Regional Planning

Regional planning deals with the efficient placement of land-use activities, infrastructure, and settlement growth across a larger area of land than an individual city or town. Regional planning is related to urban planning as it relates land use practices on a broader scale. It also includes formulating laws that will guide the efficient planning and management of such said regions. Regional planning can be comprehensive by covering various subjects, but it more often specifies a particular subject, which requires region-wide consideration.

Regional planning is a technical and political process concerned with the development and use of land, planning permission, protection and use of the environment, public welfare, and the design of the urban environment, including air, water, and the infrastructure passing into and out of urban areas, such as transportation, communications, and distribution networks.

Regions require various land uses; protection of farmland, cities, industrial space, transportation hubs and infrastructure, military bases, and wilderness. Regional planning is the science of efficient placement of infrastructure and zoning for the sustainable growth of a region. Advocates for regional planning such as new urbanist Peter Calthorpe, promote the approach because it can address region-wide environmental, social, and economic issues which may necessarily require a regional focus.

A ‘region’ in planning terms can be administrative or at least partially functional, and is likely to include a network of settlements and character areas. In most European countries, regional and national plans are ‘spatial’ directing certain levels of development to specific cities and towns in order to support and manage the region depending on specific needs, for example supporting or resisting polycentrism.

Urban planning can be seen as a technical and political process concerned with the welfare of people, control of the use of land, design of the urban environment including transportation and communication networks, and protection and enhancement of the natural environment. Urban development is societal development. Planning and managing the development of contemporary cities is one of the major societal challenges all over the world today.

Why Regional Planning?

RegionalPlanning encompasses even larger area when compared to city planning; Number of cities might be covered when considering a region but rural area remains at the core for which planning is to be done. Along with rural areas many lower level towns in addition to the villages witnessing transformation to towns also adds up to area for which regional plans are made. Regional plans can cut across the boundaries of different states.

 The objectives of urban and regional are to protect the environment, improve public health and safety, and increase the wealth of choices available to each and every citizen.

The object of urban planning is also the “physical environment,” which is taken to mean land and all its uses, along with everything that has tangible existence on or beneath the land surface. Planning also includes the manner and style by which buildings are laid out in a city and the design of public places.

Integrating a much wider areas for overall growth of “region” is the purpose served by regional planning; Planning for integration of rural area and the overall balanced development of the region. Fulfilling the needs of a backward region and providing higher order services for relatively developed areas. Strategies are formulated carefully to keep the goods and resources available to all the places as per their requirements.

Regional planning also helps in reducing the conflicts and competition for resources between cities in a region. Developing small towns or satellite towns helps in relieving the stress from higher order town thus increasing efficiency.

Regional plans takes into account the economic, spatial and environmental goals and tries to address national level issues. Integrated development and critical analysis of functional linkages is one of the key to achieve the desired growth.

Unlike city planning where land use plans are prepared regional planning lays emphasis on policy for the region. Policies are them elaborated and objectives are formed which differ from area to area within the region.

Regional plans are a must when cities start to influence development even in far places which might end up in under-utilization and wastage of resources without proper planning.

Polices have a larger and longer impact on the overall growth of region and might conflict with the land use plan or plan prepared for a specific city; Generally a new body is formed which takes up the work of coordinating between all the individual departments working in the region especially with the development authorities and local bodies.

Allocation of funds for different activities and different areas can also be taken up by the regional planning board/authority. Government intervention such as implementing a new scheme or policy for a region can also boost the growth perspectives and aide the policy prepared by regional board.

Career Options in Regional Planning

  • Historic buildings inspector/conservation officer
  • Housing manager/officer
  • Local government officer
  • Town planner
  • Transport planner
  • Urban Planner
  • Building surveyor
  • Civil Service administrator
  • Community development worker
  • Environmental manager
  • Estate agent
  • Landscape architect
  • Planning and development surveyor
  • Sustainability consultant

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