World Town Planning Day brings together planners and communities every 8 November to highlight the importance of town planning in creating sustainable places.
Drawing on his long and internationally acknowledged hands-on experience, Tony Lloyd-Jones’s talk provided a brief exploration of the role of planning as we move towards a predominantly ‘urban’ world, discussing the key economic, environmental and social challenges as faced by the different regions of the world and the implications for cities and their metropolitan hinterlands.
With now more than half of the world’s population living in urban areas, Tony explored the sustainability of increasing global prosperity in the context of urban challenges such as growing air pollution, energy and water use, carbon emissions, affordable housing, accessibility and traffic congestion among many others.
He also mentioned the potential risks linked to the current town planning’s opportunities and challenges, including the rapid urbanisation, combined with climate change, which increases the vulnerability of people and property to the threat of natural hazards. This has led ‘urban resilience’ to become an increasingly important concern of international development policy.
Tony Lloyd-Jones said during his talk: “To address these profound challenges, an ecosystem-based approach to spatial planning for the sustainable development will be critical, treating cities not as centres of consumption but as elements of a ‘circular metabolism’. This allows resources to be conserved and re-used; the ecosystems services of their surrounding rural areas to be preserved, and environmental impacts to be minimised. Resilience implies ‘adaptive mitigation’ – planning for the worst whilst designing the best interventions that the current state of global knowledge can offer.”
Tony is an architect-planner, urban designer and Director of Research and Consultancy at the University’s Max Lock Centre (MLC) which has been active in international development since the mid-90s. MLC has conducted research in Sub-Saharan Africa, South and South East Asia and Latin America, and has been involved in urban sustainability-related projects in the UK and Europe, generating research contract revenues of close to £3.5 million. MLC’s research also informs the School of Architecture and Cities’ popular Masters course in International Planning and Sustainable Development.