Important Principles to Follow in Modern Urban and Regional Planning

Cities are pioneering, multifaceted developments that are exhibits of human growth. Consisting of social and economic systems, the urban areas are the hubs of knowledge where skilled people come together. These cities are the centres of employment and drivers of economic wealth. Planning the use of the space to ensure ongoing functionality is therefore essential.

Urban and regional planning is the methodological and political process to create towns and cities with consideration of land use, environmental protection, and public welfare. The use of natural resources, patterns of human settlement, and the provision for the development of public spaces all form part of the urban and regional planning process.

Rapid urbanisation in South Africa, in line with the international trend towards urbanisation, calls for the application of sound principles in building and developing cities. Below are some of the important considerations in urban and regional planning to create sustainable cities.

City planning must follow a liberal and systematic approach to transit facilities for creating optimal flow of traffic. This means that streets, water canals, walk areas, transport facilities, and railroads must be able to accommodate the growing urban population.

Main routes and current streets in the city must be used and developed for optimal traffic flow. The secondary routes should then be determined and set based on the circumstances of the neighbourhood.

Land and infrastructure use should be controlled effectively to reduce urban sprawl. Existing buildings can be adapted for new use. With such, cities can become more compact, preventing uncontrolled informal settlements and developments to take up more space on the outskirts of the urban area.

Planners need to address the immediate needs of the city’s population. However, they also need to plan towards the achievement of long-term developments. Municipalities must work closely with the urban and regional planners to develop cities that will be functional, economical hubs in the future.

An example of modern, urban, and regional planning is the creation of mixed-use zones where business parks consist of offices, retail centres, and warehouses. The same nodes contain residential developments to accommodate the workforce, and thus shorten the distance between home and work. Warehouses near retail centres reduce the distance from distribution points to retailers.

Speak to our team of urban and regional planners today to help your municipality address city development issues in a coordinated and planned manner.