Environmental planning is an important tool for safeguarding and protecting our environment systems, in order to keep it sustainable for the future generations. However, decision implementation and environmental planning have many deliberations because of the intricacies of nature and the varying requirements and aspirations of society. Environmental planning seeks to improve and safeguard environmental quality for metropolitan residents - both through controlling the release of pollution and through dissociating activities that are ecologically incompatible.
Components of Environmental Planning
3 major components form the basis of the effective environmental planning. These are; ⦁ Hardware – This component comprises of concrete fabric of an urban settlement – roads, airports, railways, buildings etc. ⦁ Software – This component comprises of the regulatory framework, codes of conduct and city ethics. ⦁ Heartware – This component comprises of conduct, behavior and emotions. It assesses the methodology by which the humans interact with the surrounding ecological systems.
Source - http://www.gdrc.org/uem/doc-e_plan.html
Environmental Planning Practices
Some of the key elements of present-day environmental planning include; ⦁ Social & economic development ⦁ Urban development ⦁ Natural resource management & integrated land use ⦁ Governance frameworks ⦁ Regional development ⦁ Infrastructure systems
Why is Environmental Planning Important?
Environmental planning is a vital procedure for every project since it helps inspire a win-win situation for both the human community and the environment. The process facilitates decision making to create a holistic framework that offers a due consideration to the environmental, economic, political, social, and governance factors to attain sustainable outcomes for future generations. Some steps that have been framed to carry out environmental planning include; 1. Assessment of the area where the project is proposed– present uses, natural resources 2. Secondly - goal setting and establishing plans 3. Thirdly – Planned activities put into action with the right technology, individuals and, materials. Some actions of Environmental Panning include; ⦁ Regulation: Framework for acceptable land uses ⦁ Taxation and subsidies – Land uses be taxed or subsidized for environmental management ⦁ Natural capital accounting: Measure environmental value and identify changes in this value ⦁ Geospatial data – Maximization of land data, make it accessible, and use it to enhance land management ⦁ Planning designations – Effective land protection, for example development of green belts
The Future of Environmental Planning
With the growing human population, the need for an effective Environmental Planning will get bigger. The reason is new regulations on climate change mitigation, environmental conservation while stressing on social upliftment, technological advancements and economic growth. As the urban settlements get expanded, more constructions and other developments are seen on the cards, which needs more planning and all this keeping sustainability in mind. In recent times, the increasing political interest in “Sustainability” has encouraged “a growing interest in effective environmental planning. The environmental planning activities include areas like ⦁ Transportation ⦁ Air pollution ⦁ Noise pollution ⦁ land use ⦁ Socio-economics ⦁ Housing characteristics ⦁ Economics ⦁ The wetlands ⦁ Flood zones susceptibility ⦁ Habitat of the endangered species ⦁ Coastal zones erosion ⦁ Infrastructure systems Environmental planning involves keeping a check on human activities and encouraging sustainable use of the environment with the key objective of alleviating adverse impacts. Summarizing environmental planning Environmental planning is attracting the interest of geographers and environmentalists and there is a substantial level of critical exchange of ideas between planning arena and geography field in terms of both scholastic debate and involvement with practice. The major aim of environmental planning is to reduce the negative impacts of anthropogenic damage to the environment and to form sustainable communities, which endeavour to safeguard and sustainably use under developed land.
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