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The Importance of Urban Planning – The Seven Key Reasons

As cities continue to grow, so do their challenges and complexities. Urban planning presents an all-encompassing solution to those challenges. 

Developing urban areas require a great deal of forward-thinking and thorough planning. The growth of cities and towns should happen in accordance with specific objectives that a state or territory defines, with local councils playing a significant role in it.

Cities rely on urban planning to remain functional, grow in population, and attract businesses. Every crucial aspect of an urban environment is under the effect of how its layout is planned. This includes key infrastructure, transportation, and city area layout and density. 

In Australia, urban planning is of immense importance since over 80% of Australians are either city residents or work in urban areas, or both. The main aspect that attracts such a large number of people to Australian cities has to do with the quality of life, which is based on infrastructure and easy access to vital institutions and services, such as healthcare and education.

Highly developed cities largely contribute to the economic health and productivity of society. On the other hand, poor urban planning can bring on opposite, harmful effects like constant heavy traffic, insufficient infrastructure, inadequate housing options. Such areas can also become exposed to a number of natural hazards, including fires, flooding, and climate change.

Urban planning also influences property development since the city’s sustainability depends on following the state-set objectives. 

The way our cities grow undoubtedly has a massive impact on the economy, ecology, and quality of life. And in this article, we’ll provide a detailed explanation of the main reasons why urban planning matters.

The Seven Reasons

Reason #1. Planned City Growth

City development is always most efficient when it’s orderly and in line with a specific vision. After all, it relies on a framework that takes into account the current and future needs of the city’s population. 

As opportunities for work and education keep improving, cities are rapidly drawing in more and more people. For this reason, city growth is unavoidable yet predictable, making plans for future expansions a necessity.

Since the core idea behind urban growth is to improve on the benefits of city living, many factors go into proper city planning. These factors include public welfare, equity, efficient emergency measures, and community participation. A planned city will take all this into consideration and transform its environment so that it can accommodate the growing number of residents. 

Planned city growth can create a strong relationship between local leaders, various departments, and citizens. And as a result, the entire community can pursue a common goal of productivity and better and safer living.

Reason #2. Improved Health and Quality of Life

When it comes to concerns that most city dwellers share, quality of life is among the greatest. It’s true that greater opportunities can attract people to urban environments. But once they settle in a city, they’re faced with higher costs of living that have a significant impact on their quality of life.

And as vehicles keep growing in number, city traffic also becomes a key factor for the quality of life, requiring continuous updates to traffic infrastructure and regulations. With urban planning, the concern about the quality of life will be taken into account and make the infrastructure and public spaces regulated and properly distributed.

With a thoroughly planned layout, a city can provide its residents with access to all essential services, points of interest, and amenities. At the same time, the unfavourable aspects of urban life are reduced, leading to an overall healthier lifestyle and improved quality of life.

Reason #3. Less Environmental Impact

As the entire planet faces issues caused by global warming, cities are starting to adapt more and more to environmental considerations. In fact, the United Nations recently issued a list of development goals with the purpose of reaching sustainability, making impact assessments mandatory for development projects in cities.

City planning is a key element in this regard, as it allows for proper handling of waste, a level of control over greenhouse gas emissions, and a more rational utilisation and distribution of resources.

Planting trees, emphasising public transport to reduce fuel consumption, and raising public awareness about the environmental impact are all measures that could slow down and reduce the ecological harm that cities inevitably cause. 

Reason #4. Better Economy and Resource Utilisation

Well-developed cities have sprawling markets with plenty of job opportunities. Naturally, this boosts the city economy and impacts every aspect of urban life. However, cities still need investments to keep their economies growing and they are always competing for financial input.

Urban planning can ensure that more jobs are available while living costs decrease. This can happen through expanding nearby rural areas into urban environments and distributing economic activity in a coordinated fashion.

Without economic considerations in city development, the living standard of city residents could be jeopardised. 

Today, many cities are experiencing considerable migration due to a decrease in work opportunities and rising costs of living. And the only way to prevent these negative changes and the economic decline that follows them is through proper urban planning.

Reason #5. National Development

Urban areas have always been the centres of development and growth, often leading the nation into progress. That situation remains the same today and the critical role cities play in national development will likely become even more pronounced.

Why?

According to the United Nations’ estimate, over 3 billion people will live in cities by the year 2050. This means that, in the near future, the impact cities will have on regional and national development will become the primary factor. 

As cities continue to grow, their economies, social conditions, and environmental concerns scale along. Well-planned cities will therefore become their nation’s driving forces, while urban areas that lack such planning might prove highly detrimental.

Reason #6. Disaster Prevention and Greater Credibility

Urban planning can allow for better predictions and reactions to natural disasters. With sound strategies reinforced by the rational placement of infrastructure, cities can prevent most calamities or, at the very least, reduce their harmful effects.

The better a city is planned, the more prepared it will be for any future events. The urban area will become a safer place for numerous residents, visitors, and tourists alike. 

As cities reach continuity regarding safety and access to crucial infrastructure, they build more credibility due to predictable, favourable conditions they nurture. And the credibility of a city reflects on its growth, economic stability, and community engagement. 

In light of this potential, building credibility becomes a long-term investment.

Cities that reach stability in this regard find great success and disregard political changes in their plans. They remain safe and prosperous environments that attract more new residents, investments, and opportunities. Well-planned cities are also less prone to loss of property or lives and more resilient against all types of disasters.

Reason #7. More Efficient Problem Solving

Problem-solving doesn’t necessarily mean reacting when an issue appears. Instead, a more efficient way to resolve issues is through anticipation. If a problem is anticipated, it can be secured against from the start or, in the worst case, would require less effort to solve.

Sufficient urban planning allows cities to deal with potential challenges quickly and more easily through anticipation and the utilisation of thought-out spatial patterns and infrastructure. This means that in a properly planned city, all areas will be made as efficient as possible and accessible for maintenance. In the event a swift reaction is needed, unhindered communication flow and readiness of city services will be precious.

Through good planning, cities can decrease or remove the possibility of significant issues. And if problems arise, they can be dealt with promptly with minimal cost or damage.

Planning for Better Life in Urban Areas

Urban planning encompasses and influences many aspects of city life. 

From matters of economy, through social and environmental concerns, to safety and wellbeing, a thorough, consistent plan can make life in urban areas almost idyllic. On the other hand, a lack of such plans can turn a city into an unlivable environment.

In modern times, more cities are turning towards sustainable solutions that require urban planning, which affects urban development to a large extent. 

Archistar can be used by town planners to aid them in making optimal planning and development decisions. They can discover the highest and best use of any site, saving time whilst also bringing certainty and transparency to the development process.

Don’t hesitate to contact the Archistar team and schedule a demo today.