Classic Readings in Urban Planning

By Jay Stein, FAICP

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This new edition of  "the best anthology in planning" includes 33 selections by many of the profession's most respected thinkers and eloquent writers. Returning editor Jay M. Stein chose the articles — about half of them new to this edition — based on suggestions from colleagues and students who used the first edition, recommendations from planning scholars, awards for writing in the field of planning, and his own review of recent planning literature.

Classic Readings in Urban Planning offers an unparalleled depth of coverage and range of perspectives on traditional aspects of planning as well as on important contemporary issues.

This is an exceptional main or supplementary textbook for advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate level students in urban and regional planning. As a general overview of the field of urban planning, it is also an excellent choice for planning commissioners, practicing planners, and professionals in related fields such as environmental and land use law, architecture, and government.

An abstract introduces each reading, and each section includes suggestions for additional readings suitable for more extensive study. Many of these are also "classics" that could not be included as a main selection.

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Page Count
Date Published
Sept. 9, 2004
APA Planners Press

Table of Contents

1. Planning history and theory

Lewis Mumford, "The first urban transformation." The City in History • John W Reps, "Towns, time, and tradition: The legacy of Planning in Frontier America," Town planning in frontier America • Aaron Wildavsky, "If planning is everything, maybe it's nothing," Policy Sciences • Charles E Lindblom, "The science of 'muddling through,'" Public Administration Review • Paul Davidoff, "Advocacy and pluralism in planning," The Journal of the American Institute of Planners • Horst W.J. Rittel and Melvin M. Webber, "Dilemmas in a general theory of planning," Policy Sciences • Suggested readings

2. Comprehensive planning, land use and growth management

Alan Altschuler, "The goals of comprehensive planning," The city planning process • Carl Feiss, "Planning absorbs zoning," Journal of the American Institute of Planners • Martin Meyerson, "Building the middle-range bridge for comprehensive planning," Journal of the American Institute of Planners • Frank J. Popper, "Understanding American land use regulation since 1970," Journal of the American Planning Association • David L. Callies, "The quiet revolution revisited," Journal of the American Planning Association • Edward J. Kaiser and David R. Godschalk, "Twentieth century land use planning: a stalwart family tree," Journal of the American Planning Association • Judith E. Innes, "Planning through consensus building: a new view of the comprehensive planning ideal," Journal of the American Planning Association • Suggested readings

3. Economic, political, social and strategic issues in planning and development

John Forester, "Planning in the face of power," Planning in the Face of Power • Harvey Molotch, "The city as a growth machine: toward a political economy of place," American Journal of Sociology • Bernard Frieden and Lynne B. Sagalyn, "The entrepreneurial cities and maverick developers," Downtown Inc.: How America Rebuilds Cities • John M. Bryson and William D. Roering, "Applying the private-sector strategic planning in the public sector," Journal of the American Planning Association • Suggested readings

4. Infrastructure: housing and transportation
Jennifer R. Wolch, Michael Dear, and Andrea Akita, "Explaining homelessness," Journal of the American Planning Association • Herbert J. Gans, "Social and physical planning for the elimination of urban poverty," People and Plans: Essays on Urban Problems and Solutions • R. Buckminster Fuller, "Accommodating human unsettlement," Town planning review • Eugenie Ladner Birch, "Woman-made America: the case of early public housing policy," Journal of the American Institute of Planners • Martin Wachs, "Autos, Transit, and the sprawl of Los Angeles: the 1920s," Journal of the American Planning Association • Suggested readings

5. Design, place form and the environment
Anne Whiston Spirn, "Urban nature and human design: renewing the great tradition," Journal of Planning Education and Research • J.B. Jackson, "The American public space," The Public Interest • Scott Campbell, "Green cities, growing cities, just cities? urban planning and the contradictions of sustainable development," Journal of the American Planning Association • Kevin Lynch and Lloyd Rodwin, "A theory of urban form," Journal of the American Institute of Planners • Jane Jacobs, "The need for concentration," The Death and Life of Great American Cities • Suggested readings

6. International Planning
Lisa Peattie, "A planned city," Planning: Rethinking Ciudad Guayana • Hernando de Soto, "By way of conclusion," the mystery of capital • Saskid Sassen, Selections from Cities in a World Economy • Suggested readings

7. The profession and practice of planning
Donald A. Schon, "The crisis of confidence in professional knowledge," The Reflective Practitioner • David J. Allor, "Toward a longer view and higher duty for local planning commissions," Journal of the American Planning Association • Anthony Downs, "Why we need a new vision," New Visions for Metropolitan America • Suggested readings

About the authors



"This is an outstanding introductory textbook on urban planning with articles that are relevant, significant, and readable. Topics cover history and theory, land use, social issues, infrastructure, and design. All told, reflective students, practitioners, and academics will find this thoughtful book to be an important addition to their working libraries."

—Norman Krumholz, FAICP
Professor, College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University
Past President, American Planning Association and American Institute of Certified Planners

"Jay Stein's second edition of Classic Readings in Urban Planning provides a thorough compilation of the planning antecedents to contemporary thought. The inclusion of gender (Birch's "Woman-Made America"), homelessness (Wolch et al.'s "Explaining Homelessness"), and globalization (Sassen's selections from "Cities in a World Economy") as issues marks the growth of planning discourse. This second edition is an invaluable addition to any library and an important companion to the first edition."

—Sharon L. Graber, AICP
Associate Dean and Professor, College of Architecture, Design, and Construction
Auburn University