Before going to the role and responsibility of social media it is important to understand what architecture and planning is about.
Architecture in simple terms can be defined as the art and science of designing buildings and non-building structures. Planning in simplest terms can be defined as the profession of to predict and provide. While planning is a broad field where in planners identify the needs of human settlements and provide for a longer span of time like 15 or 20 years whereas architecture has to do with designing and constructing form, space and ambience to reflect functional, technical, social, environmental and aesthetic considerations of buildings and structures which are a part of planning provision. While architects work for about less than 1% of population the planners work for the entire population irrespective of caste, sex, religion and culture.
In today’s age, where our country is witnessing immense growth of slums, unorganized growth of cities, unaffordable housing for poor sector whose major consequences are social evils like poverty, unemployment and increased crime rate, social media can act as a very powerful tool which if used efficiently can create a major awareness amongst mankind and help in achieving a well planned and developed city.
Reading the above lines, you all must be wondering that all this is a job of a planner, how will social media help in it??? Indeed, it’s the job of a planner but for whom does the planner plan for – people in a city or town, so this process has to have people interacting. Social media tools today like Facebook, whatsapp and other social networking sites help in providing a platform to make this planning process include interaction from people.
A primary criterion for planning is community participation, which can be very easily facilitated through these social networking sites as they are very popular amongst people of all age groups. Genuine surveys can be conducted in least amount of time involving less manpower and costs, thus the huge amount of money saved from this can be used in provision of better infrastructure facilities for people.
If planners and architects form a habit of blogging about their work and putting forward the genuine issues on planning in public forum for people’s suggestions, then it would actually help in better planning because it is the people who know what is the best solution for them which only needs refinement by architects and planners. Thus, the job of a planner becomes easy and cost effective.
Besides taking suggestions from public itself, through social media, architects and planners can inform the public about what efforts should be taken on public’s part to improve the habitat of the settlement by demonstrating examples from all across the world and by talking to architects and planners of other parts of the world as social media is the easiest and most economic mean for people to connect across the world.
Not only awareness, but social websites like linkedin have helped in providing a convenient relationship between professionals- not only architects but for professionals of the other fields as well.
Hence, social media should be used as a platform to solve the issues of our country and make a better developed and sorted out country which takes its people into account very closely.