ISSUES2020 No.2
Editor’s Note: As intentional and conscious activities of intervening the nature and utilizing natural resources by way of exploitation, reclamation, cultivation, and construction, the human history of territorial development can date back to the first social division of labor more than 10,000 years ago, when some primitive tribes stopped nomadic life and settled in certain places, mainly in the valleys of big rivers, with the construction of settlements and the cultivation of farmlands. Since then on, man has never stopped the intervention into and utilization of the nature, with more and more human settlements of various forms and different sizes having been built up, from villages to towns, from cities to metropolises, from metropolitan regions to megalopolis and city-regions, to accommodate nearly 8 billion people, while more and more natural resources having been exploited and more and more lands having been reclaimed and cultivated to meet the increasing demands of the increasing human beings. Particularly, in only about 1/40 of that long history after the Industrial Revolution, the continuous advancements of technology have greatly empowered man with various capabilities in territorial development and the sustained process of urbanization has remarkably enlarged the spatial scope of territorial development. By territorial development, man has been shaping not only the physical environment of human settlements, but also the relationship between Man and Nature. Nevertheless, the long human history of territorial development is not full of pleasant and fruitful stories, but also miserable and arduous lessons, such as plagues and pandemics, natural and man-made disasters, and environmental and ecological crises, all of which resulted in both the great loss of the lives of living creatures and the severe damages to the civilization of human society. As positive response, man has made great efforts to enrich their understanding about, to expand their know-how on, and to regulate their activities of territorial development, with regard to which, urban planning, as both a policy and technical tool and an academic discipline, was gradually formulated since the mid-19th century and quickly developed in the 20th century. It should be noticed that, being a young profession and discipline of only over one hundred years old, urban planning, from its birth, has been in continuous reform and reshaping in response to the actual demands of territorial development. Any changes in the scope or concern of territorial development, such as from a city or town itself to the region where it is standing or to its counterparts all over the world, and from economic aspect to social or environmental aspect, may lead to fundamental reforms of urban planning system in practice, as well as urban planning education in academia. Therefore, how to identify and then insist on the academic core of urban planning and how to demonstrate and then highlight the professional role of urban planning in the practice of territorial development deserve more thinking and discussions among the professionals all over the world.

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