Michael Rashid on fundamental concepts of urban planning

Michael Rashid has worked extensively with city planning departments in several US cities and below explains how the most successful programs can create a truly innovative city or breathe new life into long-established spaces.

Michael Rashid says it can be purely transformative or invigorating in an inspiring way. Urban planning can confidently look to the future with a single vision that has impact for centuries. The successful development of this type of program shows how a city can best integrate into its environment, and not dominate it.

the the process is complex, but there are several key concepts that are usually part of every project.

Strategic urban planning

Urban planning is often part of a city’s or metropolitan area’s overall strategic plan, an overall approach to the appearance and growth of a city that reflects the specific goals of an area, whether they are centered on business development, the general way of life of citizens or sustainable infrastructure.

Michael Rashid explains that these targets reflect financial investments or limits, but often come from the direct approval of citizens (often through a vote on bond investments) or local governments. Strategic planning not only rethinks a current urban plan, but also plans for the future, especially when it comes to environmentally sound infrastructure and equity and efficiency in urban contexts.

• Territory Development

How an urban center or metropolitan area can use land is usually governed by strict statutes, rules, or codes that dictate what different types of land can be used for. Michael Rashid says land can be set aside for certain purposes such as residential or commercial uses, industrial or for municipal structures.

These land use planning codes are an integral part of urban planning. Planners consult with many community members and government officials to ensure that a plan reflects and follows land use governance.

• Sustainable development and environmental planning

Centuries ago, the environmental impact of urbanization did not enter into the planning of booming cities. Cities grew as needed. Population growth was not really taken into account and the preservation of nature was rarely a concern, explains Michael Rashid. Cities have even been built at sea level without protections in place.

It’s mostly a thing of the past. From now on, town planners are often selected because they have innovative and essential environmental considerations as part of an overall urban plan. This can often include incorporating green spaces and preserving natural areas, but also buildings designated as “green”, spaces that take advantage of solar energy, and a city that goes to great lengths to reduce its global carbon footprint.

Economic development and urban revitalization

Michael Rashid reports that many large urban areas have sections in decline, whether due to collapsing infrastructure or decades of economic depression. Many city planners have city revitalization goals, identifying the causes of decline, but also concrete solutions, such as repairing streets, adding parks, and redesigning public spaces to attract business or tourism. .

• Main planning

Bringing it all together in a single large urban plan is considered master plan. Master planning is commonly used when a city considers how best to use stretches of undeveloped land. Basically, a city starts from scratch.

According to this concept, planners should think about the future and what is best for the longevity of a certain area and its citizens. It takes into account both commercial and residential needs, but also specific needs such as the location of roads and urban amenities, such as parks and schools. According to this concept, planners must work closely with government agencies, landowners and citizens of an area.

Michael Rachid

• Hybrid urban planning

While past development plans often focused on uniformity, offering citizens equity in amenities and support, hybrid or mixed urban planning is now increasingly popular and sometimes the default for many metropolitan areas around the world, says Michael Rashid.

While a city’s neighborhoods and public buildings receive individual attention, they are often included in an overall master plan that reflects the needs and function of the entire urban area. Some areas may have different looks and patterns than other sections of cities, but the overall infrastructural support is also considered.

• Culture-based urban planning

Michael Rashid explains that many big cities are similar when it comes to infrastructure, services and citizen support. But most cities are also trying to forge a new identity and reflect their uniqueness through urban planning.

These cultural considerations are designed to enhance and preserve a region’s distinct ethos and offerings, reflecting attractive and different lifestyles. Much culture-based urban planning is also values-driven, highlighting a city’s environmental, social and other commitments, reports Michael Rashid.

The essential

Urban planning has been used for thousands of years, with some general concepts remaining the same and new concepts gradually taking hold and reflecting changing times and needs. Urban planning today is often a balancing act, incorporating concepts that reflect broad but vital needs, but also incorporate the innovative and unique desires of citizens.