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Do You Read These Planning Magazines?

I'm frequently asked for recommendations for good planning magazines. As editors of Planetizen, we come across a staggeringly impressive and diverse array of web-based content. But sometimes there is nothing quite like browsing a good magazine in y
Chris Steins | @urbaninsight | June 29, 2010, 10am PDT
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I'm frequently asked for recommendations for good planning magazines. As editors of Planetizen, we come across a staggeringly impressive and diverse array of web-based content. But sometimes there is nothing quite like browsing a good magazine in your hands as you commute home on the subway. Here's my quick rundown of a variety of printed planning magazines you might consider reading.

(If I've missed your favorite, please add it the comments, and mention why you like it.)

GOOD Magazine
Self-described as a "collaboration of people, businesses and nonprofits pushing the world forward," Good's 'live well and do good' ethos comes through in the tone and outstanding selection of articles in the magazine. Launched by four co-founders just a few years ago, the magazine has quickly become a popular mainstay in the planning community.

Publication schedule: 4 issues per year
Editor-in-Chief: Benjamin Goldhirsh, Casey Caplowe, Max Schorr and Zach Frechette, co-founders
Publisher: GOOD Worldwide, LLC
Print circulation: 60,000 per issue

Metropolis examines contemporary life through design - architecture, interior design, product design, graphic design, crafts, planning, and preservation. Subjects range from the sprawling urban environment to intimate living spaces to small objects of everyday use. Although the editorial (and advertising) focus tend to be on architecture and urban design, regular articles about planning are frequently compelling.

Publication schedule: 12 issues per year
Editor-in-Chief: Susan S. Szenasy
Publisher: Horace Havemeyer III
Print circulation: 50,000 per issue

This beautifully designed Canadian magazine explores the joys and obstacles of today's urban landscape, focusing on building healthy, sustainable, and vibrant cities. Each issue of Spacing presents ideas from the city's emerging city builders, writers, and public space advocates. Spacing was launched in the fall of 2003 by a group of young journalists and public space advocates who felt that Toronto needed a publication that would bring together a number of key urban issues that were not being discussed by the local media.

Publication schedule: 2-4 issues per year
Managing Editor: Todd Harrison
Publisher: Matthew Blackett
Print circulation: 30,000 per issue

Published since 2000, Dwell focuses primarily on architecture and product design, as exemplified by the magazine's tagline, "At home in the modern world." However, the magazine's editors calls themselves "nice Modernists", and often publish articles that explore the intersection of architecture and planning: "We think that the connections to society, place and human experience-call it context-are exactly what make good architecture great. Those connections are also what makes architecture interesting to people who aren't architects."

Publication schedule: 10 issues per year
Editor-in-Chief: Amanda Dameron
Publisher: Michela O'Connor Abrams
Print circulation: 330,000 average per issue

Planning is the monthly magazine of the American Planning Association, the professional association representing the field of city and regional planning in the United States. Planning is likely the best known magazine among professional planners, who receive it as a benefit of membership in the APA, and who represent 99% of the magazines paid subscribers. Planning offers reliable news and analyses of events in planning, including suburban, rural, and small town planning, environmental planning, neighborhood revitalization, economic development, social planning, and urban design.

Publication schedule: 12 issues per year
Editor-in-Chief: Sylvia Lewis
Publisher: American Planning Association
Print circulation: 43,000 per issue

Urban Land
Urban Land is the bi-monthly magazine of the Urban Land Insitute, a nonprofit membership association which provides leadership in the responsible use of land and development. Articles primarily focus on the information needs of land use and development professionals worldwide, and the article frequently explore planning issues, particularly as they relate to real estate development and solutions to land use development problems. ULI members receive the magazine as a benefit of membership.

Publication schedule: 6 issues per year
Editor-in-Chief: Elizabeth Razzi
Publisher: Urban Land Institute
Print circulation: 30,000 per issue

Free to practicing architects, the magazine offers architecture news, features, business and technology advice, continuing education, building product reviews, and other resources for architects. Despite the apparent focus on architecture, issues regularly have interesting planning content, such as a rec fascinating column by Jeff Speck (author of the Smart Growth Manual), "Why They Hate Us", which dissects New Urbanism's critics.

Publication schedule: 12 issues per year
Editor-in-Chief: Ned Cramer
Publisher: Hanley Wood
Print circulation: 60,000 per issue

Land Lines
Land Lines primarily reports on programs and reports sponsored by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, a private operating foundation whose mission is to improve the quality of public debate and decisions in the areas of land policy and land-related taxation in the United States and around the world. While a magazine focused solely on an organization's activities would not normally warrant inclusion here, the Lincoln Institute's work is of such high quality and broad interest, and the articles so readable, that Land Lines fairly competes in this space. And you can't beat the price (free).

Publication schedule: 4 issues per year
Editor: Maureen Clarke
Publisher: The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
Print circulation: 8,000 (33,000 via email)

American City & County
Publishing since 1909, the American City & County covers a wide range of infrastructure, public safety, public administration, public works, technology and water issues in a semi-promotional style. The primary audience are city, county and state officials who are charged with developing and implementing government policy, programs and projects. The magazine frequently includes planning-related articles, and due to its wide reach (you find it in many county and state waiting rooms), is usually well-known among policy makers.

Publication schedule: 12 issues per  year
Editorial Director: Bill Wilpin
Publisher: Penton Media, Inc.
Print circulation: 72,000 average per issue

City Limits
City Limits covers New York's civic life, with an emphasis on affordable and safe housing, environmentally sound neighborhoods, violence-free communities, open space, quality and effective education, good wage jobs with benefits, the right to equal protection under the law, and the pursuit of healthy living and wellness. The magazine was first published in 1976 as a newsletter for a group of housing organizations, and grew out of the grassroots world of community development.

Publication schedule: 6 issues per year
Editor-In-Chief: Jarrett Murphy
Publisher: Community Service Society of New York (
Print circulation: 10,000 per issue

City Journal
The City Journal calls itself the nation's premier urban-policy magazine. During the Giuliani Administration, the magazine served as an idea factory as the then-mayor revivified New York City, becoming, in the words of the New York Post, "the place where Rudy gets his ideas."

Publication schedule: 4 issues per year
Editor: Brian C. Anderson
Publisher: Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
Print circulation: 10,000

And although not magazines, the following trade publications, published in newsletter or newspaper format, are also well-known.

The Planning Report

Published since 1988, The Planning Report is considered the "insider's guide to planning", and features interviews with civic leaders in Southern California about planning policy, energy use, land use, real estate development, legislation, infrastructure, transportation, and civic engagement.

Publication schedule: 11 issues per year
Managing Editor: Molly Strauss
Publisher: David Abel
Print circulation: Approximately 1,500

California Planning & Development Report

Published since 1986, the California Planning & Development Report is regarded as an authoritative periodical on planning, development, legislative, and legal issues involved in the process of planning and development in California.

Publication schedule: 12 issues per year
Managing Editor: Martha Bridegam
Publisher: Bill Fulton
Print circulation: Approximately 1,500

The Architect's Newspaper
With three editions (East, West, MidWest), The Architect's Newspaper provides coverage of the latest projects and commissions, unfolding politics and debate, and cultural developments related to architecture, rounded out by a mix of topical essays, columns, project analyses, firm profiles, interviews, product reviews, and a fun "in-the-know" gossip column. Articles regularly address planning, as well as architecture topics.

Publication schedule: 20 issues per year
Editor-In-Chief: William Menking
Publisher: Diana Darling
Print circulation: 50,000 per issue

Progressive Planning
Progressive Planning is published by the Planners Network, an association of professionals, activists, academics, and students involved in physical, social, economic, and environmental planning, and who advocate change in political and economic systems. The Planner's Network began publishing a newsletter for its members in 1975, and in 2003 the magazine was renamed Progressive Planning, and is primarily distributed to members of the Planners Network. Progressive Planning is supported by an all-volunteer editorial board.

Publication schedule: 4 issues per year
Editor-in-Chief: Multiple volunteer editors
Publisher: Planner's Network
Print circulation: Unknown

List updated March, 2015, thanks to Olga Serhijchuk.

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