Principles that counties should follow in planning for land

As part of devolution, and a requirement of the Constitution, all counties are expected to flair 10-year Integrated County Development Plans. These plans are released on their respective visions, centered on the dreams they have hitherto yearned for but never had a chance to implement.

Respective county leaderships envision the goals and plans that will solve problems while guiding development into the future, breaking free from the shackles of centralized planning.These plans envision exceptional living conditions and standards for more productive residents.

All economic, social and cultural activities happen on land: be it roads, research, health services, schools, colleges or markets for produce. Then there is entertainment, biodiversity, ecology and public accessible spaces.It is psychological therapy to have access to public open area. Urban land use planning ought to follow the 10 principles of exceptional urbanism, which are outlined by Prof Christopher Benninger.

Rule one: A balance with nature emphasize the difference between utilizing resources and exploiting them.

Rule two: Balance with tradition is intended to integrate plan interventions with existing cultural assets, respecting traditional practices and precedents of style.

Rule three: Appropriate technology emphasizes use of building materials, construction techniques, infrastructural systems and project management that are consistent with local contexts.

Rule four: Conviviality sponsors social interaction through public domains, in a hierarchy of places, devised for personal solace, companionship, romance, neighborliness, community and civic life, the same way as the Africans lived for years before colonization of land and mind.

Rule five: Efficiency promotes a balance between the consumption of resources such as energy, time and fiscal resources, with planned achievements in comfort, safety, security, access, tenure, productivity and hygiene.

Rule six: Human scale encourages ground level, pedestrian oriented urban patterns, based on anthropometric dimensions.

Rule seven: Opportunity matrix envisions the city as a vehicle for personal, social, and economic development, through equitable access to a range of organizations, services, facilities and information providing a variety of opportunities for enhanced employment and economic engagement.

Rule eight: Regional integration envisions the city as an organic part of a larger environmental, socio-economic and cultural-geographic system, essential for its sustainability.

Rule nine: Balanced movement advocates integrated transport systems comprising walkways, cycle paths, bus lanes, light rail corridors, underground metros and automobile channels.

Rule ten: Institutional integrity holds that good practices inherent in considered principles can only be realized through accountable, transparent, competent and participatory county governance, founded on appropriate data bases, due entitlements, civic responsibilities and duties.

The overarching assumption here is that land is available for all these grand dreams. In theory and in practice, plot must be made available and if not, it will have to be paid for or compulsorily acquired, especially that which was set away for public utility but has fallen into private hands illegally.

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