Today is World Town Planning Day!
Published: Sunday | November 8, 2009
Port Antonio and Navy Island.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the foundation of World Town Planning Day. It was established in Argentina in 1949 by the late Professor Carlos Maria della Paolera of the University of Buenos Aires, founder of the Instituto Superior de Urbanismo. His aim was to 'advance public and professional interest in planning, both locally and abroad' and create 'a special day to recognise and promote the role of planning in creating liveable communities'.
This being a 'Diamond' anniversary, The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) will be co-celebrating with planners in 30 other countries, including the United States, Canada and New Zealand, the importance of the planning profession at both the local and national levels.
NEPA joins the rest of the world in commemorating World Town Planning Day (WTPD). The agency is celebrating the day, under the theme 'Building Better Communities' with an exhibition, outside broadcast and church service at Fellowship Tabernacle in Pembroke Hall. The exhibition will focus on 'good planning practices', that allow for the creation of sustainable communities in Jamaica. These practices enable communities to grow economically and socially, while fostering effective integration with the natural and built environment.
What is Town Planning?
A view of sections of Kingston.
Urban, city or town planning seeks to reconcile social and economic needs through the balanced allocation of land resources to ensure maximum efficiency, while providing space to meet the needs of the growing population and protecting and conserving the island's natural resources.
Essentially, planning may be viewed as the art of anticipating change and arbitrating between the economic, social, political and physical forces that determine the location, form and effect of urban and rural developments. Proper planning ensures orderly and progressive development and selection of the appropriate use of land for the benifit of the present and future generations.
Why is World Town Planning Day Celebrated?
To provide global focus on the aims, objectives and status of town planning and foster international camaraderie between practitioners
To emphasise the invaluable contribution and history of planning in the creation of sustainable human settlement
To promote the ideals of town planning amongst professionals, the public, civil society and policy makers
To acknowledge the collaborative and integrative role planning plays in the sustainable development process
To remind citizens of their integral role as key stakeholders of the society in the sustainable growth and development of their communities and the need to take into account changes in the planning paradigm.
To emphasise the need to develop long term strategies to manage the growth and development of urban and rural areas, taking into consideration the interaction between economic, social, spatial, environmental and governance factors.
'NEPA AND BUILDING OF BETTER COMMUNITIES'
In keeping with the aims and objectives of World Town Planning Day, NEPA seeks to sensitise the wider populace to the importance of planning in enhancing communities, as well as to highlight the various aspects of planning. It is recognised that the development of vibrant well-integrated communities can only be achieved through the active participation of citizens, working in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders, including government agencies such as NEPA and the planning authorities.
NEPA role in facilitating the building of better communities include:
Preparation of plans at the local, regional and national levels and development orders
Promoting Public Awareness on Planning obtaining feedback and input from all stakeholders
Processing of Planning and Environmental Applications
Enforcement of relevant environmental and planning standards regulations and guidelines.