What is a Regional Plan?
While ‘plan’ in general, is the order that to be followed in order to actualize the abstract model of conception in mind, ‘planning’ corresponds to the processes, actions and steps to be followed. In this sense, plan requires both a reason to begin and a target to end with. Nonetheless, planning is neither a mean nor an end but a process of construction.
Planning in urban and regional studies is a field of positive science, art and action which deals with the organization of space in the frame of national development plans with respect to public interest and depending on scientific methods and research.
Regional plans are designed to predict and control socio-economic development trends, sector targets, distribution of land use and infrastructure for the regions. In this regard, the Ankara Development Agency is the mere public body, to coordinate Ankara Regional Plan, apply regional research, manage regional data and provide tools of intervention through participatory methods.
Why Regional Planning?
Regional plan is the first ring to trigger the chain reaction.
Regional plan aims to sustain regional development, decrease developmental disparities among regions, and provide effective use of local resources. It is a strategy, coordination and guidance document to be the basis of regional programs and projects. It is a product of the consensus among communities, public institutions, private sector, NGOs, universities and all other actors of regional development.
Regional plan is a bridge between local and central.
It defines the relation between national policy, plan and strategies and actions in local level. It describes the processes for supporting local capacity development and exploiting regional resources and potentials for the region’s common future.
What is legal infrastructure (base) of Regional Plans?
In Turkey the authorization related to Regional Plans has been made by Urban Development Law entered into force in 1985. In the article 8 of the law which is related to Preparing and Executing Plans states that “If it is necessary State Planning Organizaion (the name of the organization has been changed as Ministry of Development) prepares or has have prepared regional plans to determine socio economic tendencies, development potentials of settlements, sectoral goals, distribution of actions and infrastructures.
The official correspondence numbered B.02.1.DPT.0.10.04-91.418/3031 and issued by the Undersecretariate of State Planning Organization has charged development agencies with preparing and coordinating regional plans. Also in the Law on The Establishment and Duties of Development Agencies numbered 5449 it is stated that it is necessary all development agencies to execute all activities in the framework of regional plans.
Regional plans anticipated as providing cohesion and integrity between high and low level plans take place in the midst of National Development Plans and Environment Plan at the hierarchy of planning. The cohesion of physical plans prepared at different levels is described with gradual unity principle In planning. This principle is stated at the article 8 of Urban Development Law of 3194 as explaining that development plans are necessary to be prepared in coherence with environment plan and regional plans if there are.