Planning shapes the places, where people live and work and the country, in which people live. It plays a key role in supporting the Government's wider social, environmental and economic objectives and for sustainable communities. (PPS1)
Planning Policy Statements (PPSs) and their predecessors Planning Policy Guidance Notes (PPGs) are prepared by the Government after public consultation to explain statutory provisions and provide guidance to local authorities and others on planning policy and the operation of the planning system. This seminar paper will explore the role of the planning systems in the sustainable development, with the help of Planning Policy Statements which play major contribution in encouraging sustainable development and will explain the sustainable housing development and 'how the planning system will facilitate and promote sustainable and inclusive patterns of housing development'?. Also it will focus on the provisions for the sustainable housing development in India, (Eco housing Policy).
WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT?
The broad concept of sustainable development can be defined as - 'Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs' (Brundtland Report definition 1987). In 1999 the Government set out its own definition in the National Strategy for Sustainable Development: "Ensuring a better quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to come. Sustainable development balances social progress, environmental resource protection and economic growth and stability, now and for the future. The planning system has important part to play in promoting sustainable development. Sustainable Development identifies four broad objectives:
1. Effective protection of the environment,
2. Maintenance of high and stable levels of economic growth and employment,
3. Social progress that recognises everyone's needs; and
4. Prudent use of natural resources.
Sustainable Development in the housing association sector will significantly contribute to the development of sustainable communities across the country. Sustainable housing has the potential to produce good quality housing at a price that is affordable both in the short and long term. The concept of sustainability has been around for a number of years now; however its application to housing has been slow. So planning system should play a major role to encourage the sustainability patterns in the housing development. A truly sustainable housing project should incorporate economic, social and environmental issues in the planning and design stages with the aim of providing a building that is affordable, accessible and environmentally sound. (PPS 1, 2009)
HOW DOES HOUSING CONTRIBUTE TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT?
1. High quality and well-managed housing is a cornerstone of sustainable communities.
2. The location, planning, layout and design of housing make an important contribution to sustainable development. Equally important is the task of creating and maintaining communities that reflect multi-cultural diversity and cater for the needs of older people, vulnerable groups and those with special needs.
3. The quality and condition of housing has a major impact on health and well-being. It affects access to education and employment and has a considerable influence on people's motivation and sense of self-esteem.
4. Many housing association residents suffer from multiple deprivation and social exclusion and depend on benefits. They are, therefore, a key target group for many of the government's policies and initiatives including social inclusion, alleviating child poverty, supporting people, decent homes, employment generation, the alleviation of fuel poverty and health and education improvement.
5. The selection of development sites (for example, on Brownfield or Greenfield land), the choice of building materials, residents' use of such resources as energy and water, and the availability of public transport and other forms of transport (walking/cycling) all have major environmental implications. (Green City, 2005)
PLANNING SYSTEM & SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
The planning system is vitally important as the Government's central mechanism for putting its principles of sustainable development into practice.
The principles of sustainable development have been incorporated in the government's vision for sustainable communities. Planning has a key role to play in creation of sustainable communities which will stand the rest of time, where people want to live and which will enable people to meet their aspirations and potential. For this to happen, the country needs a transparent, flexible, predictable, efficient and effective planning system that will produce quality development needed to deliver sustainable development and secure sustainable communities. Planning systems will facilitate and promote sustainable and inclusive patterns in new housing development by,
1. Making suitable land available for development in line with economic, social and environmental objectives to improve quality of life of people.
2. Contributing to sustainable economic development.
3. Protecting and enhancing the natural and historic environment, the quality and character of the countryside and existing communities.
4. Ensuring high quality development through good and inclusive design and the efficient use of resources.
5. Ensuring that development supports existing communities and contributions to the creation of safe, sustainable, liveable and mixed communities with good access of jobs and key services for all members of community.
To encourage the sustainable housing development, UK government has made some good provisions in the local and regional government planning systems, like Planning Policy Statements (PPS), code for sustainable homes etc. Planning policy statements (PPS) set out the government's national policies on different aspects of land use planning in UK. The policies set out in PPS will need to be taken in account by regional planning bodies in preparation on regional spatial strategies. (PPS 1, 2009)
WHAT SHOULD PLANNING SYSTEM DO TO ENCOURAGE SUSTAINABLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT?
In preparation of development plans and policies, planning systems should seek some facts related to community, environment, and economy which depend upon surrounding commercial and industrial development, transportation facility, jobs, health and education etc. To encourage and promote sustainable patterns in new housing development, planning systems should,
1. Promote national, regional, sub-regional, and local economies by providing a positive planning framework for sustainable economic growth to support efficient, competitive and innovative business, commercial and industrial sectors.
2. Promote urban and rural regeneration to improve the well being of communities, improve facilities, promote high quality and safe development and create new opportunities for the people living in those communities.
3. Promote communities which are inclusive, healthy, safe and crime free, whilst respecting the diverse needs of communities and the special needs of particular sectors of the community.
4. Bring forward sufficient land of a suitable quality in appropriate locations to meet the expected needs for housing taking into account issues such as accessibility and sustainable transport needs, the provision of essential infrastructure, including for sustainable waste management, and the need to avoid flood risk and other natural hazards.
5. Provide improved access for all to jobs, health, education, shops, leisure and community facilities, open space, sport and recreation, by ensuring that new development is located where everyone can access services or facilities on foot, bicycle or public transport rather than having to rely on access by car, while recognising that this may be more difficult in rural areas.
6. Focus developments that attract a large number of people, especially retail, leisure and office development, in existing centres to promote their vitality and viability, social inclusion and more sustainable patterns of development.
7. Reduce the need to travel and encourage accessible public transport provision to secure more sustainable patterns of transport development.
Community involvement is an essential element in delivering sustainable development and creating sustainable and safe communities. Communities should be asked to offer ideas about what is their vision for the development in their area and how it can be achieved. The planning and compulsory purchase act 2004 requires regional planning bodies and local planning authorities to prepare a statement of community development, in which they set out their policy on involving their community in preparing regional spatial strategies, local development documents and on consulting on planning applications.
Planning systems should seek to maintain and improve the local environment and help to mitigate the effects of declining environment quality through positive policies on issues such as design, conservation and provision of public space. Planning authorities should seek to enhance the environment as part of the development proposals. Significant advert impacts on the environment should be avoided and alternative options which might reduce or eliminate those impacts pursued.
Planning authorities should demonstrate how their plans are integrating various elements of sustainable development and should seek to achieve outcomes which enable social, environmental and economic objectives to be achieved together. Considering sustainable development in an integrated manner when preparing development plans, and ensuring that policies in plans reflect this integrated approach, are the key factors in delivering sustainable development through the planning system. The spatial planning approach provides the framework for delivering sustainable development. In preparing spatial plans, planning authorities should:
1. Set a clear vision for the future pattern of development, with clear objectives for achieving that vision and strategies for delivery and implementation. Planning should lead and focus on outcomes. Plan policies must be set out clearly, with indicators against which progress can be measured.
2. Consider the needs and problems of the communities in their areas and how they interact, and relate them to the use and development of land. They should deal not only with what can be built where and in what circumstances, but should set out also how social, economic and environmental objectives will be achieved through plan policies.
3. Seek to integrate the wide range of activities relating to development and regeneration. Plans should take full account of other relevant strategies and programmes and, where possible, be drawn up in collaboration with those responsible for them. The aim should be to co-ordinate urban and rural regeneration strategies, regional economic and housing strategies, community development and local transport plans with development plans. (PPS 1, 2009)
PLANNING POLICY STATEMENT 3
PPS3 sets out the national planning policy framework for delivering the government's housing objectives. A principle aim of the PPS3 is to underpin the government's response to the 'Barker Review of housing supply' and the necessary step change in housing delivery, through a new, more responsive approach to land supply at local level. PPS 3 sets out policies designed to achieve the desired outcomes upon PPS 1, which sets out the strategic role of planning in delivering sustainable development. Sustainability Appraisal (SA) is a key means of ensuring housing policies help to deliver sustainable development objectives, in particular seeking to minimise environmental impact in consideration of climate and flood risk.
Good design is fundamental to the development of high quality new housing, which contributes to the sustainable and mixed communities. As mentioned in PPS 1, good design should contribute positively to making places better and liveable for the people. While assessing the design quality of a proposed new housing development, planning systems should check, is it easily accessible and well connected to public transport and community facilities and services, is it integrated with the neighbouring buildings and the local area more generally in terms of scale, density, layout, access, etc. (PPS 3, 2009)
ECO HOUSING SUSTAINABLE HOUSING PROGRAMME IN INDIA
India has been witnessing a very rapid and country-wide urbanization. It is high time that people recognize this as a positive social force, which needs to be planned and monitored imaginatively. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) is a major initiative by the government to restore, rebuild and renew Indian cities to make them global gateways. The government of India has taken some initiatives like eco-housing programme, towards sustainable development, considering the increasing globalisation and environmental concern of India. The Eco-Housing program implemented under technical assistance from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will play a strategic and central role in countering the divide between the need for urbanization and the demand for resources. As such, Eco-housing assumes significance because it effectively addresses issues related to sustainable development and it will help reduce the load on municipal infrastructure. This program is running in a partnership between some institutional bodies and local government bodies like International Institute of Energy Conservation (IIEC), Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) etc.
The government of India has proposed some interventions to make the task of Eco-housing possible and feasible. Some of them are mentioned as follows,
Development of Eco Housing Performance Assessment Tools Eco- Housing program will develop a set of environmental qualifying criteria for including a project in its fold. These criteria will be based on local environmental issues and will have a simplified checklist of measures aimed at architects, builders, financial institutions, and owners.
Effecting Policy Changes - In order to institutionalize green buildings through any market mechanisms, a strong constituency and educating the public officials becomes a key requirement, and the program will help create policy changes to mobilize such initiatives.
Developing a sustainable Institutional Mechanism - Developing a lasting institutional mechanism through partnerships is the most important goal of the Eco-Housing program.
Demonstration Projects A demonstration becomes important for creating a revolution in the market or acceptance of the idea amongst the public. Eco-Housing project will use demonstration projects as a key tool at various stages of the program development to advocate the program objectives and create public awareness. (EHMP, 2009)
For the achievement of sustainability, planning decisions should be taken in accordance with the development plan unless other material considerations indicate otherwise. Planning systems, like local planning authorities & regional planning bodies, can encourage and promote sustainable patterns in new housing development only when planning systems,
Ensure that sustainable development is pursued in an integrated manner, in line with the principles for sustainable development set out in the UK strategy, and development plans promote outcomes in which environmental, economic and social objectives are achieved together over time.
Ensure that development plans contribute to global sustainability by addressing the causes and potential impacts of climate change through policies which reduce energy use, reduce emissions (for example, by encouraging patterns of development which reduce the need to travel by private car, or reduce the impact of moving freight), promote the development of renewable energy resources, and take climate change impacts into account in the location and design of development.
Promote high quality inclusive design in the layout of new developments and individual buildings in terms of functions and impact, not just for the short term but over the life time of the development. Design which fails to take the opportunities available for improving the character and quality of an area should not be accepted.
Ensure that sustainable development is treated in an integrated way in their development plans. In particular, they should carefully consider the interrelationship between social inclusion, protecting and enhancing the environment, the prudent use of natural resources and economic development.
1. Low, N., Gleeson, B., Green, R., and Radovic, D, 2005, The green city: Sustainable Homes, Sustainable Suburbs, Taylor and Francis, London
2. Farr, D. (2008), Sustainable Urbanism, urban design with nature. Wiley, J. & sons, New Jersey.
3. Harris, C. And Borer, P. (2008), The Whole House Book, ecological building design and materials. Centre for Alternative Technology Publications.
4. DCLG, (2006) PPS 3, Housing, DCLG, London.
5. ODPM, (2003), Sustainable Communities: Building for the Future, ODPM, London
6. DCLG, (2006) PPS 1, Delivering Sustainable development, DCLG, London.
7. Community and local government, (2009) Sustainable Communities Act 2007. Available from: http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/localgovernment/localspendingreportsresponses Accessed on - 25th November 2009.
8. Eco Housing Mainstreaming Partnership (EHMP), (2009), Eco housing Assessment criteria. Available from : http://www.ecohousingindia.org/downloads/Eco_Housing_Brochure.pdf Accessed on 26th November 2009.