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Urban Planning (*)
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*Courses Taught by George K. Chou at Northrop University
American Planning Association Southern California Planning Congress
Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Urban Institute
National Association of Regional Councils Resources on Urban Planning
UCLA School of Public Affairs (Urban Planning Top in Nation) Urban Planning
San Francisco Redevelopment Agency World Bank Urban Development Web site

San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association

Term Papers on Urban Planning

Association of Bay Area Governements

Norton Professional Books

Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall

Resource for Urban Design Information

Planner's Network

The PLanning & Development Network

Urban Land Institute Case Studie

Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA)

Land Use Planning
Land use planning ensures the use of land resources in an organized fashion so that the needs of the present and future generations can be best addressed. Land use planning has as its basic purpose to ensure that each area of land will be used so as to provide maximum social benefits, especially including food production, without degradation of the land resource.
In the Caribbean, the status of information for land use planning is very different when comparing the larger CARICOM member states of Belize, Jamaica, Guyana, and Trinidad & Tobago, with the rest of the CARICOM member countries. Guyana, Belize, Jamaica, and Trinidad & Tobago (at least until recently) have generally well-organized systems for procuring land-use information, and for integrating, analyzing, and applying this information towards planning. These systems are housed in one or two institutions with sufficient resources to address land use planning comprehensively. 
Belize has a Land Management Programme, which supports land use planning, and that has produced an improved automated system for the management of land transactions and records, and will constitute a critical input to GIS for informing policy.
Guyana has a Land and Surveys Commission which has made investments in information systems to support land information records, and to provide information and products associated with survey and mapping.  The system includes databases and a GIS component. In addition to land parcel mapping, development of GIS standards is being coordinated through the Guyana Integrated Resources Information System, ensuring that GIS work is standardized and shared with other agencies.
Jamaica has a National Sustainable Development Plan, implemented by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), which attempts to integrate development and capital infrastructure investment decisions to a spatial context.
Trinidad & Tobago houses most of its planning functions within the Government, within its Town and Country Planning Division, part of the Ministry of Planning and Development. However, ecological and agricultural land-use planning concerns are under the management of the Environmental Management Authority (EMA), a separate statutory body which ensures that ecological approaches to human settlements planning are implemented, and that strategies and plans are introduced to use agricultural land optimally. In addition, there are other government agencies that deal with land settlement and administration. Therefore, the trend towards centralization of land-use information has been reverted recently and Trinidad might have to cope with the same information dissaggregation issues the rest of the CARICOM countries are facing. To address this issue, the establishment of a National Land Management Authority has been proposed to coordinate and monitor the functions of the various state agencies involved in managing state lands for sectoral purposes.
In the smaller CARICOM member states, land-use information is spread out amongst various government ministry departments (e.g. housing, agriculture, land evaluation, town and county planning). Information is frequently hard to access from outside of the institution it belongs to. As a result, one of the most pressing needs at the moment is the establishment of a coordinating committee for land use planning that would determine, among other things, what information is present, where it's located, and how to use this information once its collected. That is, to develop an inventory, a needs assessment, and ultimately, to devise ways to share and provide better access to land-use information.
In terms of data needs, cadastral information in the smaller CARICOM member states is frequently incomplete, partially because of the expense involved in the collection of this type of information. There is, similarly, a need for updating information on land cover, which entails acquiring expensive satellite imagery. Obtaining funding for acquiring information useful for land-use planning is paramount for many countries.
To address some of these data needs, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is engaged in several ongoing efforts to update land use and agriculture information for the Caribbean. Among other efforts, FAO has developed a global database on the state of soil, water, and plant nutrient resources in the Caribbean as part of its Gateway to Land and Water Information project. This PROCICARIBE-managed database is based at the Caribbean Agricultural Research & Development Institute (CARDI) in Trinidad.
FAO has also assisted Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines to develop a Land Resources Information System which comprises a GIS package (ArcView 8.1), as well as a database management system, to enter and manage land attribute data and integrate the data with the GIS software. Once completed, this data will be integrated into the Automated Land Evaluation System (ALES), a land use suitability information system developed by Cornell University.
Land evaluation can be a key tool for land use planning. Land evaluation consists of a diverse set of analytical techniques which may be used to describe land uses, to predict the response of land to these in both physical and economic terms, and to optimize land use in the face of multiple objectives and constraints. Almost always a land evaluation presents its results as maps. In addition, the location and other spatial characteristics of evaluation units are often important land characteristics in the evaluation itself. For this reason, a land evaluation system that incorporates the use of GIS presents an ideal tool for the automated processing of data used in land evaluation.
ALES, being piloted in three Eastern Caribbean countries, is a land information system which allows countries to determine the crops which are physically and economically best suited to their respective land units. ALES basically matches the land attributes to crop requirements and determines the most suitable options for land use, taking into consideration as well socio-economic variables, such as cost. ALES has the potential for being developed into a true "sustainable development" information system, by incorporating the capacity for estimating alternative and multi-criteria multi-objective decision-making development scenarios through the input of different development strategies.
Nomenclature
In the English speaking world, the terms land use planning, town and country planning, regional planning, town planning, urban planning, and urban design are often used interchangeably, and will depend on the country in question but do not always have the same meaning. In Europe the preferred term is increasingly spatial planning or more recently territorial cohesion (for regional and trans-national planning).
In Australia, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand, the term town planning is common, although regional planning, statutory planning and land use planning are also used.
In the United States and Canada, the terms current planning, urban planning and regional planning are more commonly used.
Functions
At its most basic level land use planning is likely to involve zoning and transport infrastructure planning. In most developed countries, land use planning is an important part of social policy, ensuring that land is used efficiently for the benefit of the wider economy and population as well as to protect the environment.

Land use planning encompasses the following disciplines:

Architecture, urban design, urban planning, landscape architecture and urban renewal usually address the selection of physical layout, scale of development, aesthetics, costs of alternatives and selection of building materials and impact upon landscape and species.
Environmental planning, will often address the implications of development and plans upon the environment, for example Strategic Environmental Assessment. At the very local level environmental planning may imply the use of tools to forecast impacts of development decisions, including roadway noise, and pollution, surface runoff and flooding assessments.
Because of the many disciplines and knowledge domains involved, land use planners are increasingly making use of Information Technology, such as Geographic Information Systems, and Spatial Decision Support Systems, to assist with analysis and decision-making.
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PROSPERITY CONSULTING GROUP

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PROSPERITY CONSULTING GROUP

Architect – Engineer - Planner

18501 Vidora Dr. #A Rowland Hts, Ca 91748

www.e-Architect.us

www.e-Engineer.us

www.e-Planner.us

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