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Urban planning (urban, city, and town planning) is a technical and political process concerned with the control of the use of land and design of the urban environment, including transportation networks, to guide and ensure the orderly development of settlements and communities. It concerns itself with research and analysis, strategic thinking, architecture, urban design, public consultation, policy recommendations, implementation and management.
A plan can take a variety of forms including strategic plans, comprehensive plans, neighborhood plans, regulatory and incentive strategies, or historic preservation plans. Planners are often also responsible for enforcing the chosen policies.
The modern origins of urban planning lie in the movement for urban reform that arose as a reaction against the disorder of the industrial city in the mid-19th century. Urban planning can include urban renewal, by adapting urban planning methods to existing cities suffering from decline. In the late-20th century, the term sustainable development has come to represent an ideal outcome in the sum of all planning goals.
In the Neolithic period, agriculture and other techniques facilitated larger populations than the very small communities of the Paleolithic, which probably led to the stronger, more coercive governments emerging at that time. The pre-Classical and Classical periods saw a number of cities laid out according to fixed plans, though many tended to develop organically. Designed cities were characteristic of the Mesopotamian, Harrapan, and Egyptian civilizations of the third millennium BC (see Urban planning in ancient Egypt). The first recorded description of urban planning is described in the Epic of Gilgamesh for the city of Uruk (insert ref).
Distinct characteristics of urban planning from remains of the cities of Harappa, Lothal, and Mohenjo-daro in the Indus Valley Civilization (in modern-day northwestern India and Pakistan) lead archeologists to conclude that they are the earliest examples of deliberately planned and managed cities. The streets of many of these early cities were paved and laid out at right angles in a grid pattern, with a hierarchy of streets from major boulevards to residential alleys. Archaeological evidence suggests that many Harrapan houses were laid out to protect from noise and enhance residential privacy; many also had their own water wells, probably for both sanitary and ritual purposes. These ancient cities were unique in that they often had drainage systems, seemingly tied to a well-developed ideal of urban sanitation.
Classical and Medieval Europe 
The Greek Hippodamus (c. 407 BC) has been dubbed the "Father of City Planning" for his design of Miletus; The Hippodamian, or grid plan, was the basis for subsequent Greek and Roman cities. Aristotle's critique and indeed ridicule of Hippodamus, which appears in Politics 2. 8, is perhaps the first known example of a criticism of urban planning.
Following in the tradition of Hippodamus about a century later, Alexander commissioned the architect Dinocrates to lay out his new city of Alexandria, the grandest example of idealized urban planning of the ancient Mediterranean world, where the city's regularity was facilitated by its level site near a mouth of the Nile.
The ancient Romans used a consolidated scheme for city planning, developed for military defense and civil convenience. The basic plan consisted of a central forum with city services, surrounded by a compact, rectilinear grid of streets, and wrapped in a wall for defense. To reduce travel times, two diagonal streets crossed the square grid, passing through the central square. A river usually flowed through the city, providing water, transport, and sewage disposal. Many European towns, such as Turin, preserve the remains of these schemes, which show the very logical way the Romans designed their cities. They would lay out the streets at right angles, in the form of a square grid. All roads were equal in width and length, except for two, which were slightly wider than the others. One of these ran east–west, the other, north–south, and intersected in the middle to form the center of the grid. All roads were made of carefully fitted flag stones and filled in with smaller, hard-packed rocks and pebbles. Bridges were constructed where needed. Each square marked by four roads was called an insula, the Roman equivalent of a modern city block.
Each insula was 80 yards (73 m) square, with the land within it divided. As the city developed, each insula would eventually be filled with buildings of various shapes and sizes and crisscrossed with back roads and alleys. Most insulae were given to the first settlers of a Roman city, but each person had to pay to construct his own house.
The city was surrounded by a wall to protect it from invaders and to mark the city limits. Areas outside city limits were left open as farmland. At the end of each main road was a large gateway with watchtowers. A portcullis covered the opening when the city was under siege, and additional watchtowers were constructed along the city walls. An aqueduct was built outside the city walls.
The collapse of Roman civilization saw the end of Roman urban planning, among other arts. Urban development in the Middle Ages, characteristically focused on a fortress, a fortified abbey, or a (sometimes abandoned) Roman nucleus, occurred "like the annular rings of a tree", whether in an extended village or the center of a larger city. Since the new center was often on high, defensible ground, the city plan took on an organic character, following the irregularities of elevation contours like the shapes that result from agricultural terracing.
The ideal of wide streets and orderly cities was not lost, however. A few medieval cities were admired for their wide thoroughfares and orderly arrangements, but the juridical chaos of medieval cities (where the administration of streets was sometimes passed down through noble families), and the characteristic tenacity of medieval Europeans in legal matters prevented frequent or large-scale urban planning until the Renaissance and the early-modern strengthening of central government administration, as European society transited from city-states to what we would recognize as a more modern concept of a nation-state.
Renaissance Europe 
Florence was an early model of the new urban planning, which took on a star-shaped layout adapted from the new star fort, designed to resist cannon fire. This model was widely imitated, reflecting the enormous cultural power of Florence in this age; "[t]he Renaissance was hypnotized by one city type which for a century and a half— from Filarete to Scamozzi— was impressed upon utopian schemes: this is the star-shaped city". Radial streets extend outward from a defined center of military, communal or spiritual power.
Only in ideal cities did a centrally planned structure stand at the heart, as in Raphael's Sposalizio (Illustration) of 1504. As built, the unique example of a rationally planned quattrocento new city center, that of Vigevano (1493–95), resembles a closed space instead, surrounded by arcading.
Filarete's ideal city, building on Leone Battista Alberti's De re aedificatoria, was named "Sforzinda" in compliment to his patron; its twelve-pointed shape, circumscribable by a "perfect" Pythagorean figure, the circle, took no heed of its undulating terrain in Filarete's manuscript. This process occurred in cities, but ordinarily not in the industrial suburbs characteristic of this era (see Braudel, The Structures of Everyday Life), which remained disorderly and characterized by crowding and organic growth.
Following the 1695 bombardment of Brussels by the French troops of King Louis XIV, in which a large part of the city center was destroyed, Governor Max Emanuel proposed using the reconstruction to completely change the layout and architectural style of the city. His plan was to transform the medieval city into a city of the new baroque style, modeled on Turin, with a logical street layout, with straight avenues offering long, uninterrupted views flanked by buildings of a uniform size. This plan was opposed by residents and municipal authorities, who wanted a rapid reconstruction, did not have the resources for grandiose proposals, and resented what they considered the imposition of a new, foreign, architectural style. In the actual reconstruction, the general layout of the city was conserved, but it was not identical to that before the cataclysm. Despite the necessity of rapid reconstruction and the lack of financial means, authorities did take several measures to improve traffic flow, sanitation, and the aesthetics of the city. Many streets were made as wide as possible to improve traffic flow.
Many Central American civilizations also planned their cities, including sewage systems and running water. In Mexico, Tenochtitlan was the capital of the Aztec empire, built on an island in Lake Texcoco in what is now the Federal District in central Mexico. At its height, Tenochtitlan was one of the largest cities in the world, with over 200,000 inhabitants.
Modern planning 
Modern urban planning dates from 1755 in Lisbon (Baixa de Lisboa) after the Great Lisbon Earthquake.
In 1852, Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann was commissioned to remodel the Medieval street plan of Paris by demolishing swathes of the old city and laying out wide boulevards, extending outwards beyond the old city limits. Haussmann's project encompassed all aspects of urban planning, both in the centre of Paris and in the surrounding districts, with regulations imposed on building facades, public parks, sewers and water works, city facilities, and public monuments. Beyond aesthetic and sanitary considerations, the wide thoroughfares facilitated troop movement and policing.
The plan chosen to extend Barcelona was a rigorous project based on a scientific analysis of the city and its modern requirements. It was drawn up by the Catalan engineer Ildefons Cerdà to fill the space beyond the city walls after they were demolished from 1854. He is credited with inventing the term ‘urbanization’ and his approach was codified in his General Theory of Urbanization (1867). Cerdà's Eixample (Catalan for 'extension') consisted of 550 regular blocks with chamfered corners to facilitate the movement of trams, crossed by three wider avenues. His objectives were to improve the health of the inhabitants, towards which the blocks were built around central gardens and orientated NW-SE to maximize the sunlight they received, and assist social integration.
In the developed countries of Western Europe, North America, Japan, and Australasia, planning and architecture can be said to have gone through various paradigms or stages of consensus in the last 200 years. Firstly, there was the industrialised city of the 19th century, where building was largely controlled by businesses and wealthy elites. Around 1900, a movement began for providing citizens, especially factory workers, with healthier environments.
Garden City Movement 
The garden city movement is a method of urban planning that was initiated in 1898 by Sir Ebenezer Howard in the United Kingdom. Garden cities were intended to be planned, self-contained communities surrounded by "greenbelts" (parks), containing proportionate areas of residences, industry and agriculture.
Inspired by the Utopian novel Looking Backward and Henry George's work Progress and Poverty, Howard published his book To-morrow: a Peaceful Path to Real Reform in 1898 (which was reissued in 1902 as Garden Cities of To-morrow). His idealised garden city would house 32,000 people on a site of 6,000 acres (2,400 ha), planned on a concentric pattern with open spaces, public parks and six radial boulevards, 120 ft (37 m) wide, extending from the centre. The garden city would be self-sufficient and when it reached full population, another garden city would be developed nearby. Howard envisaged a cluster of several garden cities as satellites of a central city of 50,000 people, linked by road and rail.
To build a garden city, Howard needed money to buy land. He decided to get funding from “gentlemen of responsible position and undoubted probity and honour”. He founded the Garden Cities Association (later known as the Town and Country Planning Association or TCPA), which created First Garden City, Ltd. in 1899 to create the garden city of Letchworth. However, these donors would collect interest on their investment if the garden city generated profits through rents or, as Fishman calls the process, ‘philanthropic land speculation’. Howard tried to include working class cooperative organisations, which included over two million members, but could not win their financial support. Because he had to rely only on the wealthy investors of First Garden City, Howard had to make concessions to his plan, such as eliminating the cooperative ownership scheme with no landlords, short-term rent increases, and hiring architects who did not agree with his rigid design plans.
In 1904, Raymond Unwin, a noted architect and town planner, along with his partner Barry Parker, won the competition run by the First Garden City, Limited to plan Letchworth, an area 34 miles outside London. Unwin and Parker planned the town in the centre of the Letchworth estate with Howard’s large agricultural greenbelt surrounding the town, and they shared Howard’s notion that the working class deserved better and more affordable housing. However, the architects ignored Howard’s symmetric design, instead replacing it with a more ‘organic’ design.
Howard organised the Garden City Association in 1899. Two garden cities were built using Howard's ideas: Letchworth Garden City and Welwyn Garden City, both in Hertfordshire, England. Howard's successor as chairman of the Garden City Association was Sir Frederic Osborn, who extended the movement to regional planning.
In North America, the Garden City movement was also popular, and quickly evolved to create the "Neighbourhood Unit" form of development. In the early 1900s, as cars were introduced to city streets for the first time, residents became increasingly concerned with the number of pedestrians being injured by car traffic. The response, seen first in Radburn, New Jersey, was the Neighbourhood Unit-style development, which oriented houses toward a common public path instead of the street. The neighbourhood is distinctively organized around a school, with the intention of providing children a safe way to walk to school. An example of a Neighbourhood Unit-style development can be observed in Halifax, Nova Scotia's Westmount neighbourhood.
In the 1920s, the ideas of modernism began to surface in urban planning. Based on the ideas of Le Corbusier and using new skyscraper-building techniques, the modernist city stood for the elimination of disorder, congestion, and the small scale, replacing them with preplanned and widely spaced freeways and tower blocks set within gardens. There were plans for large-scale rebuilding of cities in this era, such as the Plan Voisin (based on Le Corbusier's Ville Contemporaine), which proposed clearing and rebuilding most of central Paris. No large-scale plans were implemented until after World War II, however. Throughout the late 1940s and 1950s, housing shortages caused by wartime destruction led many cities to subsidize housing blocks. Planners used the opportunity to implement the modernist ideal of towers surrounded by gardens. The most prominent example of an entire modernist city is Brasilia in Brazil, constructed between 1956 and 1960.
An outstanding example was the plan of Tel Aviv by Sir Patrick Geddes, adopted by 1927. It consisted of about 40 blocks, sized around 150 meters square. The block contained an inner small public garden, disposed into a windmill configuration of inner access roads, making it awkward for car traffic. The big blocks form a gently undulating street pattern, north-south commercial, east-west arranged to catch the sea breeze. This was a simple and efficient manner to modernize the historical fixed grid patterns. A series of shaded boulevards short cuts the system, with some public squares, accessing the sea front. The plan of the new town became a success, perhaps the only one of modern times. It is a lively, intensive and fully diversified city.
By the late 1960s and early 1970s, many planners felt that modernism's clean lines and lack of human scale sapped vitality from the community, blaming them for high crime rates and social problems.
Modernist planning fell into decline in the 1970s when the construction of cheap, uniform tower blocks ended in most countries, such as Britain and France. Since then many have been demolished and replaced by other housing types. Rather than attempting to eliminate all disorder, planning now concentrates on individualism and diversity in society and the economy; this is the post-modernist era.
Minimally planned cities still exist. Houston is a large city (with a metropolitan population of 5.5 million) in a developed country without a comprehensive zoning ordinance. Houston does, however, restrict development densities and mandate parking, even though specific land uses are not regulated. Also, private-sector developers in Houston use subdivision covenants and deed restrictions to effect land-use restrictions resembling zoning laws. Houston voters have rejected comprehensive zoning ordinances three times since 1948. Even without traditional zoning, metropolitan Houston displays large-scale land-use patterns resembling zoned regions comparable in age and population, such as Dallas. This suggests that non-regulatory factors such as urban infrastructure and financing may be as important as zoning laws in shaping urban form.
Sustainable development and sustainability 
Sustainable development and sustainability influence today's urban planners. Some planners argue that modern lifestyles use too many natural resources, polluting or destroying ecosystems, increasing social inequality, creating urban heat islands, and causing climate change. Many urban planners, therefore, advocate sustainable cities.
However, sustainable development is a recent, controversial concept. Wheeler, in his 2004 book, defines sustainable urban development as "development that improves the long-term social and ecological health of cities and towns." He sketches a 'sustainable' city's features: compact, efficient land use; less automobile use, yet better access; efficient resource use; less pollution and waste; the restoration of natural systems; good housing and living environments; a healthy social ecology; a sustainable economy; community participation and involvement; and preservation of local culture and wisdom.
Because of political and governance structures in most jurisdictions, sustainable planning measures must be widely supported before they can affect institutions and regions. Actual implementation is often a complex compromise.
Nature in cities Often an integral party of sustainable cities is the Incorporation of nature within a city.
Collaborative Strategic Goal Oriented Programming (CoSGOP) is a collaborative and communicative way of strategic programming, decision-making, implementation, and monitoring oriented towards defined and specific goals. It is based on sound analysis of available information, emphasizes stakeholder participation, works to create awareness among actors, and is oriented towards managing development processes. It was adopted as a theoretical framework for analyzing redevelopment processes in large urban distressed areas in European cities (see “LUDA : Improving quality of life in Large Urban Distressed Areas” project – Research funded by the European Commission, EVK4-CT2002-00081).
Background of CoSGOP'
CoSGOP is derived from goal-oriented planning (Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit - GTZ 1988), which was oriented towards the elaboration and implementation of projects based on a logical framework, which was useful for embedding a specific project in a wider development frame and defining its major elements. This approach had weaknesses: its logical rules were strictly applied and the expert language did not encourage participation. CoSGOP introduced a new approach characterized by communication with and active involvement of stakeholders and those to be affected by the program; strategic planning based on the identification of strengths and weakness, opportunities and threats, as well as on scenario-building and visioning; the definition of goals as the basis for action; and long-term, flexible programming of interventions by stakeholders.
Elements of CoSGOP
CoSGOP is not a planning method but a process model. It provides a framework for communication and joint decision-making, in a structured process characterized by feedback loops. It also facilitates stakeholder learning. The essential elements of CoSGOP are analysis of stakeholders (identifying stakeholders’ perceptions of problems, interests, and expectations); analysis of problems and potentials (including objective problems and problems and potentials perceived by stakeholders); development of goals, improvement priorities, and alternatives (requiring intensive communication and active stakeholder participation); specification of an improvement program and its main activities (based on priorities defined with the stakeholders); assessment of possible impacts of the improvement program; definition and detailed specification of key projects and their implementation; continuous monitoring of improvement activities, feedback, and adjustment of the programme (including technical and economic information and perceptions of stakeholders).
CoSGOP has been applied in European cross-border policy programming, as well in local and regional development programming. In 2004, the CoSGOP model was applied in the LUDA Project, starting with an analysis of the European experience of urban regeneration projects.
Collaborative planning in the United States
Collaborative planning arose in the US in response to the inadequacy of traditional public participation techniques to provide real opportunities for the public to make decisions affecting their communities. Collaborative planning is a method designed to empower stakeholders by elevating them to the level of decision-makers through direct engagement and dialogue between stakeholders and public agencies, to solicit ideas, active involvement, and participation in the community planning process. Active public involvement can help planners achieve better outcomes by making them aware of the public’s needs and preferences and by using local knowledge to inform projects. When properly administered, collaboration can result in more meaningful participation and better, more creative outcomes to persistent problems than can traditional participation methods. It enables planners to make decisions that reflect community needs and values, it fosters faith in the wisdom and utility of the resulting project, and the community is given a personal stake in its success.
Experiences in Portland and Seattle have demonstrated that successful collaborative planning depends on a number of interrelated factors: the process must be truly inclusive, with all stakeholders and affected groups invited to the table; the community must have final decision-making authority; full government commitment (of both financial and intellectual resources) must be manifest; participants should be given clear objectives by planning staff, who facilitate the process by providing guidance, consultancy, expert opinions, and research; and facilitators should be trained in conflict resolution and community organization.
In developed countries, there has been a backlash against excessive human-made clutter in the visual environment, such as signposts, signs, and hoardings. Other issues that generate strong debate among urban designers are tensions between peripheral growth, housing density and new settlements. There are also debates about the mixing tenures and land uses, versus distinguishing geographic zones where different uses dominate. Regardless, all successful urban planning considers urban character, local identity, respects heritage, pedestrians, traffic, utilities and natural hazards.
Planners can help manage the growth of cities, applying tools like zoning and growth management to manage the uses of land. Historically, many of the cities now thought the most beautiful are the result of dense, long lasting systems of prohibitions and guidance about building sizes, uses and features. These allowed substantial freedoms, yet enforce styles, safety, and often materials in practical ways. Many conventional planning techniques are being repackaged using the contemporary term smart growth.
There are some cities that have been planned from conception, and while the results often don't turn out quite as planned, evidence of the initial plan often remains. (See List of planned cities)
Safety and security 
Historically within the Middle East, Europe and the rest of the Old World, settlements were located on higher ground (for defense) and close to fresh water sources. Cities have often grown onto coastal and flood plains at risk of floods and storm surges. Urban planners must consider these threats. If the dangers can be localised then the affected regions can be made into parkland or green belt, often with the added benefit of open space provision.
Extreme weather, flood, or other emergencies can often be greatly mitigated with secure emergency evacuation routes and emergency operations centres. These are relatively inexpensive and unintrusive, and many consider them a reasonable precaution for any urban space. Many cities will also have planned, built safety features, such as levees, retaining walls, and shelters.
In recent years, practitioners have also been expected to maximize the accessibility of an area to people with different abilities, practicing the notion of "inclusive design," to anticipate criminal behaviour and consequently to "design-out crime" and to consider "traffic calming" or "pedestrianisation" as ways of making urban life more pleasant.
Some city planners try to control criminality with structures designed from theories such as socio-architecture or architectural determinism a subset of environmental determinism. These theories say that an urban environment can influence individuals' obedience to social rules and level of power. Refer to Foucault and the Encyclopedia of the Prison System for more details. The theories often say that psychological pressure develops in more densely developed, unadorned areas. This stress causes some crimes and some use of illegal drugs. The antidote is believed to be more individual space and better, more beautiful design in place of functionalism.
Oscar Newman’s defensible space theory cites the modernist housing projects of the 1960s as an example of environmental determinism, where large blocks of flats are surrounded by shared and disassociated public areas, which are hard for residents to identify with. As those on lower incomes cannot hire others to maintain public space such as security guards or grounds keepers, and because no individual feels personally responsible, there was a general deterioration of public space leading to a sense of alienation and social disorder.
Jane Jacobs is another notable environmental determinist and is associated with the "eyes on the street" concept. By improving ‘natural surveillance’ of shared land and facilities of nearby residents by literally increasing the number of people who can see it, and increasing the familiarity of residents, as a collective, residents can more easily detect undesirable or criminal behavior. "However, this is not a new concept. This was prevalent throughout the middle eastern world during the time of Mohamad. It was not only reflected in the general structure of the outside of the home but also the inside. (refer to various religious texts and archaeological sites)"
Jacobs went further, though, in emphasizing the details in how to achieve this 'natural surveillance', in stressing the necessity of multiple uses on city streets, so that different people co-mingle with different stores and parks in a condensed part of city space. By doing this, as well as by making city streets interesting, she theorized a continuous animation of social actions during an average city day, which would keep city streets interesting and well occupied throughout a 24 hour period. She presented the North End in Boston, Massachusetts, as an idealization of this persistent occupation and tasking in a condensed city space, as a model for criminal control.
The "broken-windows" theory argues that small indicators of neglect, such as broken windows and unkempt lawns, promote a feeling that an area is in a state of decay. Anticipating decay, people likewise fail to maintain their own properties. The theory suggests that abandonment causes crime, rather than crime causing abandonment.
Some planning methods might help an elite group to control ordinary citizens. Haussmann's renovation of Paris created a system of wide boulevards which prevented the construction of barricades in the streets and eased the movement of military troops. In Rome, the Fascists in the 1930s created ex novo many new suburbs in order to concentrate criminals and poorer classes away from the elegant town.
Other social theories point out that in Britain and most countries since the 18th century, the transformation of societies from rural agriculture to industry caused a difficult adaptation to urban living. These theories emphasize that many planning policies ignore personal tensions, forcing individuals to live in a condition of perpetual extraneity to their cities. Many people therefore lack the comfort of feeling "at home" when at home. Often these theorists seek a reconsideration of commonly used "standards" that rationalize the outcomes of a free (relatively unregulated) market.
The rapid urbanization of the last century caused more slums in the major cities of the world, particularly in developing countries. Planning resources and strategies are needed to address the problems of slum development. Many planners are calling for slum improvement, particularly the Commonwealth Association of Planners. When urban planners work on slums, they must cope with racial and cultural differences to ensure that racial steering does not occur.
Slums were often "fixed" by clearance. However, more creative solutions are beginning to emerge such as Nairobi's "Camp of Fire" program, where established slum-dwellers promise to build proper houses, schools, and community centers without government money, in return for land on which they have been illegally squatting on for 30 years. The "Camp of Fire" program is one of many similar projects initiated by Slum Dwellers International, which has programs in Africa, Asia, and South America.
Urban decay is a process by which a city, or a part of a city, falls into a state of disrepair and neglect. It is characterized by depopulation, economic restructuring, property abandonment, high unemployment, fragmented families, political disenfranchisement, crime, and desolate urban landscapes.
During the 1970s and 1980s, urban decay was often associated with central areas of cities in North America and Europe. During this time, changes in global economies, demographics, transportation, and policies fostered urban decay. Many planners spoke of "white flight" during this time. This pattern was different than the pattern of "outlying slums" and "suburban ghettos" found in many cities outside of North America and Western Europe, where central urban areas actually had higher real estate values.
Starting in the 1990s, many of the central urban areas in North America have been experiencing a reversal of the urban decay, with rising real estate values, smarter development, demolition of obsolete social housing and a wider variety of housing choices. However, reversal of urban decay (gentrification) often causes housing affordability in the inner city to decrease, with the consequence that poorer residents are pushed out, often to older inner and middle ring suburbs. This "suburbanization of poverty" has important implications for siting affordable housing, and transportation and social services planning.
Reconstruction and renewal 
Areas devastated by war or invasion challenge urban planners. Resources are scarce. The existing population has needs. Buildings, roads, services and basic infrastructure like power, water and sewerage are often damaged, but with salvageable parts. Historic, religious or social centers also need to be preserved and re-integrated into the new city plan. A prime example of this is the capital city of Kabul, Afghanistan, which, after decades of civil war and occupation, has regions of rubble and desolation. Despite this, the indigenous population continues to live in the area, constructing makeshift homes and shops out of salvaged materials. Any reconstruction plan, such as Hisham Ashkouri's City of Light Development, needs to be sensitive to the needs of this community and its existing culture and businesses.
Urban Reconstruction Development plans must also work with government agencies as well as private interests to develop workable designs.
Transport within urbanized areas presents unique problems. The density of an urban environment increases traffic, which can harm businesses and increase pollution unless properly managed. Parking space for private vehicles requires the construction of large parking garages in high density areas. This space could often be more valuable for other development.
Good planning uses transit oriented development, which attempts to place higher densities of jobs or residents near high-volume transportation. For example, some cities permit commerce and multi-story apartment buildings only within one block of train stations and multilane boulevards, and accept single-family dwellings and parks farther away.
Floor area ratio is often used to measure density. This is the floor area of buildings divided by the land area. Ratios below 1.5 are low density. Ratios above five constitute very high density. Most exurbs are below two, while most city centres are well above five. Walk-up apartments with basement garages can easily achieve a density of three. Skyscrapers easily achieve densities of thirty or more.
City authorities may try to encourage higher densities to reduce per-capita infrastructure costs. In the UK, recent years have seen a concerted effort to increase the density of residential development in order to better achieve sustainable development. Increasing development density has the advantage of making mass transport systems, district heating and other community facilities (schools, health centres, etc.) more viable. However critics of this approach dub the densification of development as 'town cramming' and claim that it lowers quality of life and restricts market-led choice.
Problems can often occur at residential densities between about two and five. These densities can cause traffic jams for automobiles, yet are too low to be commercially served by trains or light rail systems. The conventional solution is to use buses, but these and light rail systems may fail where automobiles and excess road network capacity are both available, achieving less than 2% ridership.
The Lewis–Mogridge Position claims that increasing road space is not an effective way of relieving traffic jams as latent or induced demand invariably emerges to restore a socially tolerable level of congestion.
In some countries, declining satisfaction with the urban environment is held to blame for continuing migration to smaller towns and rural areas (so-called urban exodus). Successful urban planning supported Regional planning can bring benefits to a much larger hinterland or city region and help to reduce both congestion along transport routes and the wastage of energy implied by excessive commuting.
Environmental factors 
Environmental protection and conservation are of utmost importance to many planning systems across the world. Not only are the specific effects of development to be mitigated, but attempts are made to minimize the overall effect of development on the local and global environment. This is commonly done through the assessment of Sustainable urban infrastructure and microclimate. In Europe this process is known as a Sustainability Appraisal.
In most advanced urban or village planning models, local context is critical. In many, gardening and other outdoor activities assumes a central role in the daily life of citizens. Environmental planners focus now on smaller and larger systems of resource extraction and consumption, energy production, and waste disposal. A practice known as Arcology seeks to unify the fields of ecology and architecture, using principles of landscape architecture to achieve a harmonious environment for all living things. On a small scale, the eco-village theory has become popular, as it emphasizes a traditional 100-140 person scale for communities.
An urban planner can use a number of quantitative tools to forecast impacts of development on the environmental, including roadway air dispersion models to predict air quality impacts of urban highways and roadway noise models to predict noise pollution effects of urban highways. As early as the 1960s, noise pollution was addressed in the design of urban highways as well as noise barriers. The Phase I Environmental Site Assessment can be an important tool to the urban planner by identifying early in the planning process any geographic areas or parcels which have toxic constraints. In addition, automated tools have been developed to enable planners to design renewable energy systems at the city scale such as the distribution of roof-mounted photovoltaic systems.
Tall buildings in particular can have a substantial effect in channeling winds and shading large areas. The microclimate around the building will typically be assessed as part of the environmental impact assessment for the building. The placement and design of buildings may also be affected by the land on which they are placed. Soil and rock considerations such as depth to bedrock may influence the height of very tall structures, as in Manhattan, though there is less impact than previously supposed, and geological conditions such as fault lines may affect building requirements. See: Geotechnical engineering.
Light and sound 
The urban canyon effect is a colloquial, non-scientific term referring to street space bordered by very high buildings. This type of environment may shade the sidewalk level from direct sunlight during most daylight hours. While an oft-decried phenomenon, it is rare except in very dense, hyper-tall urban environments, such as those found in Lower and Midtown Manhattan, Chicago's Loop and Hong Kong's Kowloon and Central.
In urban planning, sound is usually measured as a source of pollution. Another perspective on urban sounds is developed in Soundscape studies emphasising that sound aesthetics involves more than noise abatement and decibel measurements. Hedfors coined 'Sonotope' as a useful concept in urban planning to relate typical sounds to a specific place.
Light pollution has become a problem in urban residential areas, not only as it relates to its effects on the night sky, but as some lighting is so intrusive as to cause conflict in the residential areas and paradoxically intense improperly installed security lighting may pose a danger to the public, producing excessive glare. The development of the full cutoff fixture, properly installed, has reduced this problem considerably.
Theories of planning 
Planning theory is generally called procedural because it generally concerns itself with the process through which planning occurs and whether or not that process is valid. Lane (2005) traces the intellectual history through its different procedural approaches, especially as they relate to public participation.
Rational planning 
Following the rise of empiricism during the industrial revolution, the rational planning movement (1890-1960) emphasized the improvement of the built environment based on key spatial factors. Examples of these factors include: exposure to direct sunlight, movement of vehicular traffic, standardized housing units, and proximity to green-space To identify and design for these spatial factors, rational planning relied on a small group of highly specialized technicians, including architects, urban designers, and engineers. Other, less common, but nonetheless influential groups included governmental officials, private developers, and landscape architects. Through the strategies associated with these professions, the rational planning movement developed a collection of techniques for quantitative assessment, predictive modeling, and design. Due to the high level of training required to grasp these methods, however, rational planning fails to provide an avenue for public participation. In both theory and practice, this shortcoming opened rational planning to claims of elitism and social insensitivity.
Although it can be seen as an extension of the sort of civic pragmatism seen in Oglethorpe's plan for Savannah or William Penn's plan for Philadelphia, the roots of the rational planning movement lie in Britain's Sanitary Movement (1800-1890). During this period, advocates such as Charles Booth and Ebenezer Howard argued for central organized, top-down solutions to the problems of industrializing cities. In keeping with the rising power of industry, the source of planning authority in the Sanitary Movement included both traditional governmental offices and private development corporations. In London and it surrounding suburbs, cooperation between these two entities created a network of new communities clustered around the expanding rail system. Two of the best examples of these communities are Letchworth in Hertfordshire and Hampstead Garden Suburb in Greater London. In both communities, architects Raymond Unwin and Richard Barry Parker exemplify the elite, top-down approach associated with the rational planning movement by using the planning process to establish a uniform landscape and architectural style based on an idealized medieval village.
From Britain, the rational planning movement spread out across the world. In areas undergoing industrialization themselves, British influences combined with local movements to create unique reinterpretations of the rational planning process. In Paris, architect Le Corbusier adopted rational planning's centralized approach and added to it a dedication to quantitative assessment and a love for the automobile. Together, these two factors yielded the influential planning aesthetic known as "Tower in the Park". In the United States, Frank Lloyd Wright similarly identified vehicular mobility as a principal planning metric. However, where Le Corbusier emphasized design through quantitative assessment of spatial processes, Wright identified the insights of local public technicians as the key design criteria. Wright's Broadacre City provides a vivid expression of what this landscape might look like.
Throughout both the United States and Europe, the rational planning movement declined in the later half of the twentieth century. The reason for the movement's decline was also it's strength. By focusing so much on design by technical elites, rational planning lost touch with the public it hoped to serve. Key events in this decline in the United States include the demolition of the Pruitt-Igoe housing project in St. Louis and the national backlash against urban renewal projects, particularly urban expressway projects.
Synoptic planning 
After, the “fall” of blueprint planning in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the synoptic model began to emerge as a dominant force in planning. Lane (2005) describes synoptic planning as having four central elements:
- "(1) an enhanced emphasis on the specification of goals and targets; (2) an emphasis on quantitative analysis and predication of the environment; (3) a concern to identify and evaluate alternative policy options; and (4) the evaluation of means against ends (page 289)."
Public participation was first introduced into this model and it was generally integrated into the system process described above. However, the problem was that the idea of a single public interest still dominated attitudes, effectively devaluing the importance of participation because it suggests the idea that the public interest is relatively easy to find and only requires the most minimal form of participation.
Blueprint and synoptic planning both employ what is called the rational paradigm of planning. The rational model is perhaps the most widely accepted model among planning practitioners and scholars, and is considered by many to be the orthodox view of planning. As its name clearly suggests, the goal of the rational model is make planning as rational and systematic as possible. Proponents of this paradigm would generally come up with a list of steps that the planning process can be at least relatively neatly sorted out into and that planning practitioners should go through in order when setting out to plan in virtually any area. As noted above, this paradigm has clear implications for public involvement in planning decisions.
Beginning in the late 1950s and early 1960s, critiques of the rational paradigm began to emerge and formed into several different schools of planning thought. The first of these schools is Lindblom’s incrementalism. Lindblom describes planning as “muddling through” and thought that practical planning required decisions to be made incrementally. This incremental approach meant choosing from small number of policy approaches that can only have a small number consequences and are firmly bounded by reality, constantly adjusting the objectives of the planning process and using multiple analyses and evaluations. Lane (2005) explains the public involvement implications of this philosophy. Though this perspective of planning could be considered a large step forward in that it recognizes that there are number of “public interests” and because it provides room for the planning process to be less centralized and incorporate the voices other than those of planners, it in practice would only allow for the public to involved in a minimal, more reactive rather than proactive way.
Mixed scanning model 
The mixed scanning model, developed by Etzioni, takes a similar, but slightly different approach. Etzioni (1968) suggested that organizations plan on two different levels: the tactical and the strategic. He posited that organizations could accomplish this by essentially scanning the environment on multiple levels and then choose different strategies and tactics to address what they found there. While Lindblom’s approach only operated on the functional level Etzioni argued, the mixed scanning approach would allow planning organizations to work on both the functional and more big-picture oriented levels. Lane explains though, that this model does not do much more at improving public involvement since the planner or planning organization is still at its focus and since its goal is not necessarily to achieve consensus or reconcile differing points of view on a particular subject.
By the late 1960s and early 1970s, planners began to look for new approaches because as happened nearly a decade before, it was realized that the current models were not necessarily sufficient. As had happened before, a number of different models emerged. Lane (2005) notes that it is most useful to think of these model as emerging from a social transformation planning tradition as opposed to a social guidance one, so the emphasis is more bottom-up in nature than it is top-down.
Transactive planning 
Transactive planning was a radical break from previous models. Instead of considering public participation as method that would be used in addition to the normal training planning process, participation was a central goal. For the first time, the public was encouraged to take an active role in the policy setting process, while the planner took on the role of the as a distributor of information and a feedback source. Transactive planning focuses on interpersonal dialogue that develops ideas, which will be turned into action. One of the central goals is mutual learning where the planner gets more information on the community and citizens become more educated about planning issues.
Advocacy planning 
Advocacy planning is another radical departure from past theoretical models. This model takes the perspective that there are large inequalities in the political system and in the bargaining process between groups that result in large numbers of people unorganized and unrepresented in the process. It concerns itself with ensuring that all people are equally represented in the planning process by advocating for the interests of the underprivileged and seeking social change. Again, public participation is a central tenet of this model. A plurality of public interests is assumed, and the role of planner is essentially as facilitator who either advocates directly for underrepresented groups directly or encourages them to become part of the process.
Bargaining model 
The bargaining model views planning as the result of give and take on the part of a number of interests who are all involved in the process. It argues that this bargaining is the best way to conduct planning within the bounds of legal and political institutions. Like the advocacy model, this model recognizes that there are inherent inequalities in society, but it asserts that each group or individual in our unequal society has a chance to influence planning decisions, even if they are unable to dominate it or win the benefits that they are seeking. The most interesting part of this theory of planning is that makes public participation the central dynamic in the decision-making process. Decisions are made first and foremost by the public, and the planner plays a more minor role.
Communicative approach 
The communicative approach to planning is perhaps the most difficult to explain. It focuses on using communication to help different interests in the process understand each other. The idea is that each individual will approach a conversation with his or her own subjective experience in mind and that from that conservation shared goals and possibilities will emerge. Again, participation plays a central role under this model. The model seeks to include as a broad range of voice to enhance the debate and negotiation that is supposed to form the core of actual plan making. In this model, participation is actually fundamental to the planning process happening. Without the involvement of concerned interests there is no planning.
Looking at each of these models it becomes clear that participation is not only shaped by the public in a given area or by the attitude of the planning organization or planners that work for it. In fact, public participation is largely influences by how planning is defined, how planning problems are defined, the kinds of knowledge that planners choose to employ and how the planning context is set. Though some might argue that is too difficult to involve the public through transactive, advocacy, bargaining and communicative models because transportation is some ways more technical than other fields, it is important to note that transportation is perhaps unique among planning fields in that its systems depend on the interaction of a number of individuals and organizations.
Prior to 1950, Urban Planning was seldom considered a unique profession. There were, and are, of course, differences from country to country. For example, the UK's Royal Town Planning Institute was created as a professional organisation in 1914 and given a Royal Charter in 1959. Town planning focused on top-down processes by which the urban planner created the plans. The planner would know architecture, surveying, or engineering, bringing to the town planning process ideals based on these disciplines. They typically worked for national or local governments. Urban planners were seen as generalists, capable of integrating the work of other disciplines into a coherent plan for whole cities or parts of cities. A good example of this kind of planner was Lewis Keeble and his standard textbook, Principles and Practice of Town and Country Planning, published in 1951.
Changes to the planning process 
Strategic Urban Planning over past decades have witnessed the metamorphosis of the role of the urban planner in the planning process. More citizens calling for democratic planning & development processes have played a huge role in allowing the public to make important decisions as part of the planning process. Community organizers and social workers are now very involved in planning from the grassroots level. The term advocacy planning was coined by Paul Davidoff in his influential 1965 paper, "Advocacy and Pluralism in Planning" which acknowledged the political nature of planning and urged planners to acknowledge that their actions are not value-neutral and encouraged minority and under represented voices to be part of planning decisions. Benveniste argued that planners had a political role to play and had to bend some truth to power if their plans were to be implemented.
Ozawa and Seltzer (1999) advocate a communicative planning model in education to teach planners to work within the social and political context of the planning process. In their paper "Taking Our Bearings: Mapping a Relationship among Planning Practice, Theory, and Education," the authors demonstrate the importance of educating planners beyond the rational planning model in which planners make supposedly value-neutral recommendations based on science and reason. Through a survey of employers, it was found that the most highly rated skills in entry-level professional hiring are communication-based. The results suggest this view of planning as a communicative discourse as a possible bridge between theory and practice, and indicate that the education of planners needs to incorporate synthesis and communication across the curriculum.
Developers have also played huge roles in development, particularly by planning projects. Many recent developments were results of large and small-scale developers who purchased land, designed the district and constructed the development from scratch. The Melbourne Docklands, for example, was largely an initiative pushed by private developers to redevelop the waterfront into a high-end residential and commercial district.
Recent theories of urban planning, espoused, for example by Salingaros see the city as an adaptive system that grows according to process similar to those of plants. They say that urban planning should thus take its cues from such natural processes. Such theories also advocate participation by inhabitants in the design of the urban environment, as opposed to simply leaving all development to large-scale construction firms.
In the process of creating an urban plan or urban design, carrier-infill is one mechanism of spatial organization in which the city's figure and ground components are considered separately. The urban figure, namely buildings, are represented as total possible building volumes, which are left to be designed by architects in following stages. The urban ground, namely in-between spaces and open areas, are designed to a higher level of detail. The carrier-infill approach is defined by an urban design performing as the carrying structure that creates the shape and scale of the spaces, including future building volumes that are then infilled by architects' designs. The contents of the carrier structure may include street pattern, landscape architecture, open space, waterways, and other infrastructure. The infill structure may contain zoning, building codes, quality guidelines, and Solar Access based upon a solar envelope. Carrier-Infill urban design is differentiated from complete urban design, such as in the monumental axis of Brasília, in which the urban design and architecture were created together.
In carrier-infill urban design or urban planning, the negative space of the city, including landscape, open space, and infrastructure is designed in detail. The positive space, typically building site for future construction, are only represented as unresolved volumes. The volumes are representative of the total possible building envelope, which can then be infilled by individual architects.
See also 
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Further reading 
- Urban Planning, 1794-1918: An International Anthology of Articles, Conference Papers, and Reports, Selected, Edited, and Provided with Headnotes by John W. Reps, Professor Emeritus, Cornell University.
- City Planning According to Artistic Principles, Camillo Sitte, 1889
- Kemp, Roger L. and Carl J. Stephani (2011). "Cities Going Green: A Handbook of Best Practices." McFarland and Co., Inc., Jefferson, NC, USA, and London, England, UK. (ISBN: 978-0-7864-5968-1).
- Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform, Ebenezer Howard, 1898
- The Improvement of Towns and Cities, Charles Mulford Robinson, 1901
- Town Planning in practice, Raymond Unwin, 1909
- The Principles of Scientific Management, Frederick Winslow Taylor, 1911
- Cities in Evolution, Patrick Geddes, 1915
- The Image of the City, Kevin Lynch, 1960
- The Concise Townscape, Gordon Cullen, 1961
- The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs, 1961
- The City in History, Lewis Mumford, 1961
- The City is the Frontier, Charles Abrams, Harper & Row Publishing, New York, 1965.
- A Pattern Language, Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa and Murray Silverstein, 1977
- What Do Planners Do?: Power, Politics, and Persuasion, Charles Hoch, American Planning Association, 1994. ISBN 978-0-918286-91-8
- Planning the Twentieth-Century American City, Christopher Silver and Mary Corbin Sies (Eds.), Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996
- "The City Shaped: Urban Patterns and Meanings Through History", Spiro Kostof, 2nd Edition, Thames and Hudson Ltd, 1999 ISBN 978-0-500-28099-7
- The American City: A Social and Cultural History, Daniel J. Monti, Jr., Oxford, England and Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers, 1999. 391 pp. ISBN 978-1-55786-918-0.
- Urban Development: The Logic Of Making Plans, Lewis D. Hopkins, Island Press, 2001. ISBN 1-55963-853-2
- Readings in Planning Theory, Susan Fainstein and Scott Campbell, Oxford, England and Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers, 2003.
- Taylor, Nigel, (2007), Urban Planning Theory since 1945, London, Sage.
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