Business Services

Balanced City Planning

Modern cities are amazing places that are constantly evolving. They are in a constant state of flux.

As the needs of the people and businesses in them change, they change too. The development of cities is also, to some extent, driven by the needs of the countries they are located in and to a lesser extent by international and global needs too.

Unsurprisingly city planning is complex and can be difficult to get right. This is exacerbated by the fact that what is planned today can take years or even decades to implement. By the time, a plan comes to fruition things could have changed and the resulting infrastructure or buildings could already be inadequate or out of date.

The Challenge

To say city planning is challenging is an understatement. The needs of commerce and the city population as a whole often cut into the needs of individuals. For example, if the city needs a new rail network the lives of individuals will be negatively impacted during the process of building that infrastructure. Some people will lose their homes, whilst others will suffer from the noise, pollution and congestion resulting from the building process. The city must have an adequate transport network, so in this case the needs of individuals have to be sacrificed, to some extent, to make way for it.

However, overall the city must be a pleasant place for people to live and work in. If not the mental and emotional health of the population suffers, in the end the sustainability and prosperity of a city is adversely affected by this.

Environmental Sustainability

The needs of the environment are something that city planners are increasingly having to factor into the planning process. There is a need to make sure that development is sustainable and that the resulting development does not pollute the environment. The world has only finite resources and they must be used more carefully.

Besides which a healthy environment is vital for those living in the city. Large cities with pollution or environmental issues are having to find solutions, such as new low carbon transport networks. Those that are not tackling these issues find that firms and people move to other cities. Ultimately, not paying attention to environmental issues can result in the decline of a city.


To understand the elements of a social environment and the impact it has on people’s day-to-day lives visit the BMW Guggenheim Lab website.

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