Components of environmental planning
Environmental Planning is a decision-making process that considers the environmental, social, political, economic, and governance factors that can affect development. Its goal is to manage the relationship between natural systems and human systems in the present and the future.
The goal of environmental planning is to come up with a win-win situation for society and the environment. With successful environmental planning, society wins by being able to use the area in productive ways, and the environment wins by being able to sustain itself for future generations.
Environmental planning seeks to improve and protect environmental quality for urban residents – both through controlling the generation of pollution and through segregating activities that are environmentally incompatible [Miller and Groot, 1997:3]. Effective environmental planning requires the effective interaction and overlay between three components – hardware, software and heart ware;
1.Hardware consists of the physical fabric of a city – infrastructure, buildings, railway, roads, ports etc. First, is the current status of the natural environment. This component will take into consideration the existing state of the area to be developed. This may include evaluating the existing uses, features and natural resources of the land, as well as existing infrastructure and buildings.
2. Software consists of sets of rules, and regulations, laws and legislation, ordinances, including habits, ethics, and traditionally established codes of conduct.
This signifies that environmental planning is vision. This involves setting goals and measurable objectives and takes into consideration the rules, regulations, laws and needs of society.
3. Heart ware is an individual’s emotional mechanism, behaviour and conduct, which determines his or her needs, wants and wishes. It also determines the process by which the individual’s interaction with the surrounding environment takes place. This involves putting the vision into action and considers the materials, personnel and technology that may be needed to carry out the plan.