The saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day” is very popular but not many folks know that “… they were laying bricks every hour”. The ancient Romans laid the foundations (both literally and figuratively) of what would later be known as “urban planning”. The level of care and attention to detail they paid to designing and building their cities and infrastructure was so profound that they left an indelible mark in the sands of time visible even after several centuries. Some roads constructed in those ancient times still exist today in modern-day Italy, a testament to the incontrovertible importance of urban planning in effective community development.
What Is Urban Planning?
Urban Planning, at its most basic, can be defined as the art and science of designing, creating, and giving shape to municipalities, towns, and cities. Urban planning has several aspects to it which include the design (and arrangement) of transportation networks, buildings, public infrastructure, and spaces. With population figures growing steadily by the day in cities all over the world, the need for urban planning has become of paramount interest to government agencies, land developers, and other concerned stakeholders as they work to effectively manage the rapidly dwindling resources.
Why Is Urban Planning Important?
Overpopulation in urban centers has given rise to a myriad of challenges including – but not limited to – poor sanitation, pollution, and disease outbreaks. It therefore becomes imperative that adequate attention is paid to developing the cities and towns that would someday house future unborn generations. In light of this, below are some of the reasons why urban planning is important.
1. It Is Particularly Useful In Helping Cities Evolve
The global population is on the increase in modern cities, especially in developing countries as a result of several factors. Some of these contributing factors include the prospects of better employment opportunities in urban centers, as well as access to better educational and healthcare facilities. With the steady migration of people to cities and townships, it has become increasingly important for town planners and the government to deploy effective urban planning measures to create a means of sustainably accommodating these new migrants.
These urban planning measures consider certain factors such as the peculiar needs of the citizens, the proper expansion of available infrastructure, and the deployment of effective measures during emergencies. Urban planning helps cities to expand residential areas and provides good transportation, healthcare, and education systems that enable them to grow at a sustainable rate.
2. It Improves The Standard Of Living
One of the major concerns of persons who move to new places is the existing standard of living at that location. Accommodation and availability of job opportunities are two other concerns people consider in a new location. Although the cost of living in an urban center is significantly higher, there is no denying the fact that the relative abundance of opportunities makes the transition worth it.
In recognition of these facts, the government, town planners, and property developers alike have come together to make the whole process easier by laying down guidelines for the efficient distribution of resources. The authorities are also modifying traffic laws in addition to developing potential sites of interest in the city all of which ultimately contribute to improving the standard of life of the citizens.
3. It Helps Forecast Disasters
The increase in the global population has led to serious environmental concerns such as flooding and global warming. These phenomena affect all and sundry and if left unattended, have the potential of making life a living nightmare for everyone on the planet. Government authorities are constantly on the lookout for early warning signs of impending disaster, so they can develop long-term strategies for dealing with such incidents while preparing for immediate emergencies when they occur.
The process of urban planning helps concerned stakeholders to identify likely trouble spots and work toward reducing the fallout from natural disasters thereby keeping both citizens and visitors safe through the reduction of risks associated with these phenomena. This has only been made possible through urban planning.
4. It Promotes Safe And Healthy Lifestyles
Urban planners, government authorities, and town developers can promote safe and healthy lifestyles by adhering to the suggestions and guidelines provided by concerned bodies (like the United Nations and WHO) on best practices for urban development. They help citizens and other inhabitants pay more attention to their lifestyle habits by creating safer, healthy environments for people to live in while endeavoring to provide the highest quality of infrastructural services.
Effective urban planning takes into consideration such things as the creation of recreational facilities, parks, and gardens for folks to unwind and exercise as well as the development and good drainage, garbage and sewage removal facilities to prevent pollution and disease outbreaks.
5. It Positively Helps The Economy
It’s no news that with rapid growth comes increased economic implications Economic growth and development are one of the key facets of urban planning, and if taken for granted, can potentially prove inimical to the economic success of the community.
Proper urban planning makes it possible for factories and companies to be established thereby increasing employment opportunities for people who migrate to the cities in search of greener pastures. The design and construction of road networks, schools, hospitals, residential lots, and office spaces are all important in sustaining the economy of the community which goes to underscore the importance of urban planning in efficient community development.
Urban planning in recent times has evolved to also include many rural areas as a result of population explosion and migration activities of people. These areas are now being developed according to laid down plans and guidelines that seek to build sustainable communities for both the present generation and those yet unborn.
Urban planning and community development are inextricably intertwined and it would take the skill of experienced and accomplished professionals like those at Transport and Traffic Planning Associates to properly combine both concepts in developmental projects.