Planned City Extensions
Urban growth of the past 30 years has largely resulted in crowded slums and sprawling settlements in the urban fringe. Cities are consuming land, increasingly, to accommodate new developments. In some regions, urban land has grown much faster than the urban population, resulting in less dense and, in general, more inefficient land use patterns. In addition, this is often happening in the absence of a viable spatial structure. Pressure on land also results in increased land prices and consequent occupation of marginal land by slums or leapfrogging development with urban sprawl. As a result, living conditions deteriorate and low density makes it costly and inefficient to provide services and infrastructure. The overall efficiency of settlements is reduced and city development hindered.
Mechanisms for ensuring an orderly expansion and densification of existing and planned neighbourhoods are needed in order to provide the city with a spatial structure that can support socioeconomic and environmental sustainability. In order to create this structure, expansions and densification plans are needed to enable cities to accommodate the expected growth in the next decades in a sustainable way. City expansions and densification plans shall provide for a rational urban structure to minimize transport and service delivery costs, optimize the use of land, and support the protection and organization of urban open spaces. The densification initiatives include suburban densification, area redevelopment, layout of new areas with higher densities, brownfield development, building conversions and transit-oriented developments.