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  • Writer's pictureSabrina Lehnen Stol

The problem of the lack of urban planning in cities

Sabrina Lehnen Stoll

Urban cities contain more than half the people on the planet, but urban space is shaped globally in an unequal way, in terms of vulnerabilities, privileges and challenges.

City management has been looking for alternatives to achieve urbanisation and urban development that can reduce the consequences and adjust territorial and socio-spatial distribution. It is therefore highly necessary to develop actions to reshape city planning towards a socially and environmentally sustainable standard, which takes into account socio-environmental inequalities and climate problems caused by anthropogenic factors (Araujo; Pessoa, 2019).

In the case of Brazil, the 5,570 municipalities represent federal units with economic, political and administrative autonomy. For them to integrate the SDGs into their governmental agenda, civil society participation and actions that are coordinated and implemented in co-responsibility with academia and the public and private sectors are necessary (Aquino, 2020).

In Brazil, in terms of public urban planning policies, there are different scenarios of social and economic conditions in urban areas, with some municipalities situated in pre-modernity, in need of basic equipment and infrastructure, such as basic sanitation systems, and others in full modernity, with a focus on dependence on fossil energy and traditional industrial processes as vectors of development, and all still immersed in post-modernity, whose hallmark rests on the information economy, new information and communication technologies and services as axes of development (Acserald, 2015).

In this scattering of scenarios and timeframes, it can be seen that global sustainable development goals will only be realised at the local level if local governments consider integrated urban planning with zoning, subdivision, use and occupation of urban land, healthy and safe building standards, mapping of areas susceptible to disasters and deep integration with other local policies - such as education, health, adequate environmental sanitation, ensuring urban mobility and intermodal transport, as well as safeguarding housing and land regularisation (Aquino, 2020).

Therefore, the SDGs in fact address important, current and crucial issues for humanity, aiming to build a fairer and more respectful future in terms of sustainability (Aquino, 2020). Thus, an urban development policy must ensure adequate urbanisation conditions that are proportional to the city's socio-spatial growth, which is currently still a challenge to be faced in both large metropolises and medium-sized cities.

The lack of structuring of urban and inclusive planning continues to generate various social, urban planning and environmental problems, and is also the result of ineffective and discontinuous public policies, or even the lack of them, given the lack of priority given to achieving truly effective urban planning. Unfortunately, this is still the reality in most Brazilian municipalities, which have difficulties with territorial management and planning due to a multitude of factors, ranging from insufficient technical training to a lack of financial resources (Bissani; Pereira, 2019).



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