Land use planning - A tool to avert disasters-A A +A
Real Estate Updates
Sunday, July 8, 2012
IN THE news lately was the sad fact that several local government units (LGU’s) in the Cordilleras are still without Comprehensive Land Use Plans (CLUP). The story pointed out that the plan is important to prevent the occurrence of disasters. It stressed that a city without a CLUP remains on a “state of calamity” stressing the possibility of many settlements situated in danger zones.
What exactly is a Land Use Plan and Land Use Planning, and why is it so imperative for LGUs to be concerned about it?
Before going to the discussion of the above topics, allow me to share this important terms: LAND, in its broadest sense, includes all uses, improvements and developments, both man-made and natural resources on the surface, below or above the ground. LAND may be viewed as a resource, as a factor of production or capital.
On the other hand, LAND USE is the predominant activity or function on a specified land area or location at a given time. The specific use of a given area represents the interaction or physical, social, economic, historical and political factors.
LAND USE PLANNING is the rational and deliberate allocation of the major physical resources of the country, which is LAND, to different uses based on a “Comprehensive and Integrated Plan” for the area. Often referred to also as PHYSICAL PLANNING, this process considers not only the physical characteristics of LAND but also the socio-economic and politico-legal elements.
LAND USE PLAN, on the other hand, refers to a proposal for the future use of LAND and the structures built upon the LAND. It projects public and private land uses in accordance with the future spatial organization of economic and social activities and the traffic of goods and people. A proposal, it embodies a whole array of planning principles and the assumption and reasoning followed in arriving at the proposal. More importantly, the plan consists of: Planning Goals, Objectives, Strategies, Development Policies, Implementing Mechanisms, Land Use Regulations and Controls, a package of Programs and Projects and the corresponding Investment or Budgetary Requirements.
Briefly, the steps in the formulation of LAND USE PLANS are: 1) Identification of Problems, Needs, Goals and Objectives of the Planning Area; 2) Analysis of Existing Situations; 3) Identification of Land Use Problems and Formulation of Land Use Goals and Objectives; 4) Preparation of the Plan; 5) Adoption of the Plan; 6) Implementation of the Plan and 7) Review of the Plan.
The Determinants of LAND USE may be classified into: PHYSICAL – generally include slope, soil type, climate, topography and the like. Physical constraints that directly limit LAND USE are natural risk areas such as typhoon belts, flood-prone areas, earthquake-prone areas and geologically unstable areas, etc. SOCIO-ECONOMIC – include population distribution and activity systems and POLITICAL – consists of government policies on Land Tenure and other Legal Measures or Controls.
Importance of land use planning
LAND is a finite resource. As the population grows and as the country moves towards development, the various users of land will continue to compete. The growing population will continue to need more food, shelter, jobs and other facilities and this means more agricultural areas for food production, more residential areas, more industrial areas and areas for facilities and services.
As a consequence of these increasing demands, various land use conflicts may arise. For instance, government projects which involve spatial dimensions may be inconsistent with government policies on private ownership and land tenure. To optimize the use of both public and private land and to resolve conflicts that may arise, a national allocation of land resources is necessary. LAND USE PLANNING is, therefore, used as a tool to guide the use and re-use of LAND, to prevent the use of LAND and to correct the misuse of LAND.
Generally, LAND USE PLANNING is uniform at all levels, although some modifications occur at various stages depending on the desires and expected output at different levels. For instance, LAND USE PLANNING at the national and regional levels are “Macro” both in approach and output, while at the local level, it assume a more detailed and specific form which ends up generally in determining the use or practically all parcels of LAND in a given community.
Whatever results from the plans, CLUP’s are very important in planning communities. In Baguio City alone, more than 50% of the total land is classified as areas of high susceptibility to landslides. In Benguet and Mt. Province, it had registered as having the highest landslide susceptibility in the country.
Without CLUP’s, LGU’s are without guide to carefully plan communities in their areas leaving them with a blind eye on which houses fall in landslide prone areas or in safe areas. God forbids, disasters will not happen in the coming days and weeks of this rainy season of the year!
(The writer is a Certified Public Accountant and president of the Baguio Realtors Board, Inc. Apart from being a recognized Real Estate Practitioner as a Real Estate Broker and Educator, Lecturer and Resource Person, he is likewise a Business Management/ NGO/Cooperative Consultant, Project Development Consultant, Financial Advisor/Loan Broker and Columnist. For comments and more information of Real Estate Updates and Studies, you may get in touch with him at No. 04 Old Forestry Compound, Baguio City 2600, Tel. No (074) 427-1971/ Cell Nos. 09109302753/09163188274 or email: email@example.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org).
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 09, 2012.