The Garden Guide

Book: Landscape Planning and Environmental Impact Design: from EIA to EID
Chapter: Chapter 11 Urbanisation and growth management

Planning for urban expansion

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Urban growth management 

Urbanisation requires planning. Urbanisation happens [Fig 11.1] & [Fig 11.2]. Old settlements expand and new settlements are founded. It can be a consequence of increased wealth, population growth or smaller households. This chapter looks at the need for new settlements, at EID for the urbanisation process, at how urban land uses should be fitted together and at how new settlements should be fitted into the landscape. Buildings have rooms and corridors. Towns have land uses and streets. The comparison [Fig 11.3] might lead one to think that urban design is simply architecture on a heroic scale. That would be an error. 11.3 Planning land uses and roads can be conceived, mistakenly, as similar to planning rooms and corridors in a building (below). Towns are organic and buildings inorganic. Where life processes are involved, planning differs. Many of us have a house and a family. Both require planning, but only one of them can be strictly controlled, as stern parents will always discover. Architecture or engineering can rest on a single controlling vision; good urbanisation requires attention to many visions and many processes. Final designs are not possible. As discussed at earlier points in this book, many professional designers, including architects, engineers and landscape architects, have caused aesthetic and ecological chaos by neglecting EID and focusing their attention on the interests of the land user who commissioned their services, or the professional skill in which they were originally trained. In Geddes' words: 'Each of the various specialists remains too closely concentrated upon his single specialism, too little awake to those of others. Each sees clearly and seizes firmly one petal of the sixï¾­lobed flower of life and tears it apart from the whole' (Tyrwitt 1947). Amongst the petals which have been seized by over-zealous planners and designers are hills, valleys, rivers, parks, lakes, [Fig 11.4] footpaths, roads, housing, commerce and industry. One by one, they have been ripped off and 'planned', regardless of the wider landscape. Urbanisation works best when builtform is related to landform and land uses to each other. 11.4 The six-lobed flower of life