100 Essential Books of Planning: Decade Four


World War II consumed Americans throughout the 1940s. The federal government's role in planning began to weaken. New attitudes towards government, society, management, and the environment began to emerge as well, as the end of the war liberated thinking and resources once again.

Local Planning Administration

Ladislas Segoe, Walter H. Blucher, Institute for Training in Municipal Administration

Planning pioneer Ladislas Segoe advocated for planning's integration into government in order to obtain respect in administrative and legislative circles. This was a manual for administrative practice and came out within months of Walker's book.

The Planning Function in Urban Government

Robert Walker

A controversial but influential book that argued that planning needed to move away from association with independent commissions and gain a place closer to the local legislative body, the chief executive, and the administrative agencies. In short, Walker argued for fully integrated planning agencies within local government.

American Housing

Problems and Prospects: The Factual Findings
Miles Colean, Twentieth Century Fund, Housing Committee

Colean had worked for the Federal Housing Authority and advocated for housing finance reform and public housing. His analysis of American housing concluded that there were not enough innovative housing products on the market to address need. He also advocated for strong coordination between war production and housing — an opportunity missed during World War I.

The Road to Serfdom

Frederick A. von Hayek

Nobel Prize winner Hayek argued that central economic planning led to serfdom. His influential theories reinforced libertarian views that hands-off approaches by government were needed to avoid tyranny. His work reemerged as an influence on governmental policy makers in the 1980s.


Means of Livelihood and Ways of Life
Paul Goodman, Percival Goodman

This book jump started the post-war rebellion that reached its pinnacle in the 1960s. The Goodmans posed three models of community based on consumption, art, or liberty. They spoke out against religious and government coercion. Paul Goodman's later works encouraged a radical rethinking of major social institutions and their roles in individual lives.

A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There

Aldo Leopold

Aldo Leopold was a co-founder of The Wilderness Society and the originator of the concept of wildlife management. In this popular book he put forward the ethical premise  that views land as not a commodity to be possessed but an obligation to be preserved. He helped develop the scientific concept of ecology.

All Decades    Previous    Next