Public planning is a fundamental nonmetro development function. During the past four decades, nonmetro public planning has been expanded beyond traditional budgetary and land planning roles into basic policy and coordinative and administrative functions. This reflects the expansion of the scope, size, and directive influence of the public interventions in the economy.
A diverse array of nonmetro planning institutions has been created during the past forty years. These institutions exist at the federal, multistate, state, substate, and local levels. In large measure, the creation and operation of these institutions represent the principal public sector attempts to bring improved policy and administrative coherence to the conduct of public business.
The conduct of nonmetro planning is increasingly influenced by a number of distinct institutional, political, and technical considerations including: the changing objectives of the public intervention; incoherence in the intergovernmental grant-in-aid system; institutional incapacities of nonmetro planning bodies; the expanding influence of state governments; the inadequacy of training programs for nonmetro planners; issues of scale; growth issues such as land planning; and the sharp historical/ development variations that exist among regions of the nation.
This chapter will briefly describe the existing principal nonmetro planning institutions as well as a number of contemporary nonmetro planning issues. The focus of the chapter will be planning by public bodies, that is, by government. The first section will delineate the principal nonmetro planning institutions at the federal, multistate, state, multijurisdictional, and local government levels. Special attention will be given to multijurisdictional planning institutions as they are a relatively new insti-