Town planning is essential for creating liveable and sustainable communities that support the needs of residents, the environment, and the economy. It is important for several reasons:
Liveability. Town planning helps to create safe, liveable, and sustainable communities by ensuring that development is carried out in a responsible and balanced way.
Economic viability. Town planning helps to support economic development by creating a favourable business climate, promoting investment, and attracting jobs and businesses.
Environmental protection. Town planning helps to protect and preserve the natural environment by managing the impacts of development and ensuring that development is carried out in a sustainable way.
Transportation. Town planning helps to create efficient and accessible transportation systems that support the needs of the community and the economy.
Heritage preservation. Town planning helps to preserve and celebrate the heritage of a community by protecting and restoring historical buildings, sites, and landscapes.
Quality of life. Town planning helps to improve the quality of life for residents by creating attractive and functional public spaces, and by guiding the development of buildings and other structures to ensure they are well-designed and integrated into the surrounding environment.
Community engagement. Town planning seeks to involve the community in the development process, and to ensure that the needs and perspectives of all residents are taken into account.
So, what exactly is Town Planning?
It’s all about people and places! Town planning is the process of guiding the physical and social development of cities, towns, and rural areas to ensure they are safe, liveable, sustainable, and economically viable. It involves a range of activities, including land-use planning, urban design, transportation planning, environmental management, and heritage preservation. The goal of town planning is to balance the needs of communities, the environment, and the economy in order to create liveable and sustainable communities.
One of the key tasks of town planners is to create land-use plans. These plans set out the types of uses that would be acceptable in principle in different areas of the town or city, such as residential, commercial, industrial, and green spaces. This helps to ensure that development is carried out in a responsible and sustainable way, and that the different uses are separated in order to minimise conflicts and promote safety. Local Planning Authorities are generally responsible for this process.
Another important aspect of town planning is transportation. This involves developing and implementing transportation systems that are safe, efficient, and accessible to all users, including pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, and public transit riders. Planners work to create a transportation network that is integrated and sustainable, and that supports the needs of the community and the economy.
Urban design is also a crucial aspect of town planning. This involves creating and shaping the physical form of places, taking into account its history, culture, and natural environment. Planners use urban design principles to create public spaces that are attractive, functional, and accessible to all, and to guide the development of buildings and other structures to ensure they are well-designed and integrated into the surrounding environment. Good design is integral to good planning, take a look at our article The Value of Good Design in Planning.
In addition to these tasks, town planners are also responsible for managing the environment. This includes managing the impacts of development on the natural environment, such as the use of land, water, and air resources, as well as ensuring that development is carried out in a sustainable way that protects the environment for future generations.
Preserving and celebrating the heritage of a community is another important function of town planning. This includes protecting historical buildings, sites, and landscapes, and ensuring that new development respects and does not harm the heritage of the area.
In conclusion, town planning is a complex and dynamic process that involves balancing the needs of communities, the environment, and the economy to create liveable and sustainable communities. Planners play a crucial role in guiding the physical and social development of cities, towns, and rural areas, and in ensuring that development is carried out in a responsible and sustainable way.
What is the difference between a Local Authority Town Planner and a Planning Consultant?
A Local Authority town planner and a planning consultant are both professionals involved in the field of town planning. However, they have different roles and responsibilities.
A Local Authority town planner is a professional who works for a local council and is responsible for implementing town planning policies and regulations. They are responsible for making decisions about planning applications and ensuring that development is carried out in compliance with local and national planning laws, unless material planning considerations indicate otherwise.
On the other hand, a planning consultant is a private sector professional who provides planning advice and assistance to clients. They may work for a consultancy firm or operate as an independent consultant. They are typically hired by private individuals, developers, or business owners to provide expert advice on planning matters, such as preparing planning applications, negotiating with local authorities, securing planning permission or acting on behalf of people who have enforcement issues.
Planning House is a team of Chartered Town Planning Consultants who are members of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), fully trained and professionally qualified. All members of the RTPI are bound by a Code of Professional Conduct setting out required standards of practice and ethics. The Institute requires planning professionals to meet and maintain high standards of competence and conduct themselves in a way that inspires trust and confidence in the profession. There are lots of free resources on our website, such as our eBooks and Practical Guides, but you need support with a planning issue, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.