Urban planning (urban, merged urban regions, regional, city, and town planning) is a technical and – sometimes -- political process concerned with the use of land and design of the urban environment, including air and water and infrastructure passing into and out of urban areas such as transportation and distribution networks.
Properly documented urban planning guides and ensures orderly development of settlements and satellite communities, which commute into and out of urban areas or share resources with it.
It is not an easy or a hastily done task. It requires months of meticulous planning, leaving no detail untouched in the quest for good master plans and their various components like urban planning or landscape planning.
Examples abound all over the world of some towns and cities now feeling the impact of haphazard planning, making it a matter of extreme urgency to review the plans at a great cost.
And even in those well-established cities borne out of good planning, latest developments, including population growth and subsequent rise of squatter settlements.
Apart from the costly master plans review, authorities had to sanction equally costly demolitions to pave way for new construction such as highways, flyovers, satellite cities and towns, residential and office accommodation land and landscaping.
Such planning concerns itself with research and analysis, strategic thinking, architecture, urban design, public consultation, policy recommendations, implementation and management.
True to the Kiswahili saying ‘’Usione vyaelea, vimeundwa’’, translating into English as “don’t see them sailing, they have been built’’, all the well-planned cities of the world are a product of meticulous and expert planning that have taken care of the past, for reference purposes; present and future development.
We have a good example in Dar es Salaam, whose colonialera planners did consider future development in such terms as population growth, increase in traffic and a growth in social services.
The result of all this is demolition of buildings and other structures to obtain space on which to build new structures, not forgetting the colossal amounts paid as compensation to affected parties.