Surveying plays an important part in many aspects of town planning. Whether it is deciding the routes of a major infrastructure project or a small house extension, surveys are used by architects, engineers and planners to establish a plan.

When a master plan is developed, it should show the hierarchy of streets and pedestrian and cycle paths as well as public transport and freight routes. It should also ensure appropriate housing density and diversity.

1. Identifying the Issues

Town planning involves the organization of various complicated activities that are vital for a city’s growth and development. This includes the provision of proper housing facilities, arrangement of transport and communication, and setting apart space for industries, parks and public places including burial sites.

It also deals with the planning of land use and agriculture. The aims and objectives of planning are to make the city more comfortable, convenient and sanitary.

Surveys are essential to effective town planning. They help to identify the issues that can affect your community’s future and allow you to target services more effectively.

2. Developing a Plan of Action

Surveying is a key component of effective town planning. It helps determine the true boundaries of land use zones, which reduces the probability of building over the boundary or accidentally digging up gas/water or electricity lines. It also ensures roads or bridges are built along the right route and contour rather than randomly carried out with unknown risks.

A well-planned survey of an area in a community can offer interested stakeholders a useful tool for data collection and analysis, as well as the ability to make informed recommendations on community development goals. The key to a successful survey plan is defining the boundaries of the study area, as well as selecting specific indicators that will be used for evaluation.

Then, it’s time to create an action plan that outlines the steps you’ll take to achieve your goal. This should include a list of tasks, task owners, deadlines, resources, and other important information.

3. Developing a Strategy

Developing a strategy for your town planning project involves understanding what needs to be done and how you’ll achieve it. Town planners can help you contextualise your development plans and dreams against the reality of your property and surrounding areas to make sure they meet all local council regulations and policies.

The ability to accurately measure a site is important for ensuring that any development will comply with building codes and town planning policies. For example, if you’re subdividing a block and adding on rooms and homes, you need to know that everything will fit within the boundaries.

Surveying can also ensure that any new infrastructure is installed in the right place and avoids any unknowen risks or disputes over land ownership. For instance, it minimises the risk of accidentally digging up gas/water or electricity lines.

4. Developing a Budget

The budget process is critical to all governmental entities, as it provides the legal authority for spending and the ability to monitor the financial activity of the entity. It also serves as a communication tool that communicates the goals of the city or town and how that translates into expenditure decisions.

A well-developed budget will have a clear, defined budgeting process that makes all key steps visible and clearly understood on an annual and month-by-month basis. This includes having a budget calendar and timelines that clearly identify deadlines, milestones, required action items and involved personnel.

A variety of budgeting approaches and formats have evolved to meet the needs of a growing number of governments. These include line-item, performance, program and planning, site-based, and zero-based budgeting.

5. Developing a Schedule

Surveying is a science that involves assessing the shape, location and condition of a piece of land. It is a critical aspect of town planning as it helps architects and engineers understand the property they are working on.

The most common method for this is through a topographic survey. It can also be done using 3D laser scanning technology, which is an excellent way to accurately measure the exact position of buildings and other structures.

Once the survey has been completed, it is important to develop a schedule. This will help you plan and coordinate all the tasks involved in your project. It will help you avoid any problems or roadblocks that may come your way and can save you a lot of time.

Planning helps to create communities that are safe and inclusive, where people want to live and work, now and in the future. It also protects the environment, and ensures that everyone has access to a good quality of life.

This is especially true in towns and cities. The role of planners is to balance conflicting demands for housing, industry, agriculture, transport and the environment.


Sustainability refers to the ability to use resources conservatively and carefully without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It involves all citizens in an integrated, long-term planning process that protects the environment, expands economic opportunities and meets social needs.

While most people associate sustainability with environmental issues, it also refers to social concerns like access to healthy food and housing, health care, education and meaningful participation in local, state and national politics. The United Nations defines sustainable development as the ability of human communities to develop and maintain their resources in ways that are ecologically sound, economically viable and socially just.

Although specific definitions of sustainability vary with time, context and literature, some metrics are designed to measure three outcomes: walkability and transit accessibility; opportunity, or the richness of educational, employment, and quality of life opportunities; and inclusivity, or whether high-opportunity neighborhoods are open to lower-income households and people of color. While creating a single metric that incorporates all these factors is challenging, separating the components offers more transparency and flexibility.

Economic Development

Economic development involves concerted efforts to increase business activity, employment, and income distribution patterns within a community. This is a vital process that can also help communities develop fiscal stability.

Town planning is the process of controlling land resources and ensuring that development occurs in a way that balances demand from residents, businesses, and the environment. It is a complex and dynamic process that changes in response to local needs, policies, and development proposals.

Sustainable communities focus on creating a better quality of life for their residents while maintaining the natural resources necessary to support it over time. They minimize waste, prevent pollution, promote efficiency and utilize environmentally superior technologies to strengthen the economy and improve lives.

Sustainable communities often involve a variety of sectors and partners that work together to solve problems and create long-term solutions. This includes businesses, government, and community members who are committed to building a strong, healthy community that can meet future needs without harming the environment.

Community Design

The American Institute of Architects defines sustainability as “a vision of healthy communities that provide opportunity and dignity for all people,” while the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development calls it an “inclusionary principle that ensures that all people can access affordable housing, public transportation, good jobs, high-performing schools, healthy food choices, open spaces, and other essential services.”

In this broader definition, sustainability is about building a healthy community that meets the needs of multiple types of human beings. It takes a long-term perspective focusing on anticipating and adapting to change in both the present and future.

As an architect, land use planner, or city planner, your work can help shape the design and development of sustainable communities. It can also help promote equitable community investment that benefits all residents and encourages neighborhood revitalization and regional planning.

Public Space

Creating and maintaining public spaces should be at the core of town planning. These spaces bring economic value, promote social cohesion and often offer environmental as well as cultural benefits.

In cities, public spaces play a crucial role in social inclusion as they are accessible to all citizens, regardless of their income or personal circumstances. They are also a key means of affirming collective rights and fostering positive public opinion.

However, many public spaces in contemporary urban contexts have become increasingly disjointed and disconnected from the local community. This is largely due to the increasing influence of commercial interests in the development and management of public space, which are oriented towards feeding the consumer culture of the ‘spending public’ (Fig. 2).

As such, the management of public space is a complex and multi-faceted task that requires an integrated and holistic approach that embraces all stakeholders. A survey with 100 respondents from the management of public space and additional seven in-depth qualitative interviews revealed that managers often lack the knowledge required for managing public space at strategic and operational levels.

Surveyors work on a variety of projects. From calculating plot size to measuring topographic heights, they’re also skilled in interpreting survey data and helping others plan construction.

Land surveying is a valuable service that helps you understand the land you’re buying or building on. It can help you identify issues with the soil and determine whether a plot is flood-prone or has other challenges.


Surveys are the keys to unlocking your property’s full potential. A comprehensive survey will allow you to plan and design your property in accordance with city planning rules, building codes, and any other regulations that may apply.

Land surveys involve a huge range of measurements and calculations. Whether it’s measuring land from the surface of the earth or in the depths of the ocean, or even polar ice caps, surveyors use maths and advanced software to get an accurate reading of a property’s boundaries.

Town planners often conduct land surveys before embarking on a formal plan. This helps them contextualise their plans against the reality of the surrounding area and ensure that any errors in their planning are addressed.

Land surveyors are also required to use specialised equipment when conducting these surveys, including levels, electronic theodolites, and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) units. This ensures that the information provided is as accurate and precise as possible.


Valuation is a necessary skill for anyone looking to buy or sell a property. It helps buyers determine how much a property is worth, and it benefits sellers by making sure that their asking price is fair.

Land surveyors use specialised equipment and methods to measure a property’s dimensions, identify its boundaries, and find its topographical features. They can also help you comply with town planning regulations if you’re relocating, renovating, subdividing or developing a piece of land.

A town planner works alongside a local council in accordance with a planning scheme to guide future development of cities, towns and regions. They may work in the public sector, or in private practice.


When a property owner wants to create permanent improvements on their land, such as a pool or fence, they often need to have it surveyed. This ensures the project meets all building codes and town plans.

A planner’s job is to balance different social, environmental and economic factors when official decisions are made about whether a piece of land should be developed. This can be on a local, national or regional level.

Chartered town planners are qualified to work in this career through an education and professional development route. They need at least 5 GCSEs (grades 9 to 4).

Planning is a broad area of work with many different skills required. It requires attention to detail, problem solving and negotiation skills as well as analytical and report writing abilities.


Land surveying and town planning is a large part of the puzzle and while it may not be for everyone, there are plenty of opportunities to pick up some of those coveted qualifications. When it comes to improving the value of your property, a bit of extra legwork is always appreciated. From sizing up your new yard to figuring out what you’re doing with the other half of the equation, it’s a good idea to arm yourself with the latest industry trends and news. The best way to go about it is to keep up with the movers and shakers in your field via networking events, professional development seminars and industry conferences.