Nov 29, 2011

Missing active layers of master plan

By Anoop Jha

Mapping of Active Layer, a new way of planning Cities

Layers in City Masterplan  
Master planning process through out the recent past has remained somewhat similar across the regions and continents in spite of technological advancement. From the technical point of view (apart from creative side) development of city master plan needs a totally new approach. We need to use the technology, tools, and resources available in a best possible and creative ways. 

There are two sides of Masterplan one is creativity, other is logic. There is always some logic that goes into preparation of masterplan. Masterplan is outcome of logical interpretation of gathered data related to city and region, based on the inferences derived from the analysis of data, hence richer the data-set more sound would be the masterplan. Planners talk about smarter cities but there master-plans look like same old conventional map, most of the city planners do not understand that its high time that master planning process need to change.

Either Planners are unwilling to take a new approach to develop masterplan by exploiting the potential of available technological resources or possibly age old development guidelines are so lenient and flexible that they do not feel the need to do so. 

Its high time that Urban planners should understand the significance of active mapping layers

Apart from usual layers of masterplan like Landuse, Infrastructure, Transport Network, Settlement, Built mass, there are numerous other possible layers which can prove vital for the city planning and which are currently being ignored, Lets call them "Active Layers of Masterplan". Theses layers are dynamic and qualitative in nature in a sense there behavior keeps changing and locations shifting, but after analyzing for certain period of time a recognizable pattern emerges which can be further act as an additional layer and criteria for developing a holistic and realistic masterplan. similarly we can have many more layers and criteria to further articulate the masterplan. These no. of active layers tend to increase as we understand the significance and impact of such criteria on city planning and lives citizens, as well as when we mobilize the resources to collect as much data as possible, no. of layers also tend to increase with the advancement of mapping technology like, GIS, satellite image interpretation, etc. one Very crucial thing to understand related to these layers in totality is that all of these layers can be directly or indirectly related to and influencing each other. thence all the permutation and combination between these layers in terms of impact, should be carefully studied to logically  arrive at a holistic situational analysis and furtehr prepare masterplan. Some of the possible "Active Layers" which can be included in planning process can are as follows - 


- City Noise Layer /  Decibel map of city - (for livability assessment, landuse and transport planning) 
- Heat / Temperature mapping (for livability, built mass  orientation and location of city axis and public spaces, plazas)
- Day Shadow land Light Layer (for livability, built mass orientation and location,  public spaces location, walkability)
- Night Light mapping (desirability, safety and security, walkability, nightlife, understanding cold public spots,)
- Tecom and Mobile Signal mapping (accessibility, density flux analysis, concentration and movement pattern of population) 
- Time series density mapping
- Movement and Density pattern in seasonal variation
- Social interaction mapping
- Accessibility mapping,
- Mapping of Public Semi-public and private domain
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