Mon & Wed 10:00 am - 11:20 am (first class: Monday August 29)
Art & Architecture Building 3142 (3rd floor capstone room, in Main Building near arch studios)
- map to classroom

Optional discussion session (hosted by Taru, GSI): selected Wednesdays 11:30 - 12:30 (also in 3142 A&AB; schedule to be announced).
Scheduled sessions: Sep 7, 21, 28; Oct 12, 26
[the remaining schedule to be determined]

Writing Instructor: Prof. Julie Steiff office hours are by appointment
GSI: Taru (doctoral candidate). office hours: Monday 2:00 - 4:00 pm). Book an appointment slot here or schedule a meeting via email.

Student google slide presentation pages (with images):

pandemic urbanism (Sep 7)
climate change urbanism (Sep 14)
arguments for/against planning (Oct 26)
public spaces (Nov 16)

updated:  Monday, December 5, 2022 8:32 PM

course overview (please read carefully)
discussion hour
planning history timeline
remembrances of Planning Scholars
central questions of planning
debates in planning theory
terms and concepts
other theory readings
writing advice
Canvas site (for readings)
study guide

COVID-19 Vaccine Information: University Health ServiceMaize and BluePrint Student Vaccine Information • University of Michigan Health •

URP 500 Planning Theory (Fall 2022)
Prof. Scott D. Campbell

College of Architecture and Urban Planning
University Of Michigan
office hours sign-up (via google calendar)
send me anonymous feedback/comments

Where to find Readings 4 formats:

(1) Canvas [articles in "Modules" (sorted by topic) and in "Files" (sorted A-Z); authentication required]
(2) Ebooks (online books via UM Library; authentication required -- set up a free account -- a rich set of free online books.)
(3) available directly on the www [links provided]
(4) printed texts (several also available via Ebooks)

August September October November December
29 31 5 7 12 14 19 21 26 28 3 5 10 12 17 19 24 26 31 2 7 9 14 16 21 23 28 30 5 7
intro key ideas: urbanism; pandemic cities; sustainability & climate change; race & social justice urban history/planning history, from city to suburb   gender why plan? planning styles: traditional & emerging cities & complexity writing for planning public space conflict & democracy   global cities, comparative urbanism final sessions


If citation has no online link or is not from an assigned textbook, then the reading is available through Canvas.
Organization of each session: I first list required readings (typically 3-5 articles or chapters). I then provide a (sometimes much) longer list of "optional additional readings" (which you might read selectively and/or find useful for your essay assignments).

Note: please email me if you encounter any broken links or missing readings. Thanks!

A few readings and links on learning, teaching, writing, graduate school (recommended readings)

Aug 29: Course Introduction

No reading required for this first session.


Aug 31: The Rise and the Power and Attraction of Big Cities (the shift from the rural to the urban; the meaning and function of cities; the separation of space and community; the persistent economic advantage of cities)

We will start with a handful of classic and more recent articles today, and then move on to three contemporary challenges (COVID; climate change; racism/inequality) in subsequent sessions.

  1. Simmel, Georg. "The Metropolis and Mental Life," in The Sociology of Georg Simmel, translated by Kurt H. Wolff Glencoe: The Free Press, 1950, pp. 409-424.
  2. Mumford, Lewis, ‘What Is a City?’
  3. Webber, Melvin ‘The Post-City Age’
  4. Glaeser, Edward L. "Why Economists Still Like Cities." City Journal, Vol. 6, No. 2, 1996, pp. 70-77.
  5. Lehmann, Nicholas, "Get out of Town: Has the Celebration of Cities Gone to Far?" The New Yorker, Jun 27, 2011

Optional additional readings:

  • Louis Wirth, 1938. ‘Urbanism as a Way of Life’
  • Gimein, Mark. 2016. Why the High-Cost of Big City Living is Bad for Everyone," The New Yorker, August 25. [link] [also in Canvas]
  • Kotkin, Joel. 2005. The Urban Future. In LeGates, Richard and Frederic Stout, eds. 2007. The City Reader (4th edition). Routledge.
  • Buruma, I., & Margalit, A. (2004). Occidentalism : the West in the eyes of its enemies. New York: Penguin Press. (Chapter: "The Occidental City", pp. 13-48.)
  • Simon Jenkins. 2015. The trials and triumphs of the city: Edward Glaeser in conversation. The Guardian. May 21. [link]

the "reading response" questions for each session posted in Canvas "Assignments".

For years after the Urban Crisis of the 1960s and 1970s (postwar loss of manufacturing jobs in the city, flight to the suburbs of residents and jobs, loss of tax revenues, decline in public services and infrastructure, rise in crime, decline in political influence of big city mayors and residents) planners had often said: if we could only convince the middle class to return to the city and help revitalize downtowns and urban neighborhoods.
Well, eventually they DID return to the cities (albeit more to some cities than others) and were both cause and outcome of a large-scale “return to the city” movement starting in the late 20th century. But then we saw massive housing cost increases, gentrification, displacement and stark inequalities. Discuss several questions: (1) should we (a) be more surprised by how hard once great industrial cities fell during the Urban Crisis era or (b) by how cities (esp. New York, Boston, etc.) “came back” in recent years or (c) not be surprised at all (since cities are inherently volatile and unpredictable)? 2. Does the historical trajectory of urbanization (and the intrinsic advantages of urban life) mean that cities will invariably grow and dominate the economic and political life of nations and the world - despite temporary setbacks (such as wartime destruction, deindustrialization, suburbanization, and pandemics)?

Sep 5: No Class (Labor Day holiday)


Sep 7: Planning & Cities in the Time of COVID-19: do we need to rethink density, clustering, big cities and public spaces in a time of social distancing?

Some have argued (perhaps with some Schadenfreude) that the pandemic spells the end of the big city era. Yet others have argued that cities remain robust, competitive locations and will come back roaring to life after the pandemic. (Note: the impact on cities vs. suburbs also varied between office space, the housing market, restaurants, retail, and other land uses.)

Task for today: Please review an article (scholarly or journalistic) on the urban consequences of the Pandemic. Create a slide on this shared google slide file and be ready to give a one-minute presentation to class. (Be sure to login to your umich account to access editing privileges for the file.) Details on the first slide of the google file. (Note: this task replaces the "reading response" assignment for today.)

Here is a selected list of readings on the subject. We are still in the midst of this crisis (we are not "post"-COVID; perhaps "late"-COVID?), which has many implications across numerous sectors, so writings on urban consequences are often speculative, tentative and not fully vetted by standard scholarly peer-review. Therefore please read with the appropriate skepticism. I have included a selection of texts that seem particularly relevant, substantive and/or from hopefully reliable sources. Unlike other class sessions (where you should read the complete list of 3-4 required readings carefully), I have included a wide range of texts long and short, so please read these texts selectively and then search for readings of your own. (Note: did the tone of these articles change over the course of the pandemic? That is, does timing matter here?)

[Note: if you are not a subscriber to a newspaper and you hit a paywall, you can access the article through the UM Library. But even better: UM students are provided access to the NY Times through the central student government.
There's quick registration process, but once you complete it, you should have access to direct links. [You can also get a subscription to the Wall Street Journal.]


Sep 12: Theorizing the Sustainable City

  1. Campbell, Scott. 1996. "Green Cities, Growing Cities?  Ecology, Economics and the Contradictions of Urban Planning,"Journal of the American Planning Association.
  2. Campbell, Scott. 2016. The Planner's Triangle Revisited: Sustainability and the Evolution of a Planning Ideal That Can't Stand Still, Journal of the American Planning Association, 82-4, 388-397
  3. Schrock, G., Bassett, E. M., & Green, J. (2015). Pursuing Equity and Justice in a Changing Climate: Assessing Equity in Local Climate and Sustainability Plans in U.S. Cities. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 35(3), 282-295.
  4. Beatley, Timothy. 2012. Sustainability in Planning: The Arc and Trajectory of a Movement, in Sanyal, Bishwapriya, Vale, Lawrence J., and Rosan, Christina, eds. Planning Ideas That Matter : Livability, Territoriality, Governance, and Reflective Practice. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press. pp. 333-57. [Ebook]

Optional additional readings:

  • Long, Joshua, and Jennifer L Rice. 2019. ‘From Sustainable Urbanism to Climate Urbanism’. Urban Studies 56(5): 992–1008.
  • Marcuse, Peter. 1998. Sustainability is not enough. Planners Network May (129):1-10.
  • Meerow, S., & Woodruff, S. C. (2020). Seven Principles of Strong Climate Change Planning. Journal of the American Planning Association, 86(1), 39-46. doi:10.1080/01944363.2019.16521
  • Hayward, Steven F. "A Sensible Environmentalism." Public Interest, Vol. 151, No. Spring, 2003, pp. 62-74.
  • Campbell, Scott. Sustainable Development and Social Justice:  Conflicting Urgencies and the Search for Common Ground in Urban and Regional Planning (Michigan Journal of Sustainability, Vol 1, 2013)
  • Campbell, Scott. “Unsustainability as a Chronic, Manageable Disease? Alternatives to Sustainability-as-Equilibrium,” paper presented at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Annual Conference, Oct 22 – 25, 2015, Houston, TX.
  • Thomas L. Daniels (2009): A Trail Across Time: American Environmental Planning From City Beautiful to Sustainability, Journal of the American Planning Association, 75:2, 178-192
  • Swyngedouw, E. and N.C. Heynen, 2003. Urban Political Ecology, Justice and the Politics of Scale. Antipode: A Journal of Radical Geography. 35(5): 898-918.
  • Eric J. Heikkila (2011): Environmentalism with Chinese Characteristics? Urban River Revitalization in Foshan, Planning Theory & Practice, 12:01, 33-55
  • Rosenbloom, Sandra. 2016. "Celebrating a Special Anniversary: A Time for Reflection." Journal of the American Planning Association 82 (4):371-373. doi: 10.1080/01944363.2016.1216221.
  • Schweitzer, Lisa E. 2016. "Tracing the Justice Conversation After "Green Cities, Growing Cities"." Journal of the American Planning Association 82 (4):374-379. doi: 10.1080/01944363.2016.1214538.
  • Berke, Philip. 2016. "Twenty Years After Campbell's Vision: Have We Achieved More Sustainable Cities?" Journal of the American Planning Association 82 (4):380-382. doi: 10.1080/01944363.2016.1214539.
  • Moore, Steven A. 2016. "Testing a Mature Hypothesis: Reflection on "Green Cities, Growing Cities, Just Cities: Urban Planning and the Contradiction of Sustainable Development"." Journal of the American Planning Association 82 (4):385-388. doi: 10.1080/01944363.2016.1213655.
  • Hirt, Sonia A. 2016. "The City Sustainable: Three Thoughts on "Green Cities, Growing Cities, Just Cities"." Journal of the American Planning Association 82 (4):383-384. doi: 10.1080/01944363.2016.1213656.
  • Low, Nicholas and Brendan Gleeson. 1998. Justice, society, and nature: an exploration of political ecology. London; New York: Routledge. (Ch. 5 "Environmental Justice: Distributing Environmental Quality," pp. 102-132).

and for an extensive reading list, please see the syllabus for URP 532: Sustainability and Social Change (last taught Winter 2022).


Sep 14: Leitmotifs in Planning Theory: climate change, "natural" (or unnatural) disasters; urban flooding (both fresh and salty water)


Themes/Questions: Where should people move in response to climate change (and the shifting geography of natural hazards and resource availability, including water)? And why do they (at least suggested by recent migration/demographic data) seem to be moving in the "wrong" direction? What have been the modern, 20th century strategies to control nature and adapt to natural environments, and how might we need to rethink planning and urban development in this century?

Task for today: Create a slide on this google slide file and be ready to give a 1-2 minute presentation to class. (Be sure to login to your umich account to access editing privileges for the file.) Details on the first slide of the google file. (Note: this task replaces the "reading response" assignment for today.) [This session is similar in format to Sept 7]

Here is a selected list of readings on the subject. Unlike other class sessions (where you should read the complete list of 3-4 required readings carefully), I have included a wide range of texts long and short, so please read these texts selectively and then search for readings of your own. There is an abundance of recent literature on natural disasters, mirroring an unfortunate abundance of floods, hurricanes, wildfires, heatwaves, etc. We will examine the interrelated themes of how humans adapt to changing weather and climate conditions (including spatial, design and migratory strategies); the uneven impact of disasters on diverse populations; the interface between human settlements and wilderness (the "Human Wildlife Interface"), especially when residential settlements push further into remote natural settings; collective vs. individual responses to natural hazards and climate change. Recent examples include: western US wildfires; flooding in Houston, New Orleans and the Northeast; and rising sea levels in Florida.

Climate Migration - Are we moving in the wrong direction?

flooding in Houston


California fires

air conditioning, architecture, design, land use

more possible reading:

[Note: if you are not a subscriber to a newspaper and you hit a paywall, you can access the article through the UM Library. But even better: UM students are provided access to the NY Times through the central student government.
There's quick registration process, but once you complete it, you should have access to direct links. [You can also get a subscription to the Wall Street Journal.]


Sep 19: [CONTINUED -- DAY 2] Leitmotifs in Planning Theory: climate change, "natural" (or unnatural) disasters; urban flooding (both fresh and salty water)

We will continue the theme from last week, since it was too large to cover in one session. Review the relevant readings from Wednesday, and then here are several more:

  1. Glaeser, Edward L. "Should the Government Rebuild New Orleans, Or Just Give Residents Checks?: " The Economists' Voice, vol. 2, no. 4, 2005. [in Canvas]
    [this article triggered many responses. Here is one: Chandan Deuskar. 2013. A Profound Sense of Place: The Intangibles of City Life in New Orleans World Bank Blogs. July 2.]
  2. Long, Joshua, and Jennifer L Rice. 2019. ‘From Sustainable Urbanism to Climate Urbanism’. Urban Studies 56(5): 992–1008. [in Canvas]
  3. Lauren Herzer Risi and Maxine Burkett. 2020. Reorienting Perceptions of Climate Change, Migration, & Displacement. Wilson Center. Sept 30.

Optional additional readings:

  • Mark Scott, Mick Lennon, Fiadh Tubridy, Patrick Marchman, A.R. Siders, Kelly Leilani Main, Victoria Herrmann, Debra Butler, Kathryn Frank, Karyn Bosomworth, Raphaele Blanchi & Cassidy Johnson (2020) Climate Disruption and Planning: Resistance or Retreat?, Planning Theory & Practice, 21:1, 125-154, DOI: 10.1080/14649357.2020.1704130
  • Meerow, S., & Woodruff, S. C. (2020). Seven Principles of Strong Climate Change Planning. Journal of the American Planning Association, 86(1), 39-46. doi:10.1080/01944363.2019.1652108
  • Schrock, G., Bassett, E. M., & Green, J. (2015). Pursuing Equity and Justice in a Changing Climate: Assessing Equity in Local Climate and Sustainability Plans in U.S. Cities. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 35(3), 282-295. doi:10.1177/0739456X15580022
  • World Resources Institute. 2018. IPCC 1.5° Report: We Need to Build and Live Differently in Cities
  • American Planning Association: Natural Hazards

Sep 21: The Struggle for Diversity in Planning Thought and Practice (Part I: Focus on Planning Education)

  1. June Manning Thomas, "Educating planners: unified diversity for social action", Journal of Planning Education and Research, 1996, 15: 171.
  2. Sweet and Etienne, Commentary, Diversity in Urban Planning Education and Practice, Journal of Planning Education and Research, 2011, 31(3) 332–339.
  3. Garcia, Ivis, April Jackson, Stacy A. Harwood, Andrew J. Greenlee, C. Aujean Lee & Benjamin Chrisinger (2020) "Like a Fish Out of Water: The Experience of African American and Latinx Planning Students", Journal of the American Planning Association.
  4. Lee, C. A., Chrisinger, B., Greenlee, A. J., Garcia Zambrana, I., & Jackson, A. (2020). Beyond Recruitment: Comparing Experiences of Climate and Diversity between International Students and Domestic Students of Color in U.S. Urban Planning Programs. Journal of Planning Education and Research.

Optional additional readings:

  • ACSP Statement Following the Killing of George Floyd Friday, June 5, 2020 & Black Faculty Response to the ACSP Statement (June 18) [link]
    [*Note: ACSP = Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning is the main organization for urban planning scholars/faculty, with its associated journal JPER: Journal of Planning Education and Research; by contrast, the much larger American Planning Association (APA) primarily represents professional planners, and publishes the Journal of the American Planning Association (JAPA).]
  • April Jackson, Ivis Garcia-Zambrana, Andrew J. Greenlee, C. Aujean Lee & Benjamin Chrisinger (2018) All Talk No Walk: Student Perceptions on Integration of Diversity and Practice in Planning Programs, Planning Practice & Research, 33:5, 574-595
  • Goetz, E. G., Williams, R. A., & Damiano, A. (2020). Whiteness and Urban Planning. Journal of the American Planning Association, 86(2), 142-156.
  • Young, Iris Marion. 2000. Inclusion and democracy, Oxford political theory. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. [selection: pages 87-111 from Ch. 3, "Social Difference as Political Resource"]
  • the section on "Race, Gender and Diversity" in the Progressive Planning Reader (Planners Network, 2004), pp. 32-48.
  • Sen, Siddhartha, Karen Umemoto, Vera Zambonelli, Annie Koh. 2017. “Diversity and Social Justice in Planning Education: A Synthesis of Topics, Pedagogical Approaches and Educational Goals in Planning Syllabi.” Journal of Planning Education and Research 37(3): 347-58.x

Sep 26: The Struggle for Diversity in Planning Thought and Practice (Part II: Focus on Planning Profession/Practice)

  1. Thomas, June Manning. 2008. "The Minority-Race Planner in the Quest for a Just City." Planning Theory 7 (3):227-247.
  2. Umemoto, Karen. 2001. Walking in Another's Shoes: Epistemological Challenges in Participatory Planning. Journal of Planning Education and Research 21 (1):17-31.
  3. Thomas, June Manning. (1994). Planning History and the Black Urban Experience: Linkages and Contemporary Implications. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 14(1), 1-11.
  4. Rothstein, R. (2017). The color of law : a forgotten history of how our government segregated America. New York ; London: Liveright Publishing Corporation. [read Ch. 1, If San Francisco, then Everywhere? Ch 2, Public Housing, Back Ghettos; Ch 3, Racial Zoning] (Note: this is a widely read book, but if you haven't read it yet, it's worth knowing its main arguments.]

    Optional additional readings:

  • Thomas, June Manning. (2018). Socially Responsible Practice: The Battle to Reshape the American Institute of Planners. Journal of Planning History, 18(4), 258-281. doi:10.1177/1538513218786007
  • ACSP Statement Following the Killing of George Floyd Friday, June 5, 2020 & Black Faculty Response to the ACSP Statement (June 18) [link]
  • Garcia, I., Garfinkel-Castro, A., & Pfeiffer, D. (2019). Planning With Diverse Communities (Planning Advisory Service (PAS) Report 593), American Planning Association.
  • Sako Musterd (ed). 2020. Handbook of Urban Segregation, Edward Elgar. [Ebook] [note: this is a new edited volume with a rich array of case studies from around the world. For the US context, see Ch 9: "Racial and economic segregation in the US: overlapping and reinforcing dimensions" by Paul Jargowsky]
  • Fainstein, Susan S. 2005. "Cities and Diversity: Should We Want It? Can We Plan For It?" Urban Affairs Review 41 (1):3-19.
  • Loh, C. G., & Kim, R. (2020). Are We Planning for Equity? Journal of the American Planning Association, 1-16.
  • Fincher, Ruth, and Kurt Iveson. 2012. "Justice and Injustice in the City." Geographical Research 50 (3):231-241.
    URP-hosted symposia on Video [via the Taubman College Vimeo channel]: "Planning in a "Post-Racial" Society (?): New Directions and Challenges" (2013) - "Sustainability & Social Justice: Conflicting Urgencies" (2012)
  • ACSP Committee on Diversity - Report on Race, Ethnicity, and Foreign Origin Data for ACSP [link]
  • Diversity Matters at Michigan (UM site with many useful links, including resources)
  • Majora Carter: Greening the ghetto (TED Talk, Feb 2006)
  • Leonardo Vazquez, 2002. "Diversity and the Planning Profession," Planners Network. [link]
  • ACSP Planners of Color Interest Group (POCIG), Survey of Diversity and Minority Faculty Perceptions of Institutional Climate of Planning Schools (Climate Survey), Recommendations Prepared by the POCIG Policy and Advocacy Committee, 2010.
  • Jargowsky, Paul A. "Sprawl, Concentration of Poverty, and Urban Inequality," in Squires, Gregory D., ed. Urban Sprawl: Causes, Consequences, and Policy Responses. Washington D.C.: The Urban Institute Press. 2002, pp. 39-69.
  • Sugrue, Thomas. The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 2005 (reprint). pp.180-229. (Chs. 7 and 8)
  • Mier, Robert. 1994. Some observations on race in planning. Journal of the American Planning Association. 60. 2 (Spring 1994): 235-240.
  • Harvey, David. 2009. Social Justice and the City (Revised Edition). Atlanta: University of Georgia Press. [Ebooks]
  • Freeman, Lance. 2006. There Goes the 'Hood : Views of Gentrification from the Ground Up. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. [Ebooks]
  • Peggy McIntosh, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack [Canvas] and "Beyond the Backpack" [link]
  • Chesler, Mark. 1997. Perceptions of Faculty Behavior by Students of Color (CRLT Occasional Paper #7).
  • an interesting recent "Room for Debate" at the New York Times: "The South's Enduring Conservativism" (October 2, 2012)
  • Jeffrey S. Lowe. Lack of Diversity in Southern Academia What Can Progressive Planners Do? Progressive Planning, No. 195 (Spring): 6-9. [link]
  • Trotter, Joe, Tera W. Hunter, and Earl Lewis. 2004. African American Urban Experience : Perspectives from the Colonial Period to the Present. Gordonsville, VA, USA: Palgrave Macmillan. [Ebooks]
  • American Planning Association: Equity Diversity Inclusion (with many useful links, including Social Equity Research KnowledgeBase)
  • The Urban Activist: Racial equity in urban planning reframes future mobility in US cities
  • Emily Badger. 2020. The Pandemic Has Pushed Aside City Planning Rules. But to Whose Benefit? As bike lanes and cafes sprout on streets, marginalized residents wonder when their priorities will get attention. The New York Times. July 20, 2020. [copy also in Canvas]
  • Smith, Kendra. 2019. More and Better: Increasing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Planning. PAS Memo (A publication of the Planning Advisory Service of the American Planning Association). [ Canvas]
  • Hillier, A. E. (2003). Redlining and the Home Owners' Loan Corporation. Journal of Urban History, 29(4), 394-420. [a fascinating article that questions the simple assumption that HOLC maps from the 1930s "caused redlining and disinvestment in U.S. cities by sharing its color-coded maps", and shows how this discrimination in lending patterns predated these maps -- map that were neither widely distributed nor the primary source of information for lenders about risk levels.]

graphic 20TH CENTURY Planning History: from garden cities and City Beautiful to Late modernism & SUBURBIA

Sep 28: The Garden City as the Marriage of Town and Country (examples: Letchworth, Welwyn, Radburn)

  1. Ebenezer Howard. 1902 [1898]. To-Morrow: a peaceful path to real reform (republished in 1902 as Garden Cities of To-Morrow). arrowno need to read the entire book -- though short and easy to read -- but do read enough to get a sense of both the goals and the specific features of Garden Cities. (e.g., these sections are a good start: Introduction, I-II, XII-XIII.) There are numerous sources of the text, including: the 1902 edition (London, S. Sonnenschein & co., ltd.): HathiTrust link; or at Also try google books link; or the 1965 MIT Press edition. [google book link]; or on Ebooks: To-Morrow : A Peaceful Path to Real Reform, Taylor and Francis, 2003. (edited by Sir Peter Hall, , Dennis Hardy, , E. Howard, and Colin Ward. I also uploaded a full-text copy into Canvas
  2. Hall, Peter.  2002.  Cities of Tomorrow.  (Chs. 1-4)  [eBooks] [We will read Hall's book throughout the semester. A copy is available online via Ebooks, but I highly recommend getting your own copy -- it's a standard text and many used copies available.]
  3. Ruth Eckdish Knack, "Garden Cities"
  4. Garvin, Alexander. 1998. Are Garden Cities Still Relevant? In Revolutionary Ideas in Planning?Proceedings of the 1988 National Planning Conference. Boston: AICP Press.

Optional additional readings:

Oct 3: City Beautiful Movement: Daniel Burnham, the 1893 World Columbian Exposition (Chicago), and the 1909 Plan of Chicago

  1. Peter Hall, Ch. 6 ("City of Monuments") [eBooks]
  2. Wilson, William H. "The Glory, Destruction, and Meaning of the City Beautiful Movement,"

Optional additional readings:

Background information on the Columbian Exposition of 1893:

Background information on Burnham's 1909 Plan of Chicago (including several alternative links to the original 1909 plan):

other background information:


Oct 5: The Legacy of Modernist Planning and Architecture

  1. Hall, Ch. 7 ("City of Towers") [eBooks]
  2. Le Corbusier, ‘A Contemporary City’
  3. Mumford, Lewis. 1986. "Yesterday's City of Tomorrow." In The Lewis Mumford reader. New York: Pantheon Books.
  4. Wright, Frank Lloyd. 1935. Broadacre City: A New Community Plan. In LeGates, Richard and Frederic Stout, eds. 2007. The City Reader (4th edition). Routledge.
  5. Fishman, Robert. 1982. "Conclusion," in Urban Utopias in the Twentieth Century. New York, NY: Basic Books, pp. 265 - 277

Optional additional readings:

  • Glazer, Nathan. "The Social Agenda of Architecture," in From a Cause to a Style. Princeton, 2007, pp. 271-292.
  • Glazer, Nathan. "The Public's Image of the Profession," in The Profession of City Planning: Changes, Images, and Challenges, edited by Lloyd Rodwin and Bishwapriya Sanyal. New Jersey: Center for Urban Policy Research, 2000, pp. 224-230. [citations updated]
  • James C. Scott, "Authoritarian High Modernism"
  • Ellin, Nan. 1999. Themes of Postmodern Urbanism. In Postmodern urbanism. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. (excerpt: "Themes of Postmoderm Urbanism")
  • Loos, Adolf, and Adolf Opel. 1998. Ornament and crime : selected essays, Studies in Austrian literature, culture, and thought. Riverside, Calif.: Ariadne Press. (Chapter: 29: Ornament and Crime).
  • Sandercock, Leonie, "Mongrel Cities,"
  • Kaika, Maria, and Erik Swyngedouw. "Fetishizing the Modern City: The Phantasmagoria of Urban Technological Networks." International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Vol. 24, No. 1, March 2000, pp. 120-138.
  • Harvey, David. 1992. "Social Justice, Postmodernism and the City." International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 16 (4):588-601.
  • Campbell, Scott, "Is 'Progress' No Longer Progressive? Reclaiming the Ideology of Progress in Planning," pdf file
  • Wampole, Christy. 2012. "How to Live Without Irony," The New York Times, November 17. link [that suggests a link between the post-modern stance and the shortcomings of irony]
  • Jonathan Glancey. 2015. Is this the Perfect City? History is full of failed attempts to create the ideal town. Is it possible to buck the trend? BBC News. Dec 11. [link]

New York World's Fair (1939): To New Horizons (1940) • The Middleton Family at the New York World's Fair (1939)The Shock of the New (Robert Hughes, 1980), Episode 4: Trouble in Utopia (including sections on Philip Johnson, Le Corbusier, the Bauhaus, and Brasilia)


Oct 10: Two Visions of Postwar American Cities: Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs

Note: we cover a lot of ground here: a momentous mid-century debate between two visions of the city, of New York, of the role of the street, of Modernism and the values or destructiveness of urban renewal programs. (To make room for more topics this semester, I am compressing two sessions into this one omnibus session on both Moses and Jacobs)
  1. Berman, Marshall. "Robert Moses: The Expressway World" and "The 1960s: A Shout in the Street," in All That is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity. New York: Penguin, 1988, pp. 290-329. (excerpt in Canvas) [also available on HathiTrust -- see the section on Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs]
  2. Cleveland Rodgers (1939).  "Robert Moses:  An Atlantic Portrait,"  The Atlantic Monthly.
  3. Jane Jacobs The Death and Life of Great American Cities, 1961 (Introduction; Ch. 7, "The Generators of Diversity; Ch. 21, "The kind of problem a city is")
    [start with the introduction, which lays out here core argument; Ch 7 focuses on the four elements of diversity: mixed uses, small blocks, a mix of old and new buildings, concentration; and Ch 21 reveals Jacobs fascination with complexity -- both building on earlier work by Warren Weaver and others at the Rockefeller Foundation and anticipating later fascination with viewing cities as complex systems. We will return to the theme of complexity on Nov 18.]
  4. Montgomery, Roger. 1998. "Is There Still Life in The Death and Life?" Journal of the American Planning Association 64 (3):269-274.
  5. Lloyd Rodwin. 1961. "Neighbors Are Needed " (a review of The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs). New York Times, Nov. 5.

Optional additional readings:

on Robert Moses

on Jane Jacobs

  • "The Metropolis Observed: Jane Jacobs at 81"  Metropolis online (April 1998)  [updated link]
  • as noted above, watch this video: Ric Burns' 9-episode "New York: A Documentary Film": Episode 6 "City of Tomorrow (1929-1941)"; Episode 7 "The City and the World (1945 - 2000)".
  • audio: speeches by Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs (Jacobs vs. Moses in WNYC's History, The Brian Lehrer Show, WNYC).
  • Whyte, William H. 1987. The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. In The Public Face of Architecture: Civic Culture and Public Spaces, edited by Glazer, Nathan and Lilla, Mark. New York: Free Press.
  • "Godmother of the American City," Metropolis online (March 2001) [updated link]
  • Nicolai Ouroussoff, 2006. "Outgrowing Jane Jacobs and Her New York," The New York Times, April 30. link
  • "Time for Some Jane Jacobs Revisionism?" The New York Times, November 1, 2007. link.
  • Gratz, Roberta Brandes. 2010. Battle for Gotham : New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs. New York, NY, USA: Nation Books. [currently not available]
  • Schubert, Dirk, ed. 2014. Contemporary Perspectives on Jane Jacobs. Farnham, GB: Ashgate.[Ebooks]
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation, A Tale of Two Planners: Jane Jacobs vs. Robert Moses [new link]
  • Hirt, Sonia, and Zahm, Diane, eds. 2012. The Urban Wisdom of Jane Jacobs. London: Taylor & Francis Group. [EBook link]
  • Gans, Herbert. 1962, The Death Life of Great American Cities, by Jane Jacobs (Book Review) Commentary Feb 1962.

Oct 12: Rethinking Suburbia: the intellectual history of the anti-city/edge city/non-city/new city.

  1. Hall, Cities of Tomorrow (Chs. 3, 9)  [eBooks]
  2. Fishman, Robert. "Bourgeois Utopias: Visions of Suburbia (excerpt from Bourgeois Utopias: the rise and fall of suburbia. New York: Basic Books.).
  3. Rybczynski, Witold. "Country Homes for City People," in City Life. New York: Touchstone / Simon & Schuster, 1995, pp. 173-196.
  4. Cohen, Lizabeth. "Residence: Inequality in Mass Suburbia," in A Consumers' Republic. New York: Vintage, 2003, pp. 194-256.

Optional additional readings:

* [Note: if you are not a subscriber to a newspaper and you hit a paywall, you can access the article through the UM Library. But even better: UM students are provided access to the NY Times through the central student government.
There's quick registration process, but once you complete it, you should have access to direct links. [You can also get a subscription to the Wall Street Journal.]


Oct 17: UM Study Break -- NO CLASSES


Oct 19: Gender, Equity and the City

  1. Frisch, Michael. 2002. Planning as a Heterosexist Project, Journal of Planning Education and Research 21; 254-66.
  2. Dolores Hayden, Nurturing: Home, Mom and Apple Pie" [now in Canvas]
  3. Micklow, Amanda, Beth Kancilia, Mildred Warner, 2015. "The Need to Plan for Women," Planning with a Gender Lens, Issue Brief, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY [link, also in Canvas]
  4. Okin, Susan Moller, 1997. Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women? Boston Review (October 1). [link]

Optional additional readings:

  • Gauger, Bri. 2021. "From the Women's Movement to the Academy: Feminist Urban Planning, 1970-1985" (pp. 213-234) in Smith, S., Neubert, C., Hawkins, M., & Gokariksel, B. (eds). 2021. Feminist Geography UnboundDiscomfort, Bodies, and Prefigured Futures. Morgantown: West Virginia University Press. [alt source: UM Library online link]
  • Ryan, Sherry. 2019. Integrating Gender Mainstreaming into U.S. Planning Practice, American Planning Association. PAS MEMO, November/December.
  • Parker, B. (2012). Gender, Cities, and Planning: Looking Back and Looking Forward. In R. Crane & R. Weber (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Urban Planning (pp. 609–633). London: Oxford University Press.
  • Beebeejaun, Y. (2017). Gender, urban space, and the right to everyday life. Journal of Urban Affairs, 39(3), 323–334. 
  • Ritzdorf, M. (1995). Feminist contributions to ethics and planning theory. In S. Hendler (Ed.), Planning ethics: A reader in planning theory, practices, and education (pp. 104–119). New Brunswick, N.J.: Center for Urban Policy Research.
  • Solnit, Rebecca (2001). "Walking After Midnight: Women, Sex, and Public Place" in Wanderlust : a history of walking. London: Verso.
  • Spain, Daphne. (2000). How Women Saved the City. Minneapolis, MN, USA: University of Minnesota Press. [Ebooks]
  • Chant, Sylvia. 2013. Cities through a ''gender lens'': a golden ''urban age'' for women in the global South? Environment and Urbanization 25: 9-29.
  • Barbara Rahder and Carol Altilia, Where is Feminism in Planning Going? Appropriation or Transformation? Planning Theory, July 2004; vol. 3, 2: pp. 107-116.
  • Jacqueline Leavitt, Where's the gender in community development? Signs; Autumn 2003; 29, 1; 207-230.
  • Nussbaum, Martha C.  Women and human development. Ch 1 (selection): “In defense of universal values,” Cambridge University Press, 2000 [Sections I, II, IV:  pp. 39-59; 70-86]
  • Ann Forsyth, 2001. Sexuality and Space: Nonconformist Populations and Planning Practice, Journal of Planning Literature, Vol. 15, No. 3 (February), 339-58.
  • Doan, P. and H. Higgins. 2011. "The Demise of Queer Space? Resurgent Gentrification and LGBT Neighborhoods," Journal of Planning Education and Research. 31, 1: 6-25.
  • Massey, Doreen B. 1999. Space, Place, and Gender. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. [Ebooks]
  • Gwendolyn Wright, Women's Aspirations and the Home: Episodes in American Feminist Reform. [link]
  • United Nations. Womenwatch: Gender Equality and Sustainable Urbanisation. Fact Sheet.
  • and a fascinating story about gender identity and the ability to go out in public places: Jenny Nordberg, "The Afghan Girls Who Live as Boys," The Atlantic, 8 Sep 2014). [link]. see also NPR "here and now": Afghan Girls Raised In Boys' Clothing. link.

Core Questions: Should we plan? How should we plan?

Oct 24: Arguments for and Against Planning, Part 1

  1. Richard E. Foglesong, "Planning the Capitalist City" (a short excerpt from his longer book, introducing the useful idea of the "property contradiction")
  2. Richard Klosterman.   "Arguments for and Against Planning"
  3. Garrett Hardin, 1968. The Tragedy of the Commons. Science, Vol. 162 no. 3859, pp. 1243-1248 (a classic reading in environmental studies, and worth reading if you haven't already read it)
  4. Daniel H. Cole and Elinor Ostrom, The Variety of Property Systems and Rights in Natural Resources, in Ostrom, Elinor (ed). 2011. Property in Land and Other Resources. Cambridge, MA: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, pp. 37-66 (Ch 2). [chapter in Canvas; entire book in eBooks] (Ostrom takes Hardin's ideas about the commons and both challenges and advances them. Here are several appreciations of her influential work, by Edward Glaser and Wyn Grant).

Note: we will also discuss the upcoming final project steps. See the assignment page for details.

Optional additional readings:

  • Robert Axelrod; William D. Hamilton, 1981. The Evolution of Cooperation, Science, New Series, Vol. 211, No. 4489. (Mar. 27, 1981), pp. 1390-1396.
  • Alexander, Ernest R. 2004. Capturing the Public Interest : Promoting Planning in Conservative Times. Journal of Planning Education and Research 24:102.
  • Ostrom, Elinor. (2009). A General Framework for Analyzing Sustainability of Social-Ecological Systems. Science, 325(5939), 419-422. [Ostrom did fascinating and compelling work on strategies for groups to manage common pool resources and avoid the tragedy of the commons.]

Oct 26: Arguments for and Against Planning, Part 2

  1. Campbell, Heather and Robert Marshall, "Utilitarianism’s Bad Breath? A Re-evalution of the Public Interest Justification for Planning."
  2. Peter Gordon, "Plan Obsolescence", Reason, 1998. [ link] [a copy also in Canvas]
  3. Friedrich Hayek, 1945. The Use of Knowledge in Society. American Economic Review, XXXV, No. 4; September, 519-30. [ Canvas]
  4. Adams, David, and Craig Watkins. "Making the economic case for planning." Town Planning Review, vol. 89, no. 5, Sept.-Oct. 2018, pp. 437-441.

(note: the earliest reading is by the Austrian economist Hayek, who laid the foundations for postwar conservative/neoclassical arguments in defense of the market as a superior alternative to centrally-planned -- e.g., socialist -- economies. Gordon, who teaches planning at USC, later adapted this thinking for planning. Adams and Watkins provide a contemporary defense of planning, in reaction to ca. 40 years of conservative, Thatcherite criticisms of public planning. Finally, Campbell and Marshall revisit planning's focus on promoting the "public interest" as the core justification for planning)

Task for today: Create a slide on this google slide file and be ready to give a 2 minute presentation to class. (Be sure to login to your umich account to access editing privileges for the file.) Details on the first slide of the google file. (Note: this task replaces the "reading response" assignment for today.) [This session is similar in format to Sept 7 and 14]. Examples from past years are on this tumblr blog page: arguments for/against planning

Optional additional readings:

  • Lai, L. W. C. (2014). “As planning is everything, it is good for something!” A Coasian economic taxonomy of modes of planning. Planning theory, 15(3), 255-273.
  • Lennon, M. (2020). Planning as Justification. Planning Theory & Practice, 1-5.
  • Lai, L. W. C. (1999). Hayek and Town Planning: A Note on Hayek's Views towards Town Planning in The Constitution of Liberty. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 31(9), 1567-1582.
  • Sternberg, E. (1993). Justifying Public Intervention without Market Externalities: Karl Polanyi's Theory of Planning in Capitalism. Public Administration Review, 53(2), 100-109.
  • Fontenot, A. (2015). Notes Toward a History of Non-Planning: On design, the market, and the state. Places(January). [link]
  • Harvey, David. "On Planning the Ideology of Planning," in The Urbanization of Capital: Studies in the History and Theory of Capitalist Urbanization.
  • Peter Gordon, Hayek and Cities: Guidelines for Regional Scientists ; The Sprawl Debate : Let Markets Plan [Adobe PDF Format]
  • Harper, Thomas L., and Stanley M. Stein. 1995. Out of the Postmodern Abyss: Preserving the Rationale for Liberal Planning. Journal of Planning Education and Research 14 (4):233-244.
  • Terry Moore (1978): Why Allow Planners to Do What They Do? A Justification from Economic Theory, Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 44:4, 387-398. [newly added]
  • Banham, R., Barker, P., Hall, P., & Price, C. (1969). Non-Plan: an experiment in freedom. New society, 13, 338.
  • Brinkley, C. (2020). Hardin’s imagined tragedy is pig shit: A call for planning to recenter the commons. Planning Theory, 19(1), 127-144.
  • Adams, D., & Tiesdell, S. (2010). Planners as Market Actors: Rethinking State–Market Relations in Land and Property. Planning Theory & Practice, 11(2), 187-207.
  • Nikil Saval. 2019. The Plight of the Urban Planner For decades, planners have been called evil or obsolete. A housing crisis might offer a chance at redemption. The New Yorker. Nov 20. [link]
  • Gerckens, L. 2000. Ten Failures that Shaped the 20th Century American City. Planning Commissioners Journal. N. 38, Spring. [link]
  • see also the literature on cities as self-organizing systems (and related ideas), such as Alain Bertaud's Order without Design: How Markets Shape Cities [review
  • class blog theme: arguments for/against planning [read these entries from students from previous years]

Oct 31: How should we plan? Traditional Approaches (Comprehensive, Incremental, Advocacy, Strategic, Equity), Part 1

  1. Fainstein, Susan S. 2005. "Planning Theory and the City." Journal of Planning Education and Research 25 (2):121-130. doi: 10.1177/0739456x05279275.
  2. Altshuler, Alan. 1965. "The Goals of Comprehensive Planning." Journal of the American Institute of Planning 31:186-94.
  3. Lindblom, Charles E. 1959. "The Science of Muddling Through." Public Administration Review 19 (Spring):79-88.
  4. Davidoff, Paul. 1965. "Advocacy and Pluralism in Planning." Journal of the American Institute of Planners 31 (4):544-555.

(Note: we read three "classics" today that are on most planning theory reading lists: Altshuler on comprehensive planning, Lindblom on incrementalism, and Davidoff on advocacy. Fainstein provides a broader overview. One way to approach this week: see comprehensive planning as a mid 20th century effort to organize planning around a central task of rational planning on a comprehensive scale, and then the other styles as reactions and alternatives -- from either the social democratic/progressive/radical or the conservative/libertarian side -- to the perceived shortcomings of the comprehensive model. That said, despite all the criticisms of comprehensiveness, that framework lives on today.)

By today, each student should select one planning style on this google doc (forming groups of 2-3 students for each style).

We will set aside a bit of time today to talk about your final project ideas.

Optional additional readings:

Nov 2: How should we plan? Traditional Approaches (Comprehensive, Incremental, Advocacy, Strategic, Equity), Part 2

  1. Kaufman, Jerome L., and Harvey M. Jacobs. 1987. "A Public Planning Perspective on Strategic Planning." Journal of the American Planning Association 53:23-33.
  2. Krumholz, Norman. 1982. "A Retrospective View of Equity Planning: Cleveland, 1969-1979." Journal of the American Planning Association 48 (Spring):163-83.
  3. Fainstein, Susan S. and Norman Fainstein "City Planning and Political Values:An Updated View," in Readings in Planning Theory, 1st ed., edited by Campbell,Scott and Fainstein, Susan S. Cambridge: Blackwell, 1996
  4. American Institute of Certified Planners, Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. [ link for the current versions]

Nov 7: How should we plan? Recent Alternative Approaches (including Communicative Action and Insurgent/Radical Planning)

  1. Forester, John. "Learning from Practice Stories: The Priority of Practical Judgment," in The Argumentative Turn in Policy Analysis and Planning, edited by Frank Fischer and John Forester. Durham/London: Duke, 1993, pp. 186-209.
  2. Bent Flyvbjerg, Bringing Power to Planning Research: One Researcher's Praxis Story.
  3. Flyvbjerg, Bent and Tim Richardson. 2002. "Planning and Foucault: in Search of the Dark Side of Planning Theory,” in Planning Futures: New Directions for Planning Theory. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 44-62.
  4. Miraftab, F. 2009. Insurgent Planning: Situating Radical Planning in the Global South. Planning Theory, 8(1), 32-50.
  5. Campanella, Thomas. 2011. "Jane Jacobs and the Death and Life of American Planning." Places (April). [link, also in Canvas]

BEFORE CLASS, Each group should add their answers to the collectively-authored google docs table of planning styles
also: hand-out for in-class exercise/role-playing on styles of planning applied to a scenario

Optional additional readings:

  • Jacobs, Fayola, 2019, Black feminism and radical planning- New directions for disaster planning research, Planning Theory. Vol. 18(1) 24-39.
  • Pennington, Mark. "A Hayekian Liberal Critique of Collaborative Planning," in Planning Futures: New Directions for Planning Theory. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 187-205.
  • Healey, Patsy. 2012. Communicative Planning: Practices, Concepts, and Rhetorics, in Sanyal, Bishwapriya, Vale, Lawrence J., and Rosan, Christina, eds. Planning Ideas That Matter : Livability, Territoriality, Governance, and Reflective Practice. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press. pp. 333-57. [Ebooks]
  • Machler, L., & Milz, D. (2015). The Evolution of Communicative Planning Theory (AESOP Young Academics Booklet Series B, THE EVOLUTION OF COMMUNICATIVE PLANNING THEORY, Booklet 3). Groningen, NL: InPlanning.
  • Klosterman, Richard E. 2013. Lessons learned about planning. Journal of the American Planning Association 79, no 2: 161-69.
  • Brooks, Michael P. 2002. Planning Theory for Practitioners (Ch. 9: "Decentralized Non-Rationality: the Planner as Communicator), APA Press. [new addition]
  • Charles J. Hoch, 2007. Pragmatic Communicative Action Theory. Journal of Planning Education and Research; 26; 272.
  • Patsy Healey, Traditions of Planning Thought.
  • Frank Fischer, Public Policy as Discursive Construct: Social Meaning and Multiple Realities.
  • Judith E. Innes & David E. Booher (2004): Reframing public participation: strategies for the 21st century, Planning Theory & Practice, 5:4, 419-436.
  • Jon, Ihnji, Pragmatism and contemporary planning theory: Going beyond a communicative approach, in Jane Wills, and Robert Lake (eds), The power of pragmatism: Knowledge production and social inquiry (Manchester, 2020)
  • Allison B. Laskey & Walter Nicholls (2019), Jumping Off the Ladder: Participation and Insurgency in Detroit's Urban Planning, Journal of the American Planning Association, 85:3, 348-362.
  • Huq, E. (2020). Seeing the insurgent in transformative planning practices. Planning Theory, 19(4), 371-391.

Nov 9: Cities and Complexity: Applying Complex Systems Thinking to Urban Planning

  1. Lehrer, Jonah, 2010, A Physicist Solves the City (The New York Times)
  2. Bettencourt and West, A unified theory of urban living, Nature
  3. Rittel, Horst W.J., and Melvin M. Webber. 1973. Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning. Policy Sciences 4:155-169.
  4. Zellner, Moira L, and Scott D. Campbell. 2015. "Planning for Deep-Rooted Problems: What Can We Learn from Aligning Complex Systems and Wicked Problems?" Planning Theory and Practice 16 (4):457-478.
  5. Zellner, Moira, and Scott Campbell. 2020. "Planning with(in) Complexity: Pathways to Extend Collaborative Planning, Incremental Planning, and Big Data with Complex System Modeling." In Handbook on Planning and Complexity, edited by Gert de Roo, Claudia Yamu and Christian Zuidema. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

Be sure to complete the short survey, "Planning Ethics, Values, Styles", by Tuesday evening. [see the email for the link] Thank you!

Optional additional readings:

  • Miller, John H., and Scott E. Page. 2007. Complex adaptive systems : an introduction to computational models of social life, Princeton studies in complexity. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. (Chapters 1 and 2) [Ebook]
  • Bettencourt, Luís M. A., José Lobo, Deborah Strumsky, Geoffrey B. West, 2010, Urban Scaling and Its Deviations: Revealing the Structure of Wealth, Innovation and Crime across Cities, PLoS ONE ( 1 November 2010 | Volume 5 | Issue 11 | e1354.
  • Van der Leeuw, S. E. . 2004. "Why Model?" Cybernetics and Systems 35 (2-3):117-128.
  • Zellner, Moira L. 2008. "Embracing Complexity and Uncertainty: The Potential of Agent-Based Modeling for Environmental Planning and Policy." Planning Theory & Practice 9 (4):437-457.
  • Page, Scott E. 2010. Diversity and Complexity. Princeton: Princeton University Press. [Ebook]

Nov 14: Writing for Planning: Strategies, Genres, Audiences (Prof. Julie Steiff)

Note: these two short readings are contained in a single file ("Macris, Planning in Plain English") in Canvas. Please also read the instructions for Essay 3 (the memo assignment).

  1. Macris, Natalie. 2000. Planning in plain English : writing tips for urban and environmental planners. Chicago, Ill.: Planners Press : American Planning Association. (Introduction; Chapters 1-2, pp. 3-14).
  2. Alred, Gerald J., Charles T. Brusaw, and Walter E. Oliu. 2006. Handbook of technical writing. Eighth ed. New York: St. Martins Press. (pp. 325-9, on memo writing).
    Please also read the sample memo in the Canvas site (URP 500 Sample Memo.pdf).
  3. Review the questions and instructions for Essay 3: the memo assignment.

Optional additional readings:

Becker, Howard S. "Freshman English for Graduate Students," in Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1986, pp. 1-25.

see also the instructor's page on Advice for Better Academic Writing


Nov 16: Public Space, Public Interest and Privatization

please post an image of public space and view images and captions provided by other students.
I encourage students to post at least one image (with caption + source) before class. [instructions on web page]
(Note: this task replaces the "reading response" assignment for today.)

  1. Margaret Kohn, The Mauling of Public Space.
  2. Tim Love, Urban design after Battery Park City.
  3. Whyte, William H. "The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces," in The Public Face of Architecture: Civic Culture and Public Spaces. New York: Free Press, 1987, pp. 292-310.
  4. Smith, Neil. 2002. "New Globalism, New Urbanism: Gentrification as Global Urban Strategy." Antipode 34 (3):427. [new reading -- in Canvas]
  5. Michael Sorkin, "The End(s) of Urban Design," in Saunders, William S. Krieger, Alex (eds), Urban Design. Minneapolis, US: University of Minnesota Press, 2009. (available both in Ebooks and in Canvas).

CODA: What happens to the design and use of public spaces during a Pandemic? What about our concepts of public safety, density, air movement, being outdoors? a few selected (optional) readings:
The Pandemic and the Public Realm: Adapting Spaces in a Global Pandemic (Urbanland) * Post-pandemic cities can permanently reclaim public spaces as gathering places (The Conversation) * City dwellers gained more access to public spaces during the pandemic: can they keep it? (PBS Newshour) * What will public spaces look like post-pandemic? (KCRW) * Innovation Brief: Post Pandemic Public Space - Public Spaces Weren't Designed for Pandemics. N.Y.C. Is Trying to Adapt (NYTimes) * 2020: A Year without Public Space under the COVID-19 Pandemic (The Journal of Public Space) * How to Design a Post-Pandemic City (CityLab) * The Recovery will Happen in Public Space (Project for Public Spaces) * "The Social Life of Small Urban spaces" (video link), William Whyte's influential 1970s movie based on his essay of the same title (it's a dated movie in social outlook and commentary, but still worth a watch.)

Optional additional readings:

  • Margaret Crawford, Blurring the Boundaries: Public Space and Private Life.
  • Trevor Boddy, Overhead and Underground.
  • If you can find a copy of the video (ca. 55 minutes) by William H. Whyte, "Social Life of Small Urban Spaces," a planning classic (that triggered a rethinking of the role and design of public spaces) and Whyte's narrative is wry and insightful.
  • Loukaitou-Sideris, Anastasia, and Ehrenfeucht, Renia. 2009. Sidewalks : Conflict and Negotiation over Public Space. Cambridge: MIT Press.[Ebook]
  • Mehta, Vikas. 2013. The Street : A Quintessential Social Public Space. London: Taylor & Francis Group. [Ebook]
  • Gehl, Jan. 2011. Life Between Buildings : Using Public Space. Washington DC: Island Press. [Ebook]
  • Murphy, Kevin D., and O'Driscoll, Sally, eds. 2021. Public Space/Contested Space : Imagination and Occupation. Milton: Taylor & Francis Group. [Ebook]
  • Low, Setha, and Smith, Neil, eds. 2005. The Politics of Public Space. London: Taylor & Francis Group. [Ebook]
  • Christoph Brumann, and Evelyn Schulz (eds). 2012. Urban Spaces in Japan : Cultural and Social Perspectives, Taylor & Francis Group. [eBook]


Nov 21: Democracy, Conflict, Planning

Today we explore several broader questions -- If political life in general has become more polarized and contentious, has this spilled over into urban planning? -- and the relationship between democracy, power, conflict and planning. Does urban planning require democracy?
(All three readings in Canvas)

  1. Karen Trapenberg Frick, 2013, The Actions of Discontent: Tea Party and Property Rights Activists Pushing Back Against Regional Planning, Journal of the American Planning Association, 79:3, 190-200, DOI: 10.1080/01944363.2013.885312
  2. Nicholas J. Klein, Kelcie Ralph, Calvin Thigpen & Anne Brown, 2022, Political Partisanship and Transportation Reform, Journal of the American Planning Association, 88:2, 163-178, DOI: 10.1080/01944363.2021.1965495
  3. Finkel, Eli J., Christopher A. Bail, Mina Cikara, Peter H. Ditto, Shanto Iyengar, Samara Klar, Lilliana Mason, et al. (2020) Political Sectarianism in America. Science 370 (6516): 533-36.

    Optional additional readings (starting with recent news stories, and then several academic articles):


Nov 23: No class (Thanksgiving Break)


Nov 28: Theory goes Global: Global Cities, Megacities, Informational Society and the Emergence of Alternative Planning Theories

  1. Watson, V. 2014. African urban fantasies: dreams or nightmares? Environment and Urbanization, 26(1), 215-231.
  2. Robinson, Jennifer. 2006. Ordinary cities: between modernity and development. London ; New York: Routledge. (Introduction, Chs. 1, 2, 4).
  3. Roy, Ananya. 2005. Urban Informality: Toward an Epistemology of Planning. Journal of the American Planning Association; Spring 2005; 71, 2,: 147-158.
  4. you might also reread Miraftab, F. 2009. Insurgent Planning: Situating Radical Planning in the Global South. Planning Theory 8(1), 32-50. [which we read earlier this semester]

Optional additional readings: [updated -- highly recommended: the first two links to the lectures by Robinson and Watson]

  • Jennifer Robinson: Cities in a World of Cities - traces of elsewhere in the making of city futures [lecture: video on youtube]
  • Vanessa Watson, "African Urban Fantasies: Dreams or Nightmares?" Clarkson Chair in Planning [lecture: video on youtube]
  • Howard W. French. 2022. Megalopolis: how coastal west Africa will shape the coming century. The Guardian, Oct 27. [listen: podcast version]
  • Goh, K. (2020). Flows in formation: The global-urban networks of climate change adaptation. Urban Studies, 57(11), 2222-2240.
  • Tali Hatuka, Issachar Rosen-Zvi, Michael Birnhack, Eran Toch & Hadas Zur (2018) The Political Premises of Contemporary Urban Concepts: The Global City, the Sustainable City, the Resilient City, the Creative City, and the Smart City, Planning Theory & Practice, 19:2, 160-179
  • Saskia Sassen, The Global City: Strategic Site/New Frontier.
  • John Friedmann, Reflections on Place and Place-Making in the Cities of China.
  • Packer, George. 2006. The Megacity: a Reporter at Large. The New Yorker 82 (37), Nov 13: 64-75.
  • [interesting contemporary contrast to Jacob Riis, How the Other Half Lives and Friedrich Engels, The Condition of the Working-Class in England]
  • Ward Steven, Reexamining the International Diffusion of Planning.
  • Oren Yiftachel, Re-engaging Planning Theory? Towards 'South-Eastern' Perspectives.
  • Watson, Vanessa(2003) 'Conflicting rationalities: implications for planning theory and ethics', Planning Theory & Practice, 4:4, 395-407.
  • Peter Evans, Political Strategies for More Livable Cities.
  • Yang Zheng and Ke Fang, Is history repeating itself? Urban Renewal in the United States to Inner-City Redevelopment in China.
  • Michael Peter Smith, Transnationalism and Citizenship.
  • Ha-Joon Chang, The Economic Theory of the Developmental State.
  • The Guardian: The rise of megacities – interactive [link]
  • Zhao, Pengjun. 2015. "The evolution of the urban planning system in contemporary China: an institutional approach." International Development Planning Review 37 (3):269-287.
  • Beard, V. A. (2002). Covert Planning for Social Transformation in Indonesia. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 22(1), 15-25.
  • Appadurai, A. 2001. Deep democracy: urban governmentality and the horizon of politics. Environment and Urbanization, 13(2), 23-43.

    and see the URP700 (Advanced Urban Theory) blog: Visualizing the Global/National/Local
    see also the work of the Global Planning Educators Interest Group

Nov 30: Planning through pluriversal lens - decolonial and plural practice from ordinary cities (presentation by Taru)

Read any two (all readings in Canvas):

  1. Watson, Vanessa. "The Usefulness of Normative Planning Theories in the Context of Sub-Saharan Africa," Planning Theory, 1(1), 27-52.
  2. Arturo Escobar. (2018). Designs for the Pluriverse: Radical Interdependence, Autonomy, and the Making of Worlds. Duke University Press. (read Ch 5, Design for Transitions)
  3. Appadurai, Arjun. (2002). Deep Democracy: Urban Governmentality and the Horizon of Politics. Public Culture 14(1): 21-47.

    Optional additional readings:

  • Mbembe, Achille. (2003). Necropolitics. Public Culture 15(1): 11-40. (note: this is a very theoretical reading that engages with how governance behaves differently in colonial settings; and explores how this colonial logic has percolated to the postcolonial/ neo-colonial state.)
  • Vasudevan, R., & Novoa E., M. (2022). Pluriversal planning scholarship: Embracing multiplicity and situated knowledges in community-based approaches. Planning Theory, 21(1), 77-100. (note: this is a literature review of scholarship that shape contemporary radical research in the South and can provide a general overview of themes/ concerns from these areas)

do also see the course materials for the student-initiated/created course for winter 2023: Radical Planning

Dec 5: Workshopping your Final Projects & Mini-Presentations

We will use this penultimate class to discuss your final projects: formats, strategies, expectations.
Our session will be a mix of whole class and small group work, and mini-presentations of your works/projects-in-progress.

Each student should prepare a very short 2 minute presentation of their project's "work in progress", including one (or at most two) slides -- to be loaded to this google slide file. Use this time to test out your ideas and ask for feedback. (Note: teams of 2 have 4 minutes for their presentation)


Dec 7: Synthesis, Brief Presentations + Discussion/Reflection

This last session will provide an opportunity to reflect on your encounters with planning theory (its texts, ideas and authors) and to identify the key themes and debates of planning theory.

TASK: Each student is to prepare a concise, insightful distillation of what have been, for you, the most important or resonant (or disconcerting) lessons/principles/ideas/themes in your encounters planning theory. (I welcome a range of approaches: typologies of theories; critiques; a focus on the dominant ideas; a focus on silences and biases in conventional planning theory; a focus on the past, present and/or future of planning theory; the challenges of linking theory and practice; etc). I encourage you to be rigorous and creative.

You are to prepare two items:

1. a slide to be shared with the class on this shared google slide file. Consider various formats, including diagrams, maps, tables, illustrations, a numbered list. Use supplementary text where appropriate to elaborate specific ideas/points. (Be careful not to delete or edit another student’s slide. One strategy: create a separate google slide file; edit and refine that slide; and then, when complete, insert that slide into this google slide file [link fixed Dec 5]

2. a brief, 1-2 minute oral presentation that concisely highlights your central points. Note:  If you will not be able to join the class live with us, please still upload your slide and then add an audio narration to the slide.

Note: you may find this study guide a useful guide.

[note: these instructions are the same as those listed on the class assignment web page.]