Exploring Web 2.0 in Urban Planning

Chris Steins's picture

Last year I had the opportunity to teach a graduate course on "Web 2.0 for Policy and Planning" at the University of Southern California's School of Policy, Planning & Development.

Although I am co-teaching a different class this year, I have updated my course website with a revised course syllabus and extensive reading list on Web 2.0 and planning, based on what I learned from teaching the course in Spring, 2009.

Each student selected a particular Web 2.0 technology and examined the technology through a planning or urban policy lense. I selected the best six student white papers from the course, and have now assembled them in a short book, Exploring Web 2.0 in Urban Planning.

Exploring Web 2.0 in Urban PlanningExploring Web 2.0 in Urban Planning
A collection of six white papers, Edited by Chris Steins | Published by Planetizen Press

Abstract: Emerging technologies are fundamentally changing how we plan, develop and manage our urban areas. Likewise, planning professionals are increasingly being called on to adopt new technologies to plan, communicate planning concepts and engage citizens in the planning process. This collection of articles introduces a range of Web 2.0 technologies that can be applied to the field of planning, including Web surveys, Twitter, Web-based geographic information systems, Google transit, citizen engagement strategies, and image visualizations. The six white papers in this document were researched and written by authors at the School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California as part of a Spring, 2009 graduate- level course on Internet Technologies and Urban Planning.


  • Introduction, By Dr. David Slaone
  • Louisiana Speaks: A Case Study: Examining the Use of the Web to Engage Residents in the Planning Process, By Josie Noah
  • Twitter as an Urban Planner's Tool, By Sen Sugano
  • The Use of Web GIS for Economic Development, By Mengchen Sun
  • An Evaluation of Transit Agency Trip Planners vs. Google Transit, By Simon Vuong
  • Candidate Obama vs. President Obama: A Study of Web 2.0 Strategies, By Jason Wise
  • Picturing Smart Growth, National Resources Defense Council, By Chin-Yee Wong

The book is available for free to download (PDF), or available in printed form for a modest printing fee (Ordering information is at the bottom of the linked page.)

Chris Steins is co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of Planetizen.



Unable to download .pdf

Mr. Steins,

I would love to read your whitepaper concerning Urban Planning in the 2.0 world. However, I am unable to download from the link that is provided or through your website. An update link would greatly be appreciated.


Chris Steins's picture

Checking Link


Maybe the Wordpress site that the report is linked from was temporarily down. It appears to be working fine. You can find the full Exploring Web 2.0 in Urban Planning Report linked from this page:


Thanks for your interest!

Chris Steins, Editor
Planetizen - www.planetizen.com

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