The lack of proper urban planning often sees taxpayer money go to waste.
While urban planning manifests in various forms, perhaps the most questionable one is comprehensive long term planning. The vision, or the lack thereof, of formal planning can often cause chaos. This manifests itself by way of poor public participation, short-sighted planning and ignorance of processes.
Just a set of engineers and politicians taking ad hoc decisions can badly affect town planning, and professional urban planners should also be a part of the process along with the general public. Even as qualified architects draw up elaborate plans, these are then evaluated by unqualified clerks at the municipal level. A way to nip this issue in the bud is to have a single qualified architect directly report to the municipal commissioner on matters of urban planning.
Two of the biggest and most commonly seen misconceptions about urban planning are that it is a costly exercise that takes a very long time to complete and that any plan drawn up won’t take into account the ground realities and changes needed. The truth, however, is that proper planning can be done the right way. For instance, gathering a block of residents and getting a consensus that a road is needed at a certain alignment is proper planning, and this is just one of the ways in which proper planning can be done.
The only way to go about planning a city properly is to understand the need of the hour and then allocate the corresponding resources to commit to it, but only after taking into account the views of all stakeholders.