An Urban Planners Nightmare

  • We’re no experts in urban planning but if you ever departing or heading towards the runway at Port Moresby’s Jackson’s International Airport try having a look out the window and see the landscape and the houses scattered around it.  There’s literally houses littered everywhere and if you know a little bit about town planning, there is no doubt what you see before you is an urban planning nightmare.

    If you ever do get a chance to see more developed cities from above, there is definitely a stark difference from the sight you see in Port Moresby.

    Ultimately, there needs to be some sort of a control mechanism put in place because what’s happening now is a serious concern.

    So what exactly are some of the critical issues the following photos impose on our city planners?

    1. Inefficient use of land
      With houses scattered everywhere, it’s hard to control who builds what, where it’s built, how it’s built and so forth.  Plans for better use of land become unworkable and land better located for infrastructure or other use do not become a reality.
    1. Transport
      It’s hard to plan on transport because of the chaotic way in which houses are built. Sure, there are avenues in which planners can consider to evict those with houses encroaching the proposed plans but this becomes a very expensive exercise.  Not to forget, it’s even more difficult when the livelihood of those concerned is involved.
    2. Unpleasant living environment
      With no control, there is little care of health and hygiene.  After all, most of those building houses outside of the town plans (if any) are low income earners and their priority is more a roof over their heads with little to no regard of general healthy living environments.
    3. Community identity
      It’s hard to built an identity in the community for a particular neighborhood when there are literally hundreds of houses springing up with little regard to neighbors.  If anything, the only identity that’s created is one of hardship.  That brings issues of crime too which in essence degrades the identity of the community.
    4. Environment
      If you ever get a chance to visit a settlement, there is little to no concern over the environment. Proper sewage and waste disposal is non-existent.
    5. Accessibility
      Having access to the community becomes hazardous too and with houses scattered everywhere, getting from one place to the other becomes problematic too.  No walkways, footpaths or roads creates danger too.
    6. Existing communities hindered from development
      Once thriving communities can have their development progress hampered by squatters.  But this isn’t just squatters.  Even those who own the land build houses with little regards of town planning laws or rules.

    City authorities must take a more practical approach to this critical problem.  It will hamper the progress of all suburbs if squatters or even owners build houses or structures with no consideration of town planning rules.

    Now take a look at this from a city in Australia

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