Design and development are fundamental to how we experience our neighborhoods. Today, we continue to live with the devastating impacts of historic decisions regarding land-use and zoning — such as segregation, redlining, and highway construction. Far too often, systemic racism is still embedded in planning decisions today. Decisions on where development goes, what it looks like and how fast it happens, whose input is solicited, and whose is ignored, where we place industry, how we plan for transit corridors to ensure connectivity and mobility, and how we expand access to healthy food are all a result of how we imagine, design and plan in our communities. In addition, there are policies that impact how safe, supported, and empowered communities feel — which has everything to do with what people need to thrive.
Functional zoning or functional city zoning is a method used for dividing land use by its function. Typically, land use is divided in two ways, by its function and by its physical characteristics. An example of functional zoning would be an area that has designated zones based on a function such as an industrial zone, a recreational zone and a residential zone. An example of an area zoned by its physical characteristics is defined in terms of characteristics like development density, minimum lot size, and building coverage, placement and height.
Although cities as we know them occupy the same location for centuries, the physical infrastructure which comprise the built environment are not static but altered continuously by dynamic forces of change initiated by various public and private interests. This modification of the urban environment occurs at a variety of scales ranging from the residential relocation decisions taken on different levels including public road-building programmes and private house projects .
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