Development and Land Use Strategies
Open space is always an urban planner’s ideal choice for land use and development. However, many urban planners know at the outset they must deal with local municipal zoning regulations related to developing and using land within municipal purveyance.
When individuals purchase undeveloped land, the work involved in the planning and design requires expert assistance from professionals with long term experience. The strategies professionals use to make best use of land planned for development is to fit their ideas into the general pattern of existing local and regional development.
The Job of Expert Urban Planners
In addition to a great command of land use regulations, urban planners create new communities from existing land. This affects existing infrastructure as well as previously implemented programs.
Urban planners regularly interface with zoning boards at municipal, state and if applicable, federal levels. Once the design of land use and development is completed, it is reviewed by licensed engineers with a P.E. (Professional Engineering) who certify all aspects of the planned design meet regulatory compliance. Then the design can be presented to the municipal zoning board for further review and approval.
The Nuts and Bolts of Urban Planning
Although the word “urban” implies that the planning of land use and development is related to urbanizing specific planned land units, the actual location may be in small, rural towns as well as large urban areas.
Urban planning in relatively undeveloped areas often becomes more complex in design due to lack of sufficient, accessible infrastructure. In this case, licensed urban planners might need a Master of Urban Planning degree to work through these complexities. In the U.S., for example, a growing issue is financing new areas of urban development in cities and towns. Ref. http://wagner.nyu.edu/education/degrees/master-urban-planning
Challenges for Urban Planners
Since design and development are two major factors in the start up of a new urban project, challenges for urban planners, in addition to securing municipality and zoning approval is planning for specific programs that enhance the overall local structure.
Many urban planners are confronted by local objections to development and land use. One example is “strip malls” along highways or near heavily residential areas. Choose urban planners with experience in resolving objections to planned land use, land impact and development over the long term.
How to Choose Your Urban Planning Team
As professional urban planners, clients are assured of greatest attention to detail and design accuracy. Each member of the urban planning team should be licensed and experienced with the specific location of the planned urban development. In some U.S. states, the most experienced can be found online or through the federal or specific state’s housing and urban development (HUD). Urban planners well recognized within the federal or state HUD programs are least likely to encounter municipal objections.