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Chapter 1 – What is Urban Planning?

Chapter 1 – What is Urban Planning?

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Published by DetroitWorksProject

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Published by: DetroitWorksProject on Jan 25, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Urban Planning
Chapter 1
urban planning process. Sometimesit is small process involving onlygovernment officials; sometimes itis a large process involving a city’sentire population.
Every good decision is based onaccurate information. That is whymost planning processes start withsome sort of research. Urban planning considers where a city has been, whereit is now and where it expects to go inthe future.
For example, urban planners might ask questions like:
•Wherearepeoplemovingto? •Whichroadsgettheheaviesttrac•Howmanyschool-agedchildrenliveinthecity•Whatkindofjobopportunitiesexist
In addition to data, urban plannersconsider resident preferences and anarea’s physical character in order makethe best decisions possible.
 You might not realize it, but in a sense, we’re all planners. Most of us do it everyday. Take for example, a householdbudget. When we budget for our families, we try to decide what is the best use of our resources - whether to spend moneyeating out, to spend time fixing thekitchen sink, or to save up for a new car.
Urban planning is like a budgetthat a family makes for itself,only on a much bigger scale.
Planning is a collective process betweencity leaders and residents to envision abetter future. Such decisions are oftenhard — we must decide which needs aremost important to best prepare for thefuture and then plan carefully how to useour time, money, and other resources.
Money is usually the first — and sometimesonly — thing that comes to mind when weconsider resources. But it’s not the onlyresource available to a city. A city canalso utilize resources such as:
Considering all available resourcesallows us to make better decisions. 
Like a family’s budget, urbanplanning builds on the resourceswe have, not the resources wewish we had.
 After examining the various resourcesavailable, a city must also look at thebest ways to spend those resources.
Planning Is The Bridge BetweenResources And Opportunities.
There are many investments a city canmake and every opportunity comes withits own benefits and costs.
Planning involves difficult trade-offs. As a family chooses between investing in food, housing, education, andentertainment, a city must choose betweeninvesting in things like transportation,parks, jobs, and safety. A city can rarelyspend as much resources as it would likeon these investment opportunities. A citytherefore has to decide which resourcescan be matched to potential investments- in both the near future and long-term.
 A large-scale planning process thatinvolves an entire city might includemany different kinds of planning such as:
•LANDUSEPLANNING-planningthatfocusesonwherebusinesses,homesandparksshouldbelocated.•ECONOMICDEVELOPMENT-planningthatis primarilyconcernedwiththejobskillsandtryingtoattractcertaintypesofbusinessestoacity.•TRANSPORTATIONPLANNING-planningthataddresseshowpeoplegetaroundthecityandregion.

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