The Most Popular Urban Planning Articles of 2019

The most-read news, features, and blogs on Planetizen in 2019.

December 27, 2019, 1:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell



Holly Vegter / Shutterstock

Every year since the beginning of the century, Planetizen has posted 3,100 features, blogs, and news articles—that's 60 posts per week, with a few small reductions for holidays.

The posts listed below all finished above 83rd on the list of every single content type on the site, including landing pages, older posts, and school, announcement, jobs, and other content Planetizen posts throughout the year. In short, this list includes are the absolute, without-a-doubt, most popular posts of the year on Planetizen—the first among many, many. (Check out the 2018 list too.)

A couple of trends emerge from the posts that populate this list.

First is the obvious popularity of lists and authoritative takes on the big issues of planning and urbanism. For example, every year, the "Top Schools for Urban Planners" post is by far the most-read piece of content on Planetizen. This year, the same year as the release of the new 6th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs, that fact was especially true. The "Top Schools" post has more than 40 times the number of "Pageviews" as the least popular of the very popular posts listed here. That post, coupled with the popularity of articles on the subjects of books, apps, websites, and more, show the need for the kinds of posts with lasting relevancy, and a curatorial approach to a broad survey of available data and material.

The second trend to emerge from this list is the power of search results to drive traffic. On several occasions this year, we watched a post gain momentum from search engine acquisition—specifically through Google's AMP technology, which speeds up search results for use on mobile devices. Large amounts of traffic came to Planetizen via AMP to articles like "A New Bridge to Connect Brooklyn and Queens" and "Sea-Level Rise Report: Bad News for South Florida." Planetizen welcomes the possibility of new audiences finding information about planning on Planetizen, thus broadening the audience for planning news and commentary. But Planetizen also hopes to achieve this kind of popularity organically—not by chasing viral success with clickbait. We couldn't have predicted, for instance, the kind of search acquisition success attained by "A New Bridge to Connect Brooklyn and Queens" and "Sea-Level Rise Report: Bad News for South Florida."

Planetizen uses Google Analytics to track traffic to the site throughout the year. The Pageviews metric, which accounts for repeated views, was used to rank the popularity of these articles. The list includes articles posted in late November and December of 2018, but nothing prior to November 26, 2018. There are always a few articles with staying power across the years that could have been included on this list, but this list is created for insight into relevance to developments, news, and ideas generated in the past year. For more insight, see also the list of least popular articles from the beginning of 2019.

Top Features

  1. The Top Schools for Urban Planners
  2. Top Urban Planning Books of 2018
  3. Urban Planning Trends to Watch in 2019
  4. The Top Urban Planning Books of the Decade
  5. The Top Urban Planning Books of 2019
  6. Who's to Blame for Gentrification? Planners, Apparently
  7. Top Planning Websites – 2018
  8. The Best Planning Apps
  9. Everywhere, Signs of Demise for the Planning Status Quo
  10. Trends in Community Park Landscape Design and Planning

Top Blogs

  1. How the City Planners of Tomorrow Will Differ From City Planners Today
  2. The 'War on Cars' Is a Bad Joke
  3. A Good Read for Planners and Peers: Why Old Places Matter
  4. Waste Management Best Practices (And Their Impact on Urban Planning)
  5. The Economic Defense of Sprawl (And What's Wrong With It)
  6. Breaking the Cycle of Automobile Dependency
  7. Toward More Comprehensive Multi-Modal Transport Planning
  8. Can Upzoning Increase Housing Supply and Affordability?
  9. Are Urban Planning Jobs Safe From Automation?
  10. Are Cities Really Losing Millennials?

Top News

  1. The U.S. Cities With the Most Restaurants Per Capita
  2. A New Bridge to Connect Brooklyn and Queens
  3. Which Cities Have the Most Breweries Per Capita
  4. Sea-Level Rise Report: Bad News for South Florida
  5. The Year in Skyscraper Construction
  6. Tiny Home Village to Close Amid Controversy in Seattle
  7. History Made: Oregon Legislature Ends Single-Family Zoning
  8. Census Releases New City Population Change Estimates
  9. Details of Illinois' $45 Billion Infrastructure Investment Plan
  10. CityLab Sold to Bloomberg
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