City planners, like this one in Shenzhen, China, must anticipate the business, health-care, consumer, residential, and transportation needs of a community.
Photograph by H. Edward Kim, National Geographic

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  • On November 8, 1949, the world first recognized World Town Planning Day, sometimes called World Urbanism Day. Originally founded by an Italian scholar, World Town Planning Day is celebrated in more than 30 countries today.  
    Urban planning is the process of creating or improving the natural, built, economic, and social environments of urban areas. Urban planners help government officials, businesses, and everyday citizens create communities by balancing interests such as transportation, open space, retail and industrial business, homes and apartments, schools, and health-care facilities.
    World Town Planning Day has activities that address many aspects of city life. A 2011 seminar in Lahore, Pakistan, for example, featured speakers who specialize in independent living for disabled citizens. A major online conference in 2013 brought urban planners together to discuss the different ways they address “the fluid challenge”—water shortages, water demand, flood, drought, and climate change.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    business Noun

    sale of goods and services, or a place where such sales take place.

    celebrate Verb

    to observe or mark an important event with public and private ceremonies or festivities.

    citizen Noun

    member of a country, state, or town who shares responsibilities for the area and benefits from being a member.

    city Noun

    large settlement with a high population density.

    climate change Noun

    gradual changes in all the interconnected weather elements on our planet.

    Encyclopedic Entry: climate change
    disabled Adjective

    person who has a physical condition that limits one or more major life activities.

    drought Noun

    period of greatly reduced precipitation.

    Encyclopedic Entry: drought
    environment Noun

    conditions that surround and influence an organism or community.

    flood Noun

    overflow of a body of water onto land.

    Encyclopedic Entry: flood
    government Noun

    system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.

    recognize Verb

    to identify or acknowledge.

    retail Adjective

    having to do with the sale of finished goods to consumers.

    scholar Noun

    educated person.

    seminar Noun

    meeting for holding discussions on a specific topic.

    specialize Verb

    to study, work, or take an interest in one area of a larger field of ideas.

    transportation Noun

    movement of people or goods from one place to another.

    urban Adjective

    having to do with city life.

    urban area Noun

    developed, densely populated area where most inhabitants have nonagricultural jobs.

    Encyclopedic Entry: urban area
    urban planning Noun

    process of creating or improving the natural, built, economic, and social environments of urban areas. Also called city planning.