Land use planning is an alternative for land use to select and adopt the best land use policy. The main goal of land use planning is to divide land uses to meet the economic and social needs of people while safeguarding the future resources.
Land use planning is basically the public policy exercise that designates and regulates the use of land to improve a community’s physical, economic, social efficiency, and well-being of the people with considering socioeconomic trends as well as physical and geographical features.
Planning helps to find the preferred land uses that will support local development goals. The final outcome is the allocation and zoning of land for specific uses, regulation of the intensity of use, and formulation of legal and administrative instruments that support the plan.
A land use plan may be prepared for an urban area, a rural area, or a region encompassing both urban and rural areas. Physical planning can be designed as an exercise that uses the land use plan as a framework to propose the ideal physical infrastructure for a settlement or area, including infrastructure for public services, transport, economic activities, recreation, and environmental protection.
A physical plan may be prepared for an urban area or a rural area. A physical plan for an urban region can have both rural and urban components, although the latter usually predominates.
A physical plan at a regional scale can also deal with the provision of specific regional infrastructures, such as a regional road or a bulk water supply system.
Both the Land use plans and physical plans are not necessarily mutually exclusive. It is common practice in many countries to prepare comprehensive development plans that address both land use zoning and the provision of physical infrastructure.
Such an exercise is more meaningful if carried out in the context of a strategic planning process, whereby the proposals in the land use plan and the physical plan become part of a comprehensive development plan. While land use and physical plans are outcome-oriented, strategic plans are more process-oriented.
The Land Use Planning and Physical Planning Guiding Principles
– Laws, regulations, plans, and institutional frameworks should form the basis of reconstruction planning. If existing instruments are not realistic or are contributing to informality, use the reconstruction process as an opportunity to improve them.
– The planning process should join active collaboration among the reconstruction agencies, the affected community, the private sector, and other stakeholders, thereby engendering their ownership of the planning process.
– The planning process should respond to issues of land rights and titling and to discrepancies in the administration of land records, address the needs of informal occupiers of land, and work with them to find viable alternatives.
– While addressing long-term development and DRR goals, land use and physical plans should still be flexible and offer choices, and not become static “master plans.”
– Land use and physical plans integrated with strategic planning can address reconstruction, DRR, and long-term development, yet be readily translated into action plans and investment proposals, including those that promote private investment.
– The planning process needs high-level support, active leadership from the government agencies that will actually carry out the plans, and involvement from local communities.
Land use and physical planning exercises offer a forum in which the interests of multiple stakeholders, as well as the physical, social, and economic constraints on land uses, can be debated and balanced in the post-disaster context. Specifically, post-disaster planning provides:
– Tools and processes for organizing housing and infrastructure reconstruction in space and over time, addressing the impacts of the disaster and disaster risk reduction (DRR);
–A framework for stakeholders and elected representatives to relate reconstruction to longer-term mainstream development priorities; and
– An opportunity to change policy, legislation, and regulations; strengthen institutions; and improve construction methods. Source