Environmental planning is the process of facilitating decision making to carry out development with the consideration given to the natural environmental, social, political, economic and governance factors and provides a holistic frame work to achieve sustainable outcomes.
Environmental planning concerns itself with the decision making processes where they are required for managing relationships that exist within and between natural systems and human systems. Environmental planning endeavors to manage these processes in an effective, orderly, transparent and equitable manner for the benefit of all constituents within such systems for the present and for the future. Present day environmental planning practices are the result of continuous refinement and expansion of the scope of such decision making processes. Some of the main elements of present day environmental planning are:
- Socio-economic development is the process of social and economic development in a society.Socio-economic development is measured with indicators, such as GDP, life expectancy, literacy and levels of employment. Changes in less-tangible factors are also considered, such as personal dignity, freedom of association, personal safety and freedom from fear of physical harm, and the extent of participation in civil society.
- Urban planning is a technical and political process concerned with the use of land and design of the urban environment, including air, water, and the infrastructure passing into and out of urban areas such as transportation and distribution networks. Urban Planning is also referred to as urban and regional, regional, town, city, rural planning or some combination in various areas worldwide.Urban planning guides and ensures the orderly development of settlements and satellite communities which commute into and out of urban areas or share resources with it. It concerns itself with research and analysis, strategic thinking, architecture, urban design, public consultation, policy recommendations, implementation and management.Urban Planners work with the cognate fields of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Civil Engineering, and City Administration to achieve strategic, policy and sustainability goals. Early urban planners were often members of the these cognate fields. Today urban planning is a separate, independent professional discipline. The discipline is the broader category that includes many different sub-fields such as land-use planning, zoning, environmental planning, and transportation planning.
- Regional development is the provision of aid and other assistance to regions which are less economically developed. Regional development may be domestic or international in nature. The implications and scope of regional development may therefore vary in accordance with the definition of a region, and how the region and its boundaries are perceived internally and externally.
- Natural resource management & integrated land useNatural resource management refers to the management of natural resources such as land, water, soil, plants and animals, with a particular focus on how management affects the quality of life for both present and future generations (stewardship).Natural resource management deals with managing the way in which people and natural landscapes interact. It brings together land use planning, water management, biodiversity conservation, and the future sustainability of industries likeagriculture, mining, tourism, fisheries and forestry. It recognises that people and their livelihoods rely on the health and productivity of our landscapes, and their actions as stewards of the land play a critical role in maintaining this health and productivity.
Natural resource management specifically focuses on a scientific and technical understanding of resources and ecology and the life-supporting capacity of those resources. Environmental management is also similar to natural resource management. In academic contexts, the sociology of natural resources is closely related to, but distinct from, natural resource management.
Land use is the human use of land. Land use involves the management and modification of natural environment or wilderness into built environment such as settlements and semi-natural habitats such as arable fields, pastures, and managed woods.