A Look at Some of the Best and Worst Town Planning Around the World

Written by  //  August 20, 2013  //  News & Events  //  Comments Off on A Look at Some of the Best and Worst Town Planning Around the World


Town planning, or urban planning as it’s more commonly known, is a surprisingly complex form of architecture that focuses on the layout and planning of urban spaces and activities. There are some excellent cases dating back to the early settlement of some cities and townships, but the more interesting examples have sprung up in modern times.

This article will share some of the best and worst examples of town planning in recent history, starting on a positive note with some urban success stories.

Camden Town, London

Any visitor to Camden Town in London will notice the distinct lack of traffic in the area. Camden Town is mostly pedestrian, which is even more remarkable when the number of retail stores and markets is considered. Another factor which adds to the success of this plan is the central tube station, offering another incentive for residents to leave their car at home.

The High Line Elevated Park, New York

One of the worlds most successful town planning experiments would have to be the High Line in New York city. Opened in 2009, the High Line is a floating park development which was built on the remains of an old elevated train line.

Over 2 million visitors have enjoyed the quirky urban green oasis that stretches 6 blocks from 14th to 20th street. Many local residents make a daily visit to enjoy the greenery and natural oasis set in the middle of one of the worlds greatest mega-cities.

The City Plan of Philadelphia

The historic 1683 plan of Philadelphia was one of the first American city plans to use a grid street pattern. The remarkable foresight of the planning committee allocated land to be used exclusively for urban green spaces.

While there are many successful town planning projects to be found around the world, it would be foolish to ignore the bad examples that are still to be found, and not learn from the mistakes made.

Hanoi, Vietnam

An example of bad town planning can be found in Hanoi City in Vietnam, which has led to issues with drastic heat-wave summer conditions for local residents. The predominance of concreted areas and scarcity of urban green zones has led to experts warning of drastic circumstances in the future.

Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is a metropolis that is plagued by poor town planning, but has managed to overcome many of the obstacles associated with a huge population and lack of a cohesive urban plan.

The BTS elevated train system freed up the congested streets, and is now advancing from the city centre to give outer suburb residents a convenient transit option. Although pollution and overcrowding are still an issue for the growing city, the clever design and huge engineering marvel that is the BTS train system is often copied by other city planners around the world.

Thanks to modern technology, town planners can model future developments and see how they will fit into the current environment. Techniques such as verified views, which creates a 3D rendering of a proposed development, can show how a town planning project will look.

The clever system creates photo-realistic 3D renders of proposed buildings or developments, and places them into high resolution photos from the planned site. The end result is so good that they are often used as marketing images.

About Author
Olivia is a civil engineer and freelance writer.  She is grateful for modern techniques, such as verified views, for making town planning much easier.  She can be found blogging about a variety of subjects.

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