As I mentioned in my earlier post, we first need to understand who urban planners are and what they do. Furthermore, it is important to understand what factors and principles go into the decisions urban planners make. After researching this topic, I have formulated a synopsis of the urban planning field.
Urban Planning can be described as the science of managing and directing the growth of cities to promote the health and welfare of its citizens. Urban Planners handle all aspects of city life, including land use, economic development, transportation and city aesthetics. The field of Urban Planning draws from many other disciplines, such as economics, sociology and architecture, to create the city’s organizational systems.
Modern Urban Planning methods in the United States have only been around since the early 20th century. The Urban Planning profession emerged mostly as a response to the horrible sanitary, social and economic conditions in large cities brought on by the rapid urbanization in America during the 19th century. In an age before treatment of water supplies, modern sewage systems and antibiotics, communicable disease exacted a huge cost in death and illness (Levy 10). To answer the needs of their citizens, early planners focused on the decongestion of their cities by promoting residential and commercial development outside of city limits.
Today, the need for qualified Urban Planners has never been greater. Population growth, urban sprawl, pollution and the overuse of valuable resources caused by harmful past city practices has caused inner city life to decay.