
To help reduce the level of greenhouse emissions, it is important for urban planners in Gauteng and other provinces of South Africa to include enough walking spaces in the city planning.
With more walking spaces, city dwellers are encouraged to walk and make use of public transport systems, rather than to commute using their own vehicles. With such, traffic congestion problems can be effectively addressed.
Pedestrian-focussed designs should keep connectivity in mind. This means that facilities must be within walking distance from where the pedestrians live and work. In order to attain connectivity, private and public transport systems must be well-developed to connect the various facilities, and living and working spaces.
Connectivity and Integration of Facilities
City planners must take the recreational, sports, work, commercial, health, and educational needs of the communities into consideration. This means that facilities to address the above needs must be integrated in the designs of the residential areas, making the facilities more accessible within the particular communities.
The Design Should Mirror the Community
The structures and spaces must be designed to reflect the community’s history, interests, and cultural heritage. This will help to give a sense of identity and connection with the spaces where the people live.
Designing urban spaces with the above goals in mind takes extremely careful planning. It entails a complete paradigm shift from conventional urban planning, to an approach that has the long-term health benefits for the community, improvement in quality of life, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in mind.
A sustainable city can be achieved in a number of ways. An example is where agricultural plots are created within the urban environment. This practice reduces the distance that food must be transported to get from the fields to the market, and eventually to the end-consumer. For it to be practical, small-scale farming parks can be introduced where communities work together to manage the farming plots.
Another practical example is where renewable energy sources are applied to reduce the reliance on power plants driven by fossil fuels for the provision of energy to communities in the urban areas of Gauteng. Solar-heating systems for residential abodes can significantly reduce electricity consumption of residential dwellings.
Instead of relying heavily on air conditioning for maintaining temperature control in buildings, the focus changes to creating natural ventilation. With such, the urban planners include more green spaces, and make provision for the planting of more trees in the CBD. Following this approach, it is also possible to address the heat island phenomenon.
The urban planners in Gauteng will thus take building density into consideration when planning city layouts. The building density must be of such a nature that it facilitates easy access and more use of public transport, but not so dense that it creates warmer inner cities.
Green roofs on buildings also help to reduce the inner-city temperature and to bring the food closer to where it will be used.
The above are but a few of the characteristics, principles, and practical applications that modern urban planning focusses on when it comes to the creation of sustainable urban areas in Gauteng.