Planetizen's Top Posts of 2022

The most popular articles on Planetizen in 2022.

Read Time: 4 minutes

December 12, 2022, 5:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell


A computer generated graphic of a man loading 2022, approaching 2023.

U-STUDIOGRAPHY DD59 / Shutterstock

Call it the greatest hits—every year Planetizen tallies up its traffic for the year and lists the most-read articles of the year (see 2021's list, for example). These are the stories that attracted the most visits from the global audience of Planetizen, including regular visitors, occasional visitors, and first-time visitors. A degree of virality—exponential growth of traffic due to the cascading effects of sharing on social media and elsewhere on the internet—is a common component among most of these popular posts. But more importantly, these posts didn't get this far without tapping into some fundamental and critical importance in the great, diverse, intersectional milieu of planning.

Exclusive Articles

  1. The Top Urban Planning Books of 2022 (November 2022)
  2. Four ‘Low-Hanging Fruit’ Zoning Reforms (June 2022)
  3. Why Christopher Alexander Still Matters (March 2022)
  4. Best Apps for Planners in 2022 (February 2022)
  5. The California High-Speed Rail Project Illustrates America’s Transit Issues (May 2022)
  6. Where Words Fail: Teach Architects and Urban Designers Like Violinists (February 2022)
  7. Planning and the Complicated Causes and Effects of Congestion (April 2022)
  8. Let's End Traffic Stops (June 2022)
  9. Placemaking: Building on the ‘Soul’ of a Place (October 2022)
  10. Planning Trends to Watch in 2022 (January 2022)

Blog Posts

  1. Opinion: Stop Trusting Elon Musk—on Tunnels, on Teslas, on Everything (July 2022)
  2. How We Talk About Homelessness: Why Language Matters (June 2022)
  3. The Hyperloop’s Prospects Dim (September 2022)
  4. Disneyland Is Too Crowded. Is More Capacity Needed? (September 2022)
  5. Urban Villages: The Key to Sustainable Community Economic Development (January 2022)
  6. Ballot Initiative Could Overturn California's Zoning Reforms (February 2022)
  7. Urban Village Planning Checklist (April 2022)
  8. Five Ways to Build a Sustainable Community through Volunteering (March 2022)
  9. The Business Case for Multimodal Transportation Planning (July 2022)
  10. How Cities Are Resisting State Efforts To Increase Density (March 2022)

News Posts

  1. Long Beach Opens New Water Playground (July 2022)
  2. 10 Real Estate Markets That Could Soon Resemble San Francisco (March 2022)
  3. Tampa Bay Moves Forward With High-Speed Rail Plans (May 2022)
  4. Co-Living Banned in Shawnee, Kansas (May 2022)
  5. Detroit Plans Freeway Removal To Spur Economic Development (March 2022)
  6. Redondo Beach’s Housing Element Failed. Now a Developer Is Planning 2,300 Residential Units. (August 2022)
  7. Spokane Prepares To Disband the State’s Largest Community of Unhoused People (July 2022)
  8. Say Goodbye to the ‘Millennial Lifestyle Subsidy’ (June 2014)
  9. Massive New Park Coming to the Inland Empire (January 2022)
  10. 'Micro-Apartments' Break Ground in East Austin (March 2022)


While the previous categories only included the most popular articles published in 2022, this section includes all articles published in the relatively short lifespan of Planetizen. Planetizen has published nearly 100 definitions since the beginning of 2020, and the definition pages have quickly established themselves as popular resources. Where the previous posts identified the intensity of more topical interests, the posts below reflect a more lasting and ongoing interest in more foundational information about planning. These are the questions people are asking to inform their understanding of the world of planning.

  1. What Is Regional Planning? - Regional planning addresses planning issues that cross local jurisdictional boundaries, like transportation or watershed protection.
  2. What Is Euclidean Zoning? - Euclidean zoning is the separation of land uses by type—residential, commercial, retail, industrial, etc.—each into their own zones or areas within a given city.
  3. What Is Walkability? - Walkability is a planning concept that encourages mixed-use, high-density neighborhoods where people can access essential services and amenities by foot.
  4. What Is a Central Business District? - A Central Business District (CBD) is the area of densely concentrated commercial activity that forms a core of economic and population density in a city or region.
  5. What Is Missing Middle Housing? - Missing Middle Housing is a residential building that contains multiple housing units, ranging in size and density from a single-family detached home to a mid-rise apartment building.
  6. What Is Car-Centric Planning? - 'Car-centric planning' refers to urban planning that privileges the private automobile as a primary transportation mode, often to the exclusion of people who walk, bike, or use public transit.
  7. What Is Greenfield Development? - Greenfield development is any kind of real estate development in previously undeveloped areas. 
  8. What Is By-Right Development? - By-right development is the easiest path to qualify for development under the zoning and building codes of local jurisdictions.
  9. What Is Market Rate Housing? - Market-rate housing is a term used to define housing generated by the real estate market without direct subsidy.
  10. What Is Land Use? - Land use, according to planners, is defined by its most common varieties: residential, commercial, retail, industrial, and a few others that might pop up in specific community or environmental contexts.   
Chicago Commute

The Right to Mobility

As we consider how to decarbonize transportation, preserving mobility, especially for lower- and middle-income people, must be a priority.

January 26, 2023 - Angie Schmitt

Green bike lane with flexible delineators and textures paint in Hoboken, New Jersey

America’s Best New Bike Lanes

PeopleForBikes highlights some of the most exciting new bike infrastructure projects completed in 2022.

January 31, 2023 - PeopleforBikes

Sharrow bike markings on black asphalt two-lane road with snowy trees

Early Sharrow Booster: ‘I Was Wrong’

The lane marking was meant to raise awareness and instill shared respect among drivers and cyclists. But their inefficiency has led supporters to denounce sharrows, pushing instead for more robust bike infrastructure that truly protects riders.

January 26, 2023 - Streetsblog USA

A tent covered in blue and black tarps sits on a downtown Los Angeles sidewalk with the white ziggurat-topped L.A. City Hall looming in the background

L.A. County Towns Clash Over Homelessness Policies

Local governments often come to different conclusions about how to address homelessness within their respective borders, but varying approaches only exacerbate the problem.

February 3 - Shelterforce Magazine

Rendering of mixed-use development with parks and stormwater retention on former Houston landfill site

A Mixed-Use Vision for Houston Landfill Site

A local nonprofit is urging the city to consider adding mixed-use development to the site, which city officials plan to turn into a stormwater detention facility.

February 3 - Urban Edge

Aerial view of downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin at sunset

Milwaukee County Makes Substantial Progress on Homelessness

In 2022, the county’s point-in-time count of unhoused people reflected just 18 individuals, the lowest in the country.

February 3 - Urban Milwaukee

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