Top Ten Planning Issues Of 2003
As editors of PLANetizen, we review several hundred planning and development news articles, reports, books, studies, and editorials each month. Many of our news articles are contributed by correspondents and readers, and we also track the popularity of each article. This provides us a unique insight into which issues urban planners, developers, and allied professionals consider important. Based on this understanding, we have selected the most important issues from 2003, along with links to some of the more popular or influential stories on each topic.
(Note: Only stories that are still available for free from the source publication were included in this list.)
- Wal-Mart's Impact
- Evolution of America's Malls
- Sprawl And Health
- Congestion Charging
- Changes To Environmental Laws
- Nation's New Hot Spots
- Cities Try To Attract Talent
- Oil and The City
- Rethinking Zoning
- Transit Oriented Development
From the physical presence of its huge stores to its repercussions on local businesses, Wal-Mart is changing America. Critics warned of the consequences of Wal-Mart's low priced foreign-manufactured goods on our economy and society. Cities and citizens developed strategies to respond to the arrival of the world's largest retailer in their communities.
- Feb 04, 2003 - Local Stores Create Triple The Economic Activity Of Chains
- Jun 05, 2003 - How Wal-Mart Changed America
- Jul 01, 2003 - The Real Cost Of Walmart's Discounts
- Aug 28, 2003 - Wal-Mart Nation
- Dec 19, 2003 - Wal-Mart And The End Of America's Middle Class
- Nov 02, 2003 - Special Series: 'The Wal-Mart Effect'
The mall, an iconic structure of the American landscape, may be headed for exctinction. Is the cycle now being repeated with aging Wal-Mart supercenters? What will we do with the skeletons being left behind?
- Jul 07, 2003 - The Death Of Malls
- Oct 26, 2003 - Can America's Biggest Mall Be Saved?
- Nov 26, 2003 - Ghost Malls
After experts linked obesity with sprawl, New Urbanism and Smart Growth advocates had new ammunition to support their arguments. But the link between public health and sprawl continues to questioned.
- Jun 20, 2003 - Sprawl Blamed for US Obesity
- Aug 29, 2003 - Sprawl and Health: A National Report Card
- Sep 04, 2003 - Sprawl And Obesity: Why All The Fuss?
Cities around the world closely follow a radical, but ultimately successful experiment to charge drivers of private cars entering central London. After London's experience, congesting charging doesn't seem so far-fetched anymore. Will this work in other cities?
- Feb 18, 2003 - The Most Radical Highway Experiment Since Traffic Lights
- Feb 28, 2003 - How To Ease Congestion: An Ambitious National Plan Proposed
- Nov 22, 2003 - London Transport's Report On Congestion Pricing
The Bush administration proposed drastic changes to decades-old environmental laws drawing fierce criticism from critics, who charge that the administration is systematically dismantling the last 50 years of environmental progress.
- Jan 17, 2003 - U.S. Environmental Laws Being Eroded
- Feb 14, 2003 - A greener Bush
- Feb 24, 2003 - The Far-Reaching Impact Of Bush's Environmental Policies
- Nov 25, 2003 - How The Bush Administration Is Plundering America's Commons
Are we seeing the rise of a different class of cities? Cities begin to explore how smaller areas can challenge urban centers as the "urban heirarchy" flattens out, and the areas between the urban core and suburbs develop personalities of their own.
- Jun 26, 2003 - The Thriving Non-Cities Of America
- Sep 08, 2003 - Changing Urban Heirarchy Could Spark A New Era Of Urban Development
- Sep 10, 2003 - Joel Kotkin: The Rise Of Second Tier Cities
- Nov 12, 2003 - America's Newest Hot Spots Are Not In The Sunbelt
In 2002, Richard Florida initiated a new way of thinking about the benefits of the creative class to the urban economy. In 2003, with an eye on their economic health cities begin to experiment with the theory and attract different types of talent and businesses.
- Oct 08, 2003 - Is Your City 'Cool'?
- Oct 27, 2003 - Is Your Town Funky?
- Nov 11, 2003 - America's Top 'Brain-Gain' Cities
As the nation headed to war with Iraq, planners discussed how to reduce dependence on oil, and whether U.S. development patterns are a result of cheap gas.
- Jan 31, 2003 - Urban Planners, Not Military Planners, Blamed For Looming War
- Feb 12, 2003 - Living Without Oil
- Aug 22, 2003 - Ecotopia: Which Is The Most Eco-Friendly U.S. City?
Critics question whether traditional and outdated zoning is in fact constraining new urbanism and smart growth development in favor of sprawl. Is it time for a fresh look at how we zone our cities?
- Feb 06, 2003 - Is It Time To Replace Zoning?
- Sep 02, 2003 - Zoning Needs An Overhaul
- Oct 20, 2003 - The Case For Inclusionary Zoning
Linking land use and transportation has gained popularity in 2003, not just within the planning community, but also in the media. Cities begin experimenting with TOD projects based on a wide variety of successful TOD projects across the nation that have demonstrated that linking transit and land use is both sustainable and good business.
- May 28, 2003 - Transit-Oriented Development: Density, Design, and Diversity
- May 29, 2003 - Transit-Oriented Development Study: Factors For Success
- Aug 05, 2003 - Ten Principles For Successful Development Around Transit
- Nov 06, 2003 - Encouraging Transit Villages
Can you predict the top issues for 2004? Write a comment below and let us know.
Abhijeet Chavan and Chris Steins are co-editors of PLANetizen.