Urban Planning Key to unlocking City Treasures
Many cities and towns over the world have experienced tremendous growth over the years. This growth is attributed to among other contributing factors rapid urbanization, technological and infrastructural expansion and an economically empowered human populace. These developments often come with its fair share of challenges to the general scope of the city’s’ planning dynamics but doesn’t necessarily preponderate its resultant successes and benefits of such developments. Perhaps urbanization is the most transcendent factor to a host of challenges which range from inadequate housing for city dwellers, defective and inefficient transport and network linkages including a disarrange means of waste disposal.
According to World Bank parameters, 54% of the global population lives in urban areas today, and this trend is expected to continue and by 2045, the number of people living in cities will increase by 1.5 times to 6 billion, adding 2 billion more urban residents.It further notes that with more than 80% of global GDP generated in cities, urbanization can contribute to sustainable growth if managed well by increasing productivity, allowing innovation and new ideas to emerge.
There have been calls globally on the need to build cities that work, ‘work‘ in the sense that cities should be safe, inclusive, resilient and sustainable. The Sustainable Development goals with a collection of 17 global goals passed by the UN in 2015 sets ground for ‘Making cities and human settlements safe, inclusive, resilient and sustainable’ That’s Sustainable Cities and Communities. This goal is not stand alone vision but is coupled with a host of other SDG goals to make a city work.
With glaring urban challenges, the scope of urban planning need to be explored internally to address these accompanying challenges. Urban planning is a technical and political process dealing with land use management in urban areas. Most cities still adopt conventional means of urban planning but in rapidly evolving world urban planning scenarios need to conform to technological patterns. For example, Urban planning techniques needs to be integrated with spatial management software’s like the Geo-spatial Information Systems implementation frameworks to allocate spaces, determine most probable land use scenarios together with the natural resource scope. The flat-out lesson for urban planners is to incorporate their systems with a variance of data providers and mapping technologies in order to make informed decisions in the management of the city in tandem with legislative instruments in place. Globally, nations are now exploring the concept of smart cities with Singapore leading the pact.