Town Planning

Town planning is an art of shaping and guiding the physical development of the city to create buildings and environments to meet the various needs of the public such as social, cultural, economic and recreational, more to provide healthy conditions for both rich and poor to live, work, play or relax.

A well planned small house looks better than an unplanned big house similarly a well-planned city provides more comfort and convenience to the public.

Principles of Town Planning:

The art of town planning requires thorough knowledge of engineering, surveying, architecture besides imagination and sharp common sense.

The potential growth and development of the city should be properly conceived by the town planner and ensure that the city does not develop in any haphazard fashion.

Town Planning in Ancient India:

Even Rig Veda, Atharva Veda, Yajur Veda, Purana, etc. contain some principles and theories of city planning which more or less resemble the modern concept of garden cities.

Vishva Karma is known as the divine architect, who is known for spreading knowledge of the Shilpa-Shastras, still worshiped by artisans even today.

In the olden days, cities were usually located along the banks of the river, seashore, or a large lake as cities were rectangular in shape to take maximum advantage of these facilities.

A flowing stream was used for sanitary requirements as the rivers provided water for drinking, irrigation and also took out the waste from the cities.

In fact, our rivers are a real witness to the origin, rise and fall of many cities of the Indo-Aryan civilization.

The study of the old cities like Mohenjo-Daro, Ayodhya, Takshasila, Nalanda, Pataliputra reveals that all these towns were provided with the necessary facilities for a common city lifestyle.

There were systematically arranged that there were practically no chances for traffic congestion & drainage, all houses had an open space and decent bathrooms.

Takshasila and Nalanda provide excellent examples of early university towns in India.

A few more cities were established during the Pre-Mogul and Mogul periods, but they did not contribute significantly to the science of town planning.

All the cities established in that period, i.e. Delhi, Lahore, Agra, Ajmer, Fatehpur Sikri, Lucknow clearly tolerates the influence of Muslim architecture and culture.

History reveals that a separate department existed for construction and development works, Emperor Akbar established the Public Works Department for the planning and development of construction works.

His ideas about architecture were pioneered by his able architects and engineers; later, the Mughal emperors carried forward the process of planning the city on their own.

The remains of the old lethal township of Ahmedabad district were discovered in an in-depth survey conducted by their able architects and engineers.

Later, the Mughal emperors carried forward the process of planning the city on their own.

All the above details, reveal that the principles and theories of town planning are developing ancient India.

These principles were continuously modified and readjusted for the new requirements and the ultimate result in the concept of modern town planning.

Following undesirable situations and growths may develop in the absence of improper town planning as follows:

  • Sickness is created in slums.
  • Defective road system resulting in accidents.
  • Heavy traffic congestion during working hours.
  • Inadequate on open spaces for parks and playgrounds.
  • Wrong place of industries and noisy atmosphere.
  • Lack of essential facilities like electricity, water supply, and drainage.
  • Uncontrolled development of the town.

Objective of Town Planning:


This is achieved by taking advantage of the natural conditions around the city, giving architectural finishes to various components of a city also enhance this aspect.


They are various economic, social and recreational facilities offered to the public.

These facilities include cheap electricity, inexpensive transport facilities, adequate water supply, easy disposal of sewage and other waste for suitable sites for industrial unit facilities for commercial purposes, etc.


This aspect is adjusted by providing adequate numbers of parks, playgrounds, and environmental pollution to the lowest possible degree.

Maintenance of proper balance between the above three items is necessary, there should not be undue emphasis on one of them at the cost of others.

4.Economic Justifications for Town Planning:

Town planning can be studied from legal, historical, sociological architectural, and economic angles, while studies and conclusions on any one aspect will definitely have an impact on other aspects.

The economic aspect is the one that gives tempts everybody so if town planning is not to be frustrated from economic angle along with other angles.

Town planning mainly deals with the utilization of available lands.

The economically best town is one that brings the highest aggregate land values to assess the economic worth of the town planning.

Also read: Carpet Area

Guiding principles of town planning:

  1. The provision of a green belt on the periphery of the city helps to limit its size.
  2. While planning the housing it should be seen that there is no development of slums and if they already exist then they have to be cleared by proving some alternatives.
  3. Public buildings should be avoided in some places.
  4. Adequate space should be reserved for the development of recreation centers for the public based on the size of the city.
  5. There should be a very efficient layout of roads in the city.
  6. There should be not any spot of traffic congestion, as it will help in maintaining an efficient transport system.
  7. In the last, the city should be divided into suitable areas such as the commercial zone of the industrial zone, residential area, there should appropriate rules and regulations should be formulated for the development of each area.

Selection of Site for a New Town:

The physical features of the area play a major role in the selection of the site for any proposed city for town planning as follows:

  • Availability of water and electricity.
  • Available effective means of communication.
  • Topography of the area.
  • Climatic conditions.
  • Development of the area.
  • Area drain capacity.
  • Location of rivers, streams, lakes, or the sea.
  • Frequency of floods and earthquakes.
  • Fertility and nature of the soil.
  • The overall economic condition of the people.
  • Likely commodities which will be exported from and imported in the town.
Also read: Principles of Planning, Street Lighting & Road Pattern


In short, town planning is a multi-disciplinary subject that can affect many aspects of our lives and they should be treated seriously.

Hello, I'm Rahul Patil founder of, I had studied B.E. Civil. This blog provides authentic information regarding civil structures, equipment, materials, tests & much more.

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