Necessity of Town Planning

What is Zoning?

The local governments in developed countries designated permitted uses of land based on mapped zones. The mapped zones help in separating one set of land uses from another. This device of land use planning is called zoning.(1) Zoning is one of the principles of town planning.

Zoning is used to specify the use of land and is called functional zoning. It is also used to regulate the height of the buildings and density (ground coverage specifications).

A town/city is divided into different zones such as:

  1. Residential zone (housing)
  2. Commercial zone (retail/wholesales shops/malls – anything related to commerce)
  3. Industrial zone (Industries/factories)
  4. Recreational zone (Parks/Playgrounds/spaces for recreational activities)
  5. Mixed use zone (Commercial + Residential)

All of the above mentioned zones cater to their specify type of usage.

Why is Town planning important?

It is evident that a small house if well arranged and planned, looks far more better than a disordered big palace. In a similar way, a town which is properly planned provide people with more comfort and convenience.

The necessity of town planning can very well be appreciated by mentioning the evil situations which a town has to face in the absence of town planning. They are as follows:

1. Defective road system resulting in the formation of narrow streets and lanes;

Defective road system is a problem in most countries. It is due to the fact that towns and cities were never planned. They gradually grew with the help of the developers which resulted in bad road network giving rise to bad transportation network.

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Slums in Cities | Providing Low-Cost Housing to End Slums

What are Slums? How and where do slums develop?

In the last few decades, there had been a tremendous growth in emerging countries like India, Brazil, Mexico and China. This had been mainly due to a rapid expansion in the manufacturing sector. Thus, there has been a massive migration of workers to cities and production centers. These new workers cannot afford housing. This is what gives rise to slums, as the homeless make temporary shelters which get transformed rapidly into semi-permanent housing colonies. People migrate to cities because the comparative poverty and hardship involved in their alternatives (ie. subsistence farming) is worse.

Dharavi Slums, Mumbai, India

According to UN-HABITAT, a  slum is defined as a run-down area of a city characterized by substandard housing and squalor and lacking in tenure security. It is estimated that one billion humans live in shanty towns. One in every three people in the world will live in slums within 30 years unless governments control unprecedented urban growth, according to a UN report.

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