Integrated Land Use and Transport Planning

The need of the hour is to set a good set of good planning practices and commitment to work together to achieve better outcomes in the field of urban and transport planning.  Responsive planning, consistent decision-making, and good design and management of urban infrastructure will go a long way in solving varied urban planning and transportation issues. All planning and development agencies working in various states, territories, and local areas should collaborate to develop a comprehensive and mutually accepted norms for development. Within each state and union territory, local governments should be allowed to play a central role in physical planning for local areas. Landuse and transport planning has a key role to play in delivering social, economic, and environmental sustainability.
However, by shaping the pattern of development and influencing the location, scale, density, design, and mix of land uses, planning can help to facilitate an efficient transport and land use system through consistent application of sound planning principles and development guidelines to ensure the effectiveness of land use and transport policies and help maximize the quality of life of the community. Planning of transport and landuse must also be robust in the face of changes in technology, social conditions, values, resource constraints, and other key factors. 
The true test of the integrated planning can be ascertained only if the outcome of the development is directed towards the achievement of sustainable development, equity, amenity, livability, resource Management, cost-effectiveness, efficiency and integration between the public and private sectors. The focus of such planning policies should be directed towards achieving the target in a time bound manner and development of sound planning practices and evolution of processes used for integrated planning. There is a hierarchy of planning activities at the national, state, regional, and local level.  And this calls for an approach which will ensure the integration of individual efforts to the common goal of planning for a better tomorrow. Keeping in view the unbalanced development of different regions of the country, the focus should be on developing an urban and regional form that concentrates the provision of goods and services at hubs, and provides effective transport linkage between those hubs which will further aids to the growth and development of the areas lying in between those hubs.
Land use planning decisions should support the provision of public transport services and other more sustainable transport modes and environmental sustainability of the development. Transport routes and destinations should be managed so that priority can be given to those areas which needs boost for faster development and which helps in balancing the development potential of different regions keeping in view the environmental sustainability of such developments. The focus should be on developing regional and urban structures which make better use of the existing transport infrastructure and urban land and are less dependent on unsustainable forms of transport. Decisions should also take account of future land development to ensure that they do not undermine achievements in maximising the use of existing infrastructure and land use.
New public transport routes should be planned to ensure safe and convenient passenger accessibility and also to facilitate sustainable urban regeneration. The focus is on integrated planning as a means of achieving a balance between the need to provide for accessibility and mobility and to create a sense of place where vehicle traffic does not dominate and the impact does not affect people's life styles.
The need for accessibility of different sections of the community should be assessed and provision made for them. Key stakeholders and community groups should be engaged in developing a common vision to guide the development of a transport system that provides high levels of accessibility to all. The safety needs of different sections of the community should be assessed and related to routes they use for access to facilities, services and public transport. The focus should be on providing regional and remote communities with efficient, accessible and sustainable transport infrastructure.
Implementation of the integrated development plan will depend on the commitments made at all levels of Government. For example, some States and Union Territories may develop their own frameworks, policies and guidelines. The common integrated development guidelines will help in smoothening the differences between varied agencies working in the field of planning, developing and managing the various forms of infrastructure and natural resources of an area.
Shashikant Nishant Sharma