Urbanisation has given rise to many issues in Pakistan’s major cities, including housing shortage, health problems, lack of proper mass transit system, ineffective land management and poor educational facilities. Authorities have been dedicating resources to devise related policies to deal with these problems.
Urban planning is the process by which areas are developed according to a design that effectively uses the land to meet the needs of a community. It is the most effective way to move forward, which can help towns, cities, and urban areas in managing population growth.
Graana.com, Pakistan’s smartest property portal, discusses below the need for urban planning in Pakistan.
Objectives of Urban Planning
Developed and undeveloped land, commercial and residential buildings, roads, communal spaces, transportation, industrial areas, and educational institutes – all are part of urban planning. Developed countries have been working on policies and plans that focus on the following elements as priorities:
- Spatial and strategic urban planning
- Development control and regulation
- Economic regeneration and investment
- Data information management
- Mass transit and urban transport
- Water supply and sanitation
- Municipal finance and urban governance
- Affordable housing
- Waste management
Why We Need Urban Planning
To solve the growing problems of urbanisation, it is essential to develop a framework of collaboration between local government bodies, the public sector and private sector authorities. It will help meet social objectives from a broader perspective.
Developing a practical framework for urban planning can help with:
- Predicting potential problems in the development sector
- Developing a framework for growth
- Improving future development projects
- Building a sustainable urban form
- Strengthening the urban economy
- Coordination and networking of various sectors
Predicting Potential Problems in the Development Sector
Most major cities around the globe carry out strategic spatial planning where development is sustainable and according to the needs of society. A stable economy with fewer development problems is essential to attract investments.
These well-planned cities act as buffer zones during political, social, or economic instability. Their development plan can anticipate the problems that can arise in future and address them accordingly.
However, in cities without any development plans in place, the poor infrastructure can wear out over time and can result in the loss of resources. Plus, it will cost even more to rebuild the damaged infrastructure.
Urban planning can help in anticipating the problems in these cities rather than reacting to them.
Developing A Framework for Growth
For the sustainable development of cities, a framework of growth is necessary.. From anticipating the needs of society and coordinating the efforts of several public and private sector stakeholders to implementing the policies through a roadmap, this framework can outline all phases of the development project.
Constructive planning centres around affordable liveability, prosperity, and equity in the social framework. It provides equal opportunities to all citizens and helps them live a quality life.
Improving Future Development Projects
One of the major problems in Pakistan is the regulation of development projects. Many city planners just try to meet the current needs of the population and leave cracks in the policy for future developments. So, it is essential to be prepared for the future and improve the quality of these projects.
Addressing long-term challenges and coordinating short-term actions can be very beneficial in this regard. Urban planning can facilitate this process; it plans land use through an efficient policy to address a wide range of interests.
In most urban development plans, policymakers reserve several zones for future development such as:
These four areas are the pillar of any development project on a larger scale.
Building a Sustainable Urban Form
For urban dwellers, housing, employment, accessibility, and safety are the key concerns. Modern urban planning policies focus on the density of the population in a specific area, land use, public spaces, and how a layout infrastructure can be developed to deliver quality services.
These are the elements of a good urban form where all the basic necessities of the citizens are kept in mind. Some projects in Pakistan, such as Bahria Town, DHA and others, are working on achieving a sustainable urban form.
Strengthening the Urban Economy
The urban economy accounts for 55% of the total GDP of Pakistan. Currently, urbanisation is causing a negative impact on the economy. Migrations from rural areas have not only increased the population but stressed the employment market and businesses as well.
Urban sprawl on the borders of major cities has given rise to many unregulated housing societies and schemes. Hence, developing new towns and metropolitan cities through urban planning can help strengthen the economy.
Coordination and Networking of Various Sectors
With the help of experts from various sectors, such as finance, architecture, engineering, public health, mass transit systems, sociology, community development and many others, an effective master plan can be developed. Both public and private sectors can collaborate on this.
Urban planning should be adopted as a priority in Pakistan and policymakers should devise effective spatial plans. It will help stop the rapidly growing urbanisation and accommodate the population more efficiently.
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