Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Dynamics Of Development of the Urban Settlements.

One Thing Ignored gives Birth to different Problems and Issues 

National populations are being recomposed by urbanization in ways that channel more and more citizens into relatively smaller dense geographic units – cities (Panel on Urban Population Dynamics, 2003). Dynamics of Development of an Urban Settlement are intense and complex. For different persons it may vary according to one’s interest – for some it may be the economic development, for some it may be demographic development, for some it may be a combination of different subjects. This blog writing will try to focus on the various significant dynamism characters of an urban settlement. Dynamics is defined as the forces or properties which stimulate growth, development or change within a system or process.  For planning, developing and growth of an urban settlement, its dynamic of developments has to be studied intensely and wisely providing some hierarchical manner to develop the urban settlements as a self-sustaining systems. If the focus is given in the developments happened in the last couple of decades in the field of architecture and urban planning, the most discussed topic may be found to be as that of sustainable development. The sustainable development is directly related to four significant factors – the efficient relationship of the natural system and the man made systems, the economic factors which regulates the growth and ability to handle and answer the various questions that arises with the various infrastructural developments, the healthy formation of the society which imparts  the urban settlements; its shape and characteristics over a period of time and also relates with the efficient functioning of the urban settlements, the policy making process and the ones which are related in the formulation and implementation of them; political interferences, plays the crucial role in the management and development of the urban settlements. There may be the other inclusions as well into the list, but these have a general impact on all the urbanization process going on across the Globe.

The natural system comprises of a different set of factors – the hydrology, the river system, the green areas and its growth, the environment, geographical conditions and topography to name some. Any human settlement for an efficient and productive environment, the human-nature relationship has to be understood.  For Humans, it may be easy to conceive the changes occurred in its own made system than perceiving the changes experienced by the natural system. The natural system as the economic activities or education advancements is continuously at a dynamic state. This dynamic state can’t be ignored if the efficient sustainable urban settlements of the future have to be planned.

The economic factors of development though well known by a major section of the urban society, but it can’t be planned in isolation with the other significant factors. The irony of the recent developments has been that – most of them emphasizes on the economic development in isolation, which may not be able to resist in for long. The advancements in Science and Technology has boosted up the economic activities like never before and which is a good sign as far as the development and evolution of the race of humanity is concerned, but it can’t be the lone guiding lamp for the process of development The inventions aren’t that generally fails, but human himself generally fails to incorporate them in his way of living. The aspect has to be wisely dealt with in the future developmental processes.

The healthy formation and growth of a society is also of upmost significance as they are the guiding factors that shape the urban settlements in true sense over a period of time. The heterogeneity character of the urban society imparts the characters of a ‘sub-culture’ which further regulates the growth of the settlements. Lewis Mumford described city: a geographic plexus, an economic organization, an institutional process, a theatre of social action, and an aesthetic symbol of collective unity. The urban characters are impacted by the living style of the inhabitants and thus the formation of a healthy and active society can’t be ignored in any sense while carrying out the planning exercise. The city is a melting pot of races, peoples and cultures, and a most favourable breeding ground of new biological and cultural hybrids (Louis Wirth). The significance of the social infrastructure and its relation with the productivity at work of the inhabitants should be underlined.

The political interferences and the policy making process can be said as the head of the urban settlements as the critical policies and regulations are prepared by the persons involved. Although, there is a feed-back process after the formulation of the master plans and other norms and acts, but the transparency and public involvement is a serious issue. Also, the implementation process, especially in the developing world is adversely affected either by the multiplicity of the organizations involved or due to the political will. The political scenario though can’t be changed in an eye’s flick, the awareness of the significance and the role which the participation of the community and the inhabitants can play need to be spread and population awareness schemes need to be launched for the same, especially in the countries of low education level.

These are the four significant dynamics of development in relation with the planning, development, formation and growth of an urban settlement. The dynamism of the urban settlements is intense and complex and can be further studied after reading and understanding the above mentioned significant dynamics of development.

Image from reclaimistanbul

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