World Town Planning Day Incatema joins the “better life organisation” objective

8 November, 2019

In honour of World Town Planning Day, Incatema Consulting & Engineering joins the objectives promoted by this commemoration with a call for solidarity, to achieve the desired objective of “better life organisation”.

From the perspective granted by our work in developing countries, and with the commitment acquired by our company towards the wellbeing and quality of life in the countries where we carry out our professional activity, it is important to focus on the physical conditions of the habitat of a significant part of their population; and on how these conditions influence people’s daily lives.

Geographers, sociologists, town planners, and experts in general, agree completely that the growth of cities is a constant, and now unstoppable, phenomenon: from China, where, in the last few decades, there have been urban population increases of more than one million people per year; to Africa, where cities are forecast to double in size in the next 20 years.

Having assimilated this situation, it would be reasonable to consider the mechanisms that ought to be put in place to establish an order that guarantees decent living conditions in these, increasingly large and more numerous, human settlements; in brief, how to plan towns when these rapidly growing masses of urban dwellers are constituted, for the most part, by persons with income levels on the thresholds of extreme poverty, and who see spontaneous settlement as the only way out.

We must remember that at present, and to give an example, 60% of the sub-Saharan population live in slums: in other words, in improvised areas of substandard housing, with a very high population density lacking minimum drainage infrastructures, drinking water, electricity or any other basic service. It is worth noting that in these slums, the public spaces or spaces of traffic and cohabitation, occupy approximately 2% versus the 30-35% that cities subject to town planning enjoy.

Sustainable cities and communities, SDG 11 of the 2030 Agenda

Thus, the UN, through its programme of Sustainable Development Goals, implements Goal number 11: Sustainable cities and communities, which Incatema Consulting & Engineering wishes to be a part of, aligning with its principal goals in both the short term (2020) and the medium term (2030). Namely:

• Improve slums.

• Improve road safety and implement public transport.

• Reduce the number of deaths caused by disasters, particularly those related to water.

• Reduce the negative environmental impact of cities, paying special attention to air quality and waste management.

• Provide universal access to green zones and safe, inclusive and accessible public spaces.

• Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural zones.