Town planning involves controlling both existing and proposed developments, based on strategic planning and development control played out in the statutory framework including the development assessment or application process. Town planning is a dynamic and continually changing field influenced by policy changes in response to a range of factors such as community needs, population growth, lifestyle changes and the needs of a changing population. Combine these considerations with a desire to balance conservation and enhance the natural environment, and you can see why town planners have a difficult task in finding balance between conflicting objectives. Town planning is both strategic and reactive, with planners aiming to create vibrant communities and improve quality of life.
Strategic planning and policy development through a State Government Regional Plan or local Council Planning Scheme has the most influence on how cities and towns are developed. Ultimately, developing cities and towns comes down to what developers choose to develop, when, where and how. Zoning land for a particular use does not guarantee development, it purely provides an opportunity for the developers if and when they see an opportunity. The town planning system also aims to protect important elements such as open space, amenity and heritage based on the priorities of the relevant statutory body preparing the relevant planning instruments.
As cities and towns continue to evolve and expand, town planning continues to grow in importance.