Planning in the USA: Policies, Issues, and Processes

Planning in the USA: Policies, Issues, and Processes

Planning in the USA: Policies, Issues, and Processes

Planning in the USA: Policies, Issues, and Processes


With 'Planning in the USA', the authors present a comprehensive introduction to the policies, theory and practice of planning, outlining land use, urban planning and environmental protection issues.


This book has two objectives. First, it is intended to give an outline of policies relating to land use, urban planning and environmental protection. Second, it aims to provide an introduction to the policy-making process in these fields. The central concern is with the way in which policy issues are identified, defined, and approached. The coverage of the book is wide: it includes the nature and limitations of planning and governance, land use regulation, the quality of the environment, growth management, transportation, housing, and community development, as well as an extensive discussion of current environmental issues. The focus is on the problems facing policy-makers in their search for solutions (though the term 'resolutions' is preferred). It also discusses the difficulties of separating facts and values. This is particularly clear with environmental issues where even 'experts' are protesting that their expertise is limited, and that questions of 'risk' have no scientific answers. It is now widely accepted among scientists that determining acceptable degrees of risk is a matter for public policy, not for science. Such professional modesty is increasingly apparent in the professions dealing with environmental hazards, but it is also growing in the professions concerned with urban and land use planning issues. It is against this background, together with an associated mistrust of government, that public involvement in the planning process takes on a new meaning.

This book has its origin in Barry Cullingworth's earlier The Political Culture of Planning: American Land Use Planning in Comparative Perspective (Routledge 1993). That book was more narrowly concerned with land use planning and the ways in which its character in the USA differs from that in other countries. This comparative analysis has been replaced in the present volume by a more extensive treatment of the generic problems of planning and by a major section on environmental policy. However, much of the material on various aspects of US land use planning has been reproduced and updated where appropriate.

The first edition of this book was written while Barry was at the Department of Land Economy at the University of Cambridge, England. This deprived him of the direct help from numerous American colleagues who contributed so much to the previous volume, but their influence is still very apparent. Some helped him to overcome the problems of distance by sending contemporary materials and even by commenting on draft chapters. Federal and state officials were particularly helpful in responding to the constant barrage of transatlantic letters. All this direct assistance has been supplemented by many who have unknowingly helped him through their writings: the wide coverage of this book implies a huge debt of gratitude.

We are grateful for comments on a draft of the housing chapter made by Douglas E. Peterson and Laurence S. Newman, Housing Development Specialists in the Department of Economic Development, Arlington County, Virginia. On the transport chapter, we had the benefit of advice from Robert L. Moore, Chief of the Transportation Planning Division of the Fairfax County Office of Transportation.

Jay Howenstine helped us in the seemingly endless task of keeping track of changes in housing policy. The concluding discussion in Chapter 9 owes much to Caroline Torma, who introduced Barry to the widening world of 'historic preservation'. Jim Hecimovich, Assistant Director of Research, American Planning

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