Planning of our world is essential to keep all aspects of life moving and functioning (at least most of the time) as we see today. Planning can be looked at as the mold that holds society together, or the machine that keeps society running. Without certain aspects considered in a municipal plan, such as access to health facilities or road maintenance, residents and users of the area will suffer. The whole point of planning is to serve “the public interest.”
Throughout the United States history, there have been many changes in the way we plan our world. As population grew, cities became industrial powerhouses. As technology advanced, cities grew upward with elevators and steel frame construction. The automobile was a way out of the crowded city for those who could afford. One question that I and so many have pondered is what changes will we see in our future as we progress? For those who lived through the 19th century, the changes described above were monumental. What kind of population shifts will we see? Will there be more cities? Less cities? Where will those cities be?
Obviously, these questions have a lot of factors that go into them, and they aren’t always black or white. Since the 1960s, planning has kept in mind the effects we have on the planets resources. Before that, it was whatever process was most efficient to the user, neglecting the by-products and negative effects that were imposed on the planet. In today’s era, we have continued what was started in the 1960s tenfold. Our society is monitored and planned so that future planning movements don’t hurt the land we live on.
Another aspect that I found myself questioning is what kind of world will people from future generations want to live in? What kinds of ideas will future generations use to change the landscape? In 1700s, people dreamed of living in a world with easy access to professional healthcare, running water, and clean food. In today’s society, we have all that and more. What kinds of amenities could people living in the 22nd century want or need? It is safe to say that the environment and population growth are two of the most pressing issues today. As population grows, the natural space and biodiversity of the planet decreases, directly degrading the environment. It will be interesting to see what people value in future generations.
As we grow deeper and deeper into the future, questions, such as the ones I have suggested, continue to loom. No one can predict the future, but planning can have a very strong influence on what the future is.