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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The integration of physical planning with social and economic planning : planning for development in Trinidad and Tobago Snaggs, Kenneth Bertram

Abstract

Planning for development as a function of central government forms the general subject of this study. The purpose of the study is to demonstrate the hypothesis that, to be effective, such planning must be comprehensive in approach, that is, economic, social and physical planning must be integrated into one total process. Trinidad and Tobago, a territory of the West Indies Federation, is taken as an illustrative case study. The case study focuses on the more practical aspects of the problem and is meant to indicate how the different elements of the planning process could be integrated into one comprehensive system and be effectively applied to development. The approach taken in the study was, first, to discuss the problem in a general way by analyzing and evaluating planning for development as it is currently practised in a number of developing countries. The conclusions drawn from this analysis are that (1) planning for development as currently practised tends to emphasize the economic aspects of the development process, and ignores the social and, in particular, the physical aspects of development; and (2) while the planning function is rightly placed at the centre of the governmental structure, there is the tendency to concentrate only on the national level of development ignoring the implications of national policy on regions and local areas, and failing to give adequate recognition to the aspirations and requirements of these lower levels in development plans. It is further concluded that as a result of the above serious defects appear in development programmes: because of the lack of functional integration in the development process unexpected costs arise which may nullify the desired benefits; unplanned physical effects of development appear as the determinants of the ultimate success of the entire development effort; regional disparities in the settlement pattern and in the level of development are perpetuated; human, physical and financial resources are dissipated in costly and unnecessary remedial measures; and, the social benefits of development tend to be offset by the social costs. The shortcomings of current practice of planning for development and the resultant defects in the development effort, appear to be related to the conception of the nature of development that is generally accepted, that is, that development is largely a problem in economics and that all other elements will fall into place once the economic components are properly planned and rapid economic progress achieved. The revised conception of development as a complex series of interdependent changes in the society as a whole, leads almost naturally to the view that planning designed to promote development must be comprehensive. The brief outline and discussion of the important factors in the development of Trinidad and Tobago, focusing on the magnitude and the scope of the needs, provide the background for the consideration of the planning requirements in this territory. It is concluded from this discussion that Trinidad and Tobago needs a comprehensive planning organization which includes economic, social and physical elements to meet all the requirements of the anticipated development in the territory. The proposal for the planning organization is based on the general planning philosophy which emerges from the discussion of current practice in developing countries and from the appraisal of the comprehensive planning system in operation in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The basic features of the proposed planning process and organization are as follows: (1) the planning process is divided into five stages -- policy, survey and analysis, design, control of development, and evaluation; (2) co-ordination of all functional elements is to be maintained throughout the process; and, (3) spatial integration is to be achieved by making the Central Planning Department responsible for planning at all levels -- territorial, regional and local.

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