• For achieving overall economic development, integration of natural resources, human resources, and capital is necessary.
  • The developing countries concentrate on mobilizing local resources for sustainable development and regional planning. Natural resources encompass land, water resources, fisheries, mineral resources, and so on.
  • The principal objective of regional planning is to maximize resource development potential by maximizing national output.
  • This can be possible only through the optimum utilization of resources in the short term and sustainable utilization of the resources in the long term.

Planning for sustainable development involves the following major principles.

  • Resources must be exploited in an economical manner. This would help not only to minimize waste of resources but also to convert the waste products into economically viable by-products. Technological up-gradation is needed to achieve such a goal.
  • Society has to be aware enough to conserve renewable resources and also to conserve non-­renewable resources.
  • Multipurpose use of resources can prevent loss of resources. With scientific advancements, newer applications of resources (such as evolving new by-products of coal during the 19th and 20th centuries) have proved to be extremely beneficial for human civilization.
  • Integrated planning is important for the development of the economy in a sustainable manner.
    • Examples are found in the case of multi-purpose river valley projects where the same water resource has been used for different purposes—irrigation, hydro-power generation, pisciculture, etc.
    • The multi-level planning in India aims at the planning mechanism being integrated from the panchayat level to the Central level for the betterment of society and economy.
  • Industrial locations should be planned in economically viable regions; e.g., the weight-losing industries such as iron and steel should be located near the source of raw materials for achieving maximum profit and optimum utilization of resources.
  • Prevention of environmental hazards such as pollution created by automobiles and industries is important for the developmental aspect of planning.

World Development Report on Sustainable Development:

  • World Development Report 2003: ‘Sustainable Development in a Dynamic World’ addresses some of the spatial challenges of economic development in the context of competing policy objectives—reducing poverty, maintaining growth, improving social cohesion, and protecting the environment.
  • The report argues that the spatial consequences of depleting finite environmental assets mean that “the burden of guaranteeing sustainable development must be shared locally, nationally, and globally.” Environmental and social stresses reflect the failure of institutions to manage and provide public goods, to correct spillovers, and broker differing interests. Because the spatial extent of spillovers from the degradation of environmental assets varies by problem, appropriate institutions are needed at different levels, from local through national to global.
  • The report shows that the distinctive feature of global challenges—such as sustaining environmental assets like water and land—is the lack of a central authority for coordination and enforcement. However, despite this obstacle, there are encouraging examples of successful trans-national institution building to table environmental problems that cross borders.
  • Success has been greatest in cases such as stratospheric ozone and acid rain, where the problem can be made operational in precise technical terms; where international action can therefore focus on tightly defined interventions, and where the perceived benefits of collective action have been high, for key actors, relative to the costs.
  • It will be more difficult for other environmental and social problems—where the relationship between action and impact is less well understood and where the costs and benefit of action do not coincide.
  • Turning to the environmental implications of fighting poverty, the report acknowledges that the provision of productive work and a better quality of life for current and future generations in developing countries will require substantial growth in income and productivity.
  • This in turn will require that the social, economic, and environmental problems and opportunities accompanying the transition to a predominantly urban world be carefully managed.
  • The report points out that while economists focus mainly on sectoral changes that accompany economic growth, “the most fundamental social and economic transformation—from traditional rural to modern urban—is manifested spatially”.
  • High-productivity, modern economies are generally higher in density and dependent on activities that benefit from proximity and do not require a great deal of lands, such as manufacturing and services. The shift to these activities and rapidly changing land-use patterns generate both social and environmental problems. The increasing share of national populations that will be living in urban areas is one of the main forces of social and economic transformation.
  • Urban areas are expected to grow and the number of urban residents in developing countries will double through a combination of rural-to-urban migration, natural population increases in cities, and the reclassification of adjacent rural areas as urban areas.
  • The growth of urban areas will require physical expansion of the urban periphery as well as redevelopment and densification within cities. Urban land-use patterns, right-of-way arrangements, and doubling standards will affect energy and water use. The massive new investment in the capital stock of cities required for the doubling of urban population by 2030 will have a definite environmental impact.
  • The report sheds light on the plight of the growing numbers of urban poor left to fend for themselves in the wake of the rapid spatial transformation in developing countries. This has led to the proliferation of informal settlements without services, where residents face environmental hazards.
  • Neglect in these growing urban slums creates high private as well as social costs. These costs can be mitigated through corrective measures such as confirming the rights responsibilities associated with the occupation and use of land, and regularising tenure status.
  • Tenure reduces some of the risks that discourage residents from investing in their houses and shops and gives residents a stronger stake in urban society and an incentive to work with local officials to obtain services.

Management of environment encompasses two approaches viz:

  • (i) preservative and
  • (ii) conservative.
  • The former deals with the management of the environment without any kind of human interference with nature. But the approach seems to be unrealistic.
  • The second approach emphasizes on human adjustments with the physico-biotic environment in relation to techno-behavioral institutional adjustments.

For planners, there are two approaches to resource management:

  1. The holistic approach believes that environmental problems can be tackled by solving all the problems together,
  2. The monistic approach stresses on narrowly-defined solutions for particular problems.

J.N.R. Jeffers has formulated (1973) five-stage iterative planning for land use and resource management.

  • Stage 1: Identification of common agreement on goals and objectives.
  • Stage 2: Research and development for an adequate understanding of the relevant issues.
  • Stage 3: Identification and evaluation of alternative modus operandi for the fulfillment of the objectives.
  • Stage 4: Selection and implementation of a specific strategy.
  • Stage 5: Monitoring results along with modification of plans according to changing demands and values.

For sustainable planning and development, resources are further categorized as recyclable resources, i.e., a special type of non-renewable resource (e.g., metals) and inexhaustible or flow resources (e.g., sunlight, wind).

It is extremely important for planners to consider the ecological aspect for our future survival. A concrete database of ecological resources should be prepared by conducting an extensive field survey and using remote sensing technology.

Evaluation of ecological resources should be undertaken. The Biological Record Centre of the Nature Conservancy Council, the UK has elaborated a scheme that calculates threat value for individual species of plants.

C.R. Tubbs and J.W. Blackwood evolved (i) Primary ecological zones, (ii) Ecological evaluation for each and every ecological zone on the basis of general land use and biodiversity of habitat, and (iii) Relative ecological evaluation map.

Conservation of nature for sustainable development and planning has the following objectives:

  • To preserve a quality environment that has aesthetic value, and
  • To ensure a steady yield of flora and fauna along with renewal of resources.

Ecological conservation may be achieved by following the measures mentioned below:

  1. Nature reserves
  2. National parks and sanctuaries
  3. Protected locations for endangered species e.g., Project Tiger Scheme (India).
  4. Formulation, enactment, and implementation of law
  5. Effective measurement of endangered species population
  6. Research to study biological behavior of animals
  7. Spreading environmental awareness among common people etc.

Man-made constructions such as huge dams, oil pipelines, industries have raised hue and cry all over the world, particularly in the last few decades. Lack of adequate planning in the case of Aswan dam (Egypt) has caused major problems like silting of reservoirs; reduction of plankton in the lower course of River Nile has adversely affected species like sardine, mackerrel, lobster, etc. Reservoirs and canals are affected heavily by snails” which cause deadly diseases. Reservoirs have increased the occurrence of diseases like malaria; they have also increased soil salinity which has led to reduced soil fertility.

On the contrary, the Trans-Alaska project was implemented after adequate planning. Therefore, the pipeline route carefully avoided the seismic active zone of Alaska as well as the delicate marine environment of the Pacific Ocean.

Without proper planning, the project could have caused disasters like the discharge of effluents, thawing of permafrost regions, loss of valuable flora and fauna, etc.

For the development of agriculture, agro-climatic planning has been advocated by experts belonging to various disciplines. The application of chemical fertilizers is gradually being replaced by bio-manures in different parts of the world.

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