Urban Planning In The 21st Century By Muhammad Wajahat Sultan

Urban Planning In The 21st Century By Muhammad Wajahat Sultan

Global warming is an existential threat that directly impacts the entire world population. Due to uncontrollable defects of global warming, it is feared that it can risk the global economy as well as sinking entire cities like Karachi and Miami due to rising sea levels and cyclones. It poses multifaceted problems ranging from geopolitical to aggravated economic issues. Urban planning is the sustainable way forward as the urbanized population of Pakistan is rising at a rapid pace. Urban planning includes technological innovation, sustainable development, and modern techniques to develop and sustain metropolitan cities in efficient ways.

Pakistan needs to leapfrog to new technology and management methods in urban planning for sustainable growth and countering the ominous threats of global warming. The first area which is under discussion in urban planning is the Modern Biophilic Design City. Organic architecture in urbanism helps to decrease carbon dioxide emissions. In the Chinese city of Liuzhou, about 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide and 57 tons of micro-particles were avoided by the introduction of Biophilic Design. This design in urbanized communities stressed the natural architecture and natural environment in the congested mega malls and commercial areas. Stephen R.Kellert in his book “Biophilic Design: The Theory, Science, and Practicing of Bringing Buildings to Life” argued that fostering beneficial interaction between people and nature in modern building landscapes reduced the anxiety level and increased creativity levels in modern urbanized communities. The Biophilic City Design facilitates the horizontal growth of urbanism and nature together.

The second point in sustainable urban planning is the Sponge City Model, which was introduced by Chinese researchers to manage the ecological infrastructure and drainage systems. The Sponge City Model can help to reduce urban flooding by up to 90 percent. The Sponge Model helps absorb the storm water and then release it like a sponge after purifying it. The released water can then be used for various purposes like agriculture and the construction of underground water tanks. During the monsoon season, a lot of people lose their lives and a lot of infrastructural damage take place in the mega cities of Pakistan. Karachi is more vulnerable to urban flooding due to rising sea levels and irregular weather conditions. The Sponge Model helps to prevent the excessive use of plastic pipes and channels. During rainfall and flood conditions, this pavement design and infrastructure model helps to absorb water in the ceilings and then use it for purposive means in the future.

The third planning strategy is the Mix-Use Design Model. The spurring growth of population and urban neighborhoods forced planners to design such adjustments in which all the essential units of life are integrated. Mix-Use design focuses on three or more uses in a single structure such as entertainment, parking, residence, and hotels. In Pakistan, it is high time to consider Mix-Design urban planning to adapt to global warming. The availability of all the resources in one place helps to prevent unnecessary transport usage which adds to global warming. The New Urbanism Movement’s design to develop ecological and sustainable cities is helpful to reduce the momentum of rising heat waves and abrupt seasonal changes. JR Towers in Nagoya Japan has something in the mix for everyone. The three towers are built together which facilitates the bullet train as well as the local subway. It has office space and a hotel in the same tower. An exterior elevator provides easy access to the top fifteen stories. In Pakistan, there is no such trend of Mix-Design buildings that could facilitate multiple facilities together in one building. The rise of Mix-Design buildings can help scale back expanded communities in urban spaces which later deteriorate the climate of the cities.

Due to rapid rural-urban migration, Pakistan is experiencing lower agricultural yield. Vertical farming in megacities is the modern agri-tech technique to grow more plants in small places. It can be done in warehouses and even in buildings. In traditional societies, horizontal agriculture is widespread and focuses on expanded and large-scale area-based farming. In modern cities, planners can discern to produce more food and more agricultural resources in a limited space. The rising threats of global food shortage can also be combated through precision and agri-tech in cities where modern drones and GIS-based data can be utilized to increase fertility.

The last element of urban planning in the 21st century can be discussed in the form of the 15 Minutes City Model. It is a type of urban planning in which the consumption of oil, fuel, and other fossil fuels is reduced to prevent the harmful effects of global warming. In 15 minutes all the residents, commercial and recreational building blocks as well as facilities are provided for access and not for mobility. The cities are designed to connect each part within a mobility of 15 minutes so that unnecessary consumption can be avoided.

The effects of climate change are exacerbated everyday due to the rise of population in urban areas. To avoid an ecological apocalypse, we need efficient and sustainable cities that are eco-friendly. The metropolitan city planning committee must discern the prevalent eco-friendly techniques to avoid major global warming setbacks. It is imperative for our city planners to adopt these novel urban planning techniques.

Source: https://nation.com.pk/2022/08/08/urban-planning-in-the-21st-century/

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