Urban Planning


In the development of a city, the general plan is significant in ensuring that the city attains a sustainable development through balancing the demand for growth such as infrastructural development and services investments (Hall, Peter). The general plan of the city is also important in ensuring that the growth and development of the city ensures environmental protection and conservation strategies for sustainable development. In managing its future needs such as growth, infrastructural development and land use, cities use the general plan to develop a framework for growth that is cost effective and sustainable in the long run (Hall, Peter). Therefore, a planned city is an organized city that can undergo anticipated changes easily resulting in a sustainable development in the future. 

In any city of the world, transportation for the residents and businesses within the city is an important element that is contained in the general plan of the city due to the significance of the transport sector in the future of the city (Hall, Peter). In relation to urban planning, the city of New York authorities have a transportation section in the general plan for the city. In the summer of 2006, the city of New York launched the Strategies for a New Age: New York State’s Transportation Master Plan for 2030 which is a product of the public forums that were held across the state since 2004 for the purposes of public outreach (Madison, Thomas). This strategic approach to the transportation needs of Ney York involves the incorporation of water, land and air transport means such as sea transport, highways and road transport throughout the city and in the state at large. In the implementation of New York State’s Transportation Master Plan for 2030, the city of New York during the spring of 2008 launched the ‘Sustainable Streets’ initiative that is specific for the city. 

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In relation to the content covered throughout the semester, the New York State’s Transportation Master Plan for 2030 is an undertaking by the authorities of New York City to lay down the a clear transportation policy that will be used for the development and growth of the city (Madison, Thomas). The New York City strategic plan regarding transportation such as ‘Sustainable Streets’ initiative is an example of policy frameworks that cover the content learnt in urban planning. The urban planning strategies that are involved in the ‘Sustainable Streets’ initiative covers the topics that have been learnt in the course such as the development and use of land in the city through the design of the transport infrastructure passing through the city. The transportation element of urban planning as seen in the policy framework for New York City is also similar to the topics covered in this course based on the consideration of maintaining a sustainable environment in the development of the general plan for the city (Madison, Thomas). In urban planning, the general plan for a city should consider the environmental impact of the project or development plans. This is because environmental protection is an important factor to be considered by urban planners especially in the development of the general plan for the city. 

Transportation within and across major cities in the world including New York is an important for urban planners because the welfare of the population as well as commerce is dependent upon transport facilities such as road, rail or subways. Therefore in regard to New York City, the transportation planning for the urban centers makes sense for the city because traffic congestion and pollution due to automobile emission have been on the rise (Hall, Peter). Through this initiative by the urban planning department of New York, transportation challenges will be addressed effectively thus resulting in a sustainable transport network in the city. Also, the involvement of all the means of transportation that is marine transport air, rail and highway makes sense since the New York State’s Transportation Master Plan for 2030 ensures the sustainability through development of these means of transport to meet the transportation needs and vision of the city (Madison, Thomas). The master plan is an important approach towards the development of the entire transport network in New York City and the state in general. 

The master plan for New York state transportation is spread over a timeframe of 25 years that is from 2006 to 2030 when the plan is expected to be accomplished (Madison, Thomas). The time frame for the implementation of the New York State’s Transportation Master Plan for 2030 alongside the ‘Sustainable Streets’ initiative for New York City is a practical and realistic approach as a general plan for the city in regard to the expansion and development of the transportation sector (Madison, Thomas). The plan is realistic and practical mainly due to the commitment of the state and city authorities towards budgeting and allocation of resources to the projects being undertaken  as part of urban planning to ensure that the objectives of the master plan is achieved. 

In further undertaking an analysis of the practical approach to the Sustainable Streets initiative, the city conducted an evaluation of the program in 2009 that is the first year of the project that was relevant in ensuring success was being achieved in realizing the overall master plan for the state and the city of New York (New York City). In the Sustainable Streets 2009 progress reports, the practicability of the general plan was indicated by safety benefits through the development of the safe street for seniors and school children. The general plan for the city also achieved reduction in traffic congestion through the roadway designs in various location of the city especially at the heart of Midtown Manhattan that was previously known for long and huge traffic congestion and compromised transport safety (New York City). Furthermore, through the development of the plan, the city of New York has created new public spaces and bicycle lanes throughout the city that has enhanced the welfare of its residents that can now move easily and also enjoy recreational services within the city. Therefore based on the progress attained over the years the strategic plan by the urban planners of New York City is an example of the approach to ensuring sustainable growth and development of town and cities throughout the world. Therefore urban planners should learn from such developments in urban planning through the establishment of long term general plans for a city and consider the implementation of such strategies in their own cities. 

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  1. Hall, Peter. Cities of Tomorrow. Hoboken, NJ, Wiley-Blackwell, 2014.
  2. Madison, Thomas. “Strategies For A New Age: New York State’S Transportation Master Plan For 2030.” New York State Department Of Transportation, 2006.
  3. New York City. “NYC DOT – Sustainable Streets.” Nyc.Gov, 2017.
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