Regional planning

From Academic Kids

Regional planning is a branch of planning that deals with the design and efficient placement of activities and infrastrucutre across a significantly large area of land. The related field of urban planning deals with the specific issues of city planning, which is a subset of regional planning. Both concepts are encapsulated in spatial planning using a eurocentric definition.

Regional planning principles

Regions require various spaces for cropland, cities, industrial space, transportation hubs, military bases, navigational aids, and wilderness. Regional planning is the science of efficient placement of infrastrucutre and zoning for the sustainable growth of a region.

Tenets of regional planning

  • Do not build in a flood plain or along an earthquake fault. These areas are best utilized as parks, or unimproved farmland. Capital improvements should be discouraged, building codes in these areas should be the highest.
  • Build along hills and ridges. This keeps homes and businesses away from water born insects. It also reserves fertile flatlands as farmland and can produce cooler homes in summer and warmer, solar-heated during winter.
  • Build transportation corridors first, in a pattern of hubs and spokes. The thinking is development will follow transportation infrastructure. Transportation hubs should be build atop of hills, and roads should follow ridgelines if possible.
  • Locate administrative and transportation hubs in the same places. Networks for administration can benefit from the same capital improvements as transportation networks.
  • Plant trees with the ratio of work to benefit in mind. That is, if orchards produce the best return per man-hour, plant them.
  • Designate locations for nuisances. Then assure that all nearby persons contract to let nuisances be built there.
  • In general, areas should be self-sufficient in food, water, transportation, communication and fuel, well-enough to prevent starvation, dehydration and freezing. Buildings can have solar heat, solar cells, wind-power, cisterns, and vegetable gardens in roofs, if it is a priority.
  • Let every area serve also as wilderness. Provide incentives and space for wildllife migration grids and greenbelts. Grow meadows on roofs, roads and parking lots. Place nesting sites on buildings. Use ponds for air-conditioning heat-sinks, storm swales, and riparian wildlife.
  • Make every area serve multiple purposes. For example, let parks consist of gardens, unbuildable zones, and edible plants, harvested to market.
  • Avoid social institutions that stratify a region by income. Mix luxury amongst non luxury zoning.
  • When designing cities, set up a cellular network that considers housing, parks, crops, greenbelt, drainage swales, throughways, local streets, parking and shops. Repeat the cells, and include mildly different road furniture and a distinct ornament or shop at each gate or crossroad.
  • Consider building codes and zoning laws that encourage the best use of the land.
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