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Land-Use Planning in Adelaide, Australia


Land is a valuable natural resource that faces one of the greatest risks in nature due to human activities. The main risk facing land is the possibility of being exploited as man continues with his activities. Land forms the basis of all other activities; therefore, it becomes an inevitable aspect of human life. The ever soaring human population necessitates the need to have more room for settlements, farming and other social amenities. Human activities like mining, cultivating and military training makes the soil to lose its productivity (Kaiser and Godschalk 1995). There is no way of recycling or increasing land, and this poses crucial risks on this vital resource. There is the need to ensure necessary plans are put to regulate how people use this resource. Land use planning manages and optimizes efficiency and effectiveness of land in a metropolitan environment like the greater Adelaide area in Australia.

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Definition of Land Use Planning

This refers to the application of regulations, policies, laws and rules that aim at ensuring there is effective and efficient use of land as a natural resource (Hall 2010). These laws aim at promoting the establishment of buildings and other infrastructures in a manner that reflects order and logic in an area. The measures put ensures human beings make appropriate use of the limited available land while at the same time taking care of their needs. Modernisation is driving many countries to the extent of being unable to plan and provide essential services to their citizens. This is due to the rise in unplanned buildings, poor infrastructure network and ineffective water and sewerage systems. However, land use planning plays crucial roles in ensuring there is appropriate use of land in a metropolitan environment.

Density, Street Layout, Precinct Design and Land Use Mix

Adelaide is a cosmopolitan, modern city that attracts the attention of many people living in the suburbs of Australia and other nearby cities. Therefore, the probability of being densely populated is inevitable. People tend to move closer to urban areas in order to access social amenities and economic facilities with ease. This forces them to concentrate in urban areas and ignore the rural sides. Therefore, the result is unbalanced population distribution and settlements (Buxton and Taylor 2011). However, the application of land use planning policies ensures land is used effectively. Population density does not concentrate on one area but rather is evenly distributed in the location. Regions that have unplanned structures and buildings have connection problems unlike those that have efficient transport and communication systems. Adelaide is a fast growing region that necessitates the need to have policies that regulate how people use their land. The 30 year plan for the greater Adelaide region outlines how buildings ought to be constructed bearing in mind the provision of transport and communication networks. However, appropriate land use planning ensures there is plenty of space to allow accessibility in and out of that place (Linden and Burgman 2005). In addition, there is uniformity in the manner in which buildings are constructed giving room to the formation of streets, lanes, drives ways and slip roads. It becomes easy to implement any design in such areas since there is appropriate planning that enables individuals to use land effectively. Moreover, planners can establish various activities in an area since there is enough room for all social amenities.

Subdivision Practices, Regulations and Zoning

The greater Adelaide region is without doubt one of the major areas in Australia that are selling like hot cakes. People try their best to acquire as much space as possible due to the foreseen opportunities for business investments and residential premises. The land has for years been slowly converted from agricultural oriented activities that usually involve large scale farming to settlements and commercial structures. This land is subdivided into smaller portions in order to accommodate as many people as possible. This is one of the challenging factors that urban planners and engineers in Adelaide region fear due to the risks associated with unplanned urban developments. Therefore, land use planning ensures land is subdivided into equal portions depending on their locations. The need to use zoning regulations ensures the authorities control unplanned settlements and establishment of buildings.

Zoning ensures the authorities provide essential services like social amenities and sewerage systems while at the same time allowing people to carry out their daily activities. This aspect enables people to access their daily personal needs and access social amenities like hospitals, schools, churches. The practice merges economic and social factors in a balanced manner. Even though, the greater Adelaide region is slowly becoming an actively economic city there is the need to address the social needs of the population (Wilby 2007). This calls for the implementation of the 30 year plan and the use of local urban planning acts to ensure proper land use. These regulations and the plan aims at ensuring Adelaide region becomes a self sustaining region that has economic and social independency. People can access social amenities and carry out their industrial and business activities within the boundaries of Adelaide region.

Infrastructure Systems (Transport, Water, Energy, Sewers)

A well structured infrastructure system is the back bone of social and economic development in any region. There is no single region that can boast of a vibrant economy without having an efficient and working infrastructure. This forms the basis on which regions offer growth opportunities to locals and foreigners. As towns develop into cities, the available infrastructure becomes a thorn in the toe of their inhabitants. Frequent traffic jams, blocked sewers, power and water shortages become frequent nightmares. However, land use planning ensures these aspects do not cause inconveniences to the residents. The 30 year development plan for the greater Adelaide region gives a glimpse into the manner in which this region will look like in the near future (Chapin 1979). The plan considers all developmental aspects of not only the Adelaide region but also of the globe keeping in mind modernisation aspects that are changing the world. Planning accommodates changes in the social environmental and economic aspects that are dynamic and unpredictable.

For instance, the plan outlines a sewer system that directs all wastes to one region that is far from human settlements. It gives room for expansion of road networks and allows the expansion of social amenities like schools and health facilities (Hamin and Garran 2009). The plan not only addresses the social and economic needs of the region but also considers the importance of having a clean environment. This is possible through the zoning proposal that allows the establishing of industries and manufacturing plants in secluded regions far from human settlements. The plan outlines an efficient rail and road network that not only allows for easy movement of people but also facilitates the provision of emergency services like rescue and evacuation operations (Daniels and Tait 2005). The provision of alternative sources of energy like solar and wind will reduce overreliance on electricity and gas for domestic and industrial use. This will also ensure a constant supply of power apart from offering cheap sources of energy to the population. Efficient sewerage systems ensures clean environment and offers possibilities of biogas as alternative sources of energy. Therefore, the plan will offer accessibility to the greater Adelaide region as well as efficient and reliable sources of energy.

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Open Space, Biodiversity and Environmental Management

All regions in the world face key risks in terms of climate change that threatens the existence of human life. There is the need to use environmental friendly ways of production (social and economic). The greater Adelaide region is without doubt one of the risky areas that face environmental challenges. Land use planning helps promote efficient land use that observes environmental laws like the anti pollution regulations. It is necessary to identify key regions that need attention while planning on the various activities on the limited land available for development (Searle 2010). This region has an advantage of being a cosmopolitan environment meaning that there are social and economic activities going on at the same time. The 30 year plan for the greater Adelaide region offers room for open space for the construction of social amenities like schools, hospitals and playing grounds. The plan considers the population growth rate as one of the driving forces behind the need to set up open spaces for future developments. It is not enough to plan for the present needs since this creates inconveniences in the future. However, the plan has put measures to set some areas for the expansion of the present amenities like sewers to house wastes from domestic and industrial activities that will increase with the increase in population. Moreover, the plan, through zoning, promotes the establishment of an industrial region that has minimal and manageable pollution cases (Fulton1991). At the same time, the plan has put in place mechanisms to combat cases of environmental pollution by directing sewage and waste disposal to one region. Garbage collection and disposal are key areas the plan has given priority. The proposal ensures the region boasts of an economic progress and also checks the safety of the wastes that come from industries and homes.

Human Services

The need to have vibrant human service system supersedes other development aspects in a country. Even though, people are attracted to urban areas due to the many employment opportunities and offers there is the need to address the human needs of the population. Many cities have employment opportunities that will never get people to fill them due to inefficiency in offering human services. People need to settle and work in areas that offer cheap and efficient essential services to them employment opportunities, security and healthcare not withstanding (Lund 2006). Majority of the rural population moves to urban areas to secure employment opportunities. However, most of them go back home due to the challenges that arise in the city. Adelaide region is not different from other regions in the world in terms of offering employment opportunities. The presence of industries and establishments offer various employment opportunities to the population. Therefore, there are higher chances that when the region develops there will be an influx of the rural population and that from other cities to seek employment opportunities. In addition, investors are keen on the likelihood of employment opportunities springing up in the Adelaide region in the near future (Levy 2009).

If there is proper land use, there will be efficient transport system, reliable communication network and working energy, water and sewerage systems. This will give room for expansion of business activities in this region. As the local authorities implement their land use acts, there will be order in the manner in which activities of this region operate. Therefore, employment opportunities will without doubt spring up. Moreover, Adelaide region will become a 24 hour city that aims at providing goods and services to not only the inhabitants within the boundaries but also to those in the nearby locations (Margi 1994). There will be all forms of job opportunities for all types of staffs. The presence of biodiversity in this environment means that many healthy conscious people will flock this region seeking safe settlements. The health of a human being is more valuable than any other activity. Therefore, people will sacrifice their money by commuting from far places provided they access safe environment. Whenever, employment opportunities arise people consider the safety of their health before accepting or rejecting the offer. However, the 30 year plan for this region will promote the establishment of a pollution free environment.


Land use planning ensures human beings make appropriate use of this precious natural resource. Since people can not multiply land, the best they can do is to make effective and efficient use of it to promote productivity and safeguard human health. The 30 year plan for the grater Adelaide region is one of the solutions that nations should use to make appropriate use of land. Residents and land owners should offer room for the implementation of land use policies since they are for their own benefits. These policies must reflect and address the present and future needs of residents in a given area.


Buxton, M. and Taylor, E. (2011). Urban Land Supply, Governance and the Pricing of Land. Urban Policy and Research Institute, Oxfordshire.

Chapin, F. S. (1979). Urban Land Use Planning: Urbana and Chicago. University of Illinois Press, Illinois.

Daniels, C. B. and Tait, C. J. (2005). Adelaide: Nature of a City: The Ecology of a Dynamic City from 1836 to 2036. BioCity Press, Nottingham.

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Fulton, W. (1991). Guide to California Planning. Solano Press Books, California.

Hall, T. (2010). Goodbye to the Backyard: The Minimization of Private Open Space in Australian Outer-Suburban Estate. Urban Policy and Research, New Jersey.

Hamin, E. M. and Garran, N. (2009). Urban Form and Climate Change: Balancing Adaptation and Mitigation in Australia. Habitat International, Detroit.

Kaiser, E. J. and Godschalk, D. R. (1995). Urban Land Use Planning: Urbana and Chicago. University of Illinois Press, Illinois.

Levy, J. M. (2009). Contemporary Urban Planning, Longman, New York.

Linden, D. B. and Burgman, M. A., (2005). Principles for Conservation, Practical Conservation Biology. Collingwood Press, Ontario.

Lund, H. (2006). Reasons for Living in a Transit-Oriented Development, and Associated Transit Use. Journal of the American Planning Association, New York.

Margi, S. (1994). Urban Density Definitions. Urban Futures, New York.

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Searle, G. (2010). New Century Australian Spatial Planning: Recentralization Under Labor. Urban Policy and Research Institute, Oxfordshire.

Wilby, R. L. (2007). A Review of Climate Change Impacts on the Built Environments. Jossey-Bass, New York.

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