Short paper Essay Example

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6Urban and Regional Planning

Foundations of urban and regional planning in Australia.

Date: 12-Sep-2012

Urban and regional planning comprises of political and technical ways relating to control of land usage and designing of environment in urban regions which involves designing transportation, community settlement and urban development. An integrate plan for sustainable urban development comprises a system of interlinked actions which seeks to bring about a lasting improvement in the economic, physical, social and environmental conditions of a city or an area within the city. The plans can either be strategic, comprehensive, regulatory or even neighborhood which is done with an aim of sustaining cities in future (Thompson, 2007)

Urban and regional planning has been practiced due to continued increase in population. The Australian Bureau of Statistics released the nation’s population which reached 23 million on 2012, the population will expect grow to 30 million by 2030 and then to around 36 million by 2050. Challenges facing governments continue to mount as population in urban area increase. Increased population puts pressure in the existing infrastructure, urban planner and government are consistent improved city function and infrastructure every year to ensure that the cities are well developed and the social amenities are adequate for the population in the cities. Throughout the Australia, high population growth has led to migration from rural to urban area. Main drivers of these trend push factors such as reduce rural area community vitality, even young people migrated to city to find more employment opportunities led to an labour migration at rural area. In addition to that there have been increased size of city as people are migrating from regional areas to urban cities even that cause resources are not equally distributed across the cities. Government policies and decisions have is necessitated the need for urban planning to regulated population migration. States and Territories should holding primary responsibility for planning and management. Also local government should support for the development of a national population strategy and a national urban policy (Altrock, 2006).

There are a wide range of areas where existing population pressure and future population changes may cause unsustainable pressure on our environment and natural resource, such as pollution, biodiversity decline and the impacts of climate change etc.

Population rapidly increase in urban city give rise to more resources use and the more pollution that results, that directly in terms of causing climate change. It is undeniable that Australia is experiencing long term changes in climate include higher sea-surface temperature and increased sea levels. With population migration that there have been increased coastal dwellers as people prefer living in towns along coastal region.Around 80% of the Australian population lives in coastal regions while others live near rivers (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2008). The Department of Climate change report Climate Change Risk to Australia’s Coasts notes that between 150,000 and 250,000 homes potentially at risk of inundation from a 1.1 meter sea-level rise. Government and urban planner will be required find a way of reducing emissions, managing better the available resources and reduce rate of rural-urban migration to control this burning issue. That requires both technological innovation and active collaboration among policymakers, resource managers and urban planners (Ganser & Piro, 2012).

Challenges

The planning of urban centers for dynamic and ever-growing population is a very complex process. Without accurate projections, the whole process can be earmarked to lead to insurmountable problems in the future. Therefore, while planning for a changing and large population, a mistake, however how small it is, should not be taken for granted since its effects are noticeable. Urban planning from the earliest stages has to be accurate to reduce errors while taking all possible factors into consideration. The need for this precision and accuracy in planning has lead to the development of advanced planning information systems like the 3-Dmapping programs. These programs are very important modeling tools since they can be used to predict whether the proposed urban plan can work well based on such information as the demographic characteristics of the people like ethnicity, socioeconomic status and age as well as the expected population growth rate. Through the use of web-based systems, urban planners can access the most recent data available (Couch, 1999).

Density Dynamics and Land Use

Population density change or dynamic makes the urban planning for proper land use more difficult. There is the design called compact design. This design brings appropriate balance and mix of urban land uses. This design brings a lot of benefits to the communities especially when the resources are less or are declining. As the baby boomers age and gas prices increase, there is need for the urban planners to adopt clustered developments that have necessary services like medical clinics, schools, grocery stores as well as other businesses. These services are placed in close proximity so that they can ensure that there is a more attractive planning option than the conventional detached single-family like the one in American home. It is also important to zone effectively during urban planning for the purposes of industrial development and other uses (Altrock, 2006).

Quality of Life

Quality of life should also be the main focus of planning. In this case, it is important that planning is done in such a manner that it promotes public welfare, safety and health. The outcomes of planning efforts are clearly reflected by the quality of life. Therefore, planning should be in such a manner that it enhances or promotes such critical elements as enough residences for all income levels, open spaces for recreations, proper circulation networks as well as provision of a range of job or employment opportunities. All these features can improve the quality of life in one way or the other. The plan should have opportunities for the occupants to lead healthier and more quality lives. This will be possible through the adoption of design interventions that encourage bicycling and walking as well as programs that promote accessible groceries throughout the city (Lichfield, 1998).

Environmental Impact

As far as environmental impact is concerned, it is important that proper measures are put in place so that population increase does not hurt the environment. The growth of population leads to urban sprawl whose effects are potentially harmful on the surrounding underdeveloped land and farmlands. Therefore, it is important that long term planning guides suburbanization in which newer residences are constructed in self-contained clusters in the neighborhood but they are managed with the same strict rules and standards like the central clusters. On the other hand, for a declining population, there is need for adjustments so that residents can continue accessing essential services and resources. With smart planning, it is possible to green vacant spaces such as former industrial facilities being used as community gardens, urban farms or parks (Ganser & Piro, 2012).

References:

Altrock, U. (2006). Spatial planning and urban development in the new EU member states: from adjustment to reinvention. Aldershot, Hampshire [u.a.], Ashgate.

Couch, C. (1999). City of change and challenge: planning and urban regeneration. Aldershot, Ashgate.

Ganser, R., & Piro, R. (2012). Parallel patterns of shrinking cities and urban growth spatial planning for sustainable development of city regions and rural areas. Farnham, Surrey, England, Ashgate. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&scope=site&db=nlebk&db=n labk&AN=504653.

Lichfield, N. (1998). Evaluation in planning: facing the challenge of complexity. Dordrecht [u.a.], Kluwer Acad. Publ.