Human-Centric Town Planning Principles


A comprehensive and forward-looking strategy involving land use and town planning at various scales will be required to overcome the challenges and avoid the pitfalls of the future. A strategy that encompasses town planning from the national level down to the street level will be critical. An approach that fosters the creation of inclusive, vibrant, and liveable urban areas, will mitigate the possible adverse impacts of overcrowding, and enhance the quality of life for residents. 

The projected growth in the global population may see around 2.5 billion individuals in urban spaces by 2050. While this development holds the promise of economic growth, numerous cities may face challenges in providing liveable space for their residents. The pressure exerted on land resources and urban spaces in Asia and Africa is expected to be substantial, given the high population densities forecasted. Congestion, subpar urban environments, pollution, and compromised safety can easily be the inevitable outcome.


Town Planning

The Goals of Human-Centric Town Planning

Designing neighbourhoods that integrate residential, commercial, and recreational spaces within walking distance of each other encourages a vibrant, accessible, and pedestrian-friendly urban space. Efficiency and reduced cost come from the elimination of long commutes and fosters an enhanced sense of community. Prioritising public transportation, cycling lanes, and pedestrian infrastructure reduces traffic congestion, air pollution, and the carbon footprint and promotes healthier lifestyles.


By prioritising parks and green spaces, residents are provided with areas for relaxation, recreation, and social interaction. These spaces are proven to contribute to residents’ mental and physical well-being because they significantly enhance the urban experience. Balancing population density with quality of life is crucial. Well-designed high-density developments create vibrant urban cores with efficient land use, while still maintaining adequate open spaces.


Creating environments that are accessible to all, including people with disabilities and from different socio-economic backgrounds, ensures that no one is marginalised. Barrier-free pathways, accessible public transportation, and recreational facilities add to a sense of community and inclusiveness. Human-centric town planning fosters a sense of ownership and belonging. Gathering local input, addressing community concerns, and respecting local culture and customs result in designs that align with the community’s aspirations. Integrating local history and culture, by preserving historic and cultural buildings for example, into urban design provides a sense of identity and belonging for residents.


Human-centric town planning focuses on creating urban environments where people thrive, are not marginalised, and enjoy high quality of life. By focusing on human needs and aspirations, human-centric town planning provides sustainable and liveable urban spaces.


Town Planning Focused on People

The Practice Group is a multi-award-winning South African town planning consultancy. Our approach to sustainable town planning focuses on optimal outcomes for all residents. We design urban spaces that promote liveable, sustainable, environments, with the least environmental impact. For healthy, and sustainable urban communities, contact The Practice Group today.