Comprehensive Planning

Intersection on Manhattan street with yellow cabs and black cars waiting for stoplight.

Op-Ed: Why NYC Needs a Comprehensive Plan

The city’s congestion pricing program could change transportation and land use in radical ways. A comprehensive plan would make the most of those changes.

November 30, 2023 - Crain's New York Business

Charlottesville Downtown mall

Controversial Comprehensive Plan Update Moves Forward in Charlottesville

Residents have had a chance to oppose the new residential density proposed by the "Charlottesville Plans Together" comprehensive planning process.

July 1, 2021 - The Daily Progress

New York Historic map

New York City Aims for Comprehensive Long-Range Planning

The city's proposed comprehensive planning bill could create a more equitable and collaborative planning process

March 4, 2021 - Gotham Gazette

Manhattan Municipal Building

A Comprehensive Overhaul of Planning Considered in New York City

The New York City Council this week released a report that suggest the city do away with its "piecemeal" approach to planning in favor of a new comprehensive planning framework.

December 18, 2020 - New York City Council

D.C. Comp Plan

What Is a Comprehensive Plan?

The comprehensive plan, sometimes also referred to as a master plan or a general plan, is the foundational document of long-term planning and zoning in the United States.

March 9, 2020 - James Brasuell

Beijing Bike

Win-Win Solutions for Climate Protection and Health

The Call to Action on Climate and Health is an ambitious plan to achieve both global climate and health goals. Planners can help identify win-win solutions that provide multiple benefits and so can build broad implementation coalitions.

October 2, 2018 - Todd Litman


Washington Gets Its Marine Spatial Plan

The Pacific Northwest's competing and sometimes conflicting stakeholders have created a master plan for the use—and also the preservation—of marine resources.

November 3, 2017 - Sightline Institute

Parking Strategies for Comprehensive Plans

Parking needs to be balanced with new development that supports active modes of transportation, integrates a complete streets approach, and values a high-quality public realm. Comprehensive plans can help achieve this balance.

October 7, 2017 - PlanIt - Metropolitan Council

Queen Elizabeth

A Comprehensive Plan for Westeros? Same Issues, More Swordplay

Game of Thrones provides way more sex, blood, and dragons than your typical comprehensive planning project, but the dynamics can be instructive, particularly in places where demand for the high-quality amenities of urbanism out-paces the supply.

July 13, 2017 - PlaceShakers

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)

Finding Hope In Challenging Times

Despite depressing U.S. federal politics, there are many encouraging planning trends if you look internationally and locally.

March 26, 2017 - Todd Litman

Kansas City

Advocates See Opportunity in Kansas City's $800 Million Transportation Bond

Kansas City, Missouri is in the process of considering an $800 million general obligation bond to fund transportation projects. The advocacy group BikeWalkKC, seeing the opportunity, is already advocating for how to put that money to use.

November 25, 2016 - BikeWalkKC

Beale Street Memphis

Memphis Launches First Comprehensive Planning Effort Since 1981

Though it's been 35 years since its last comprehensive plan, the city of Memphis hopes to start updating its comprehensive plan every five to ten years.

June 30, 2016 - The Commercial Appeal

Canton Mellett Mall

Two Rustbelt Cities Take Similar Tacks to Future Planning

Erie, Pennsylvania and Canton, Ohio have faced the challenges of shrinking populations and fewer job prospects, but new comprehensive plans in each city may provide a pathway to resurgence

May 6, 2016 - The Canton Repository

It's the Complexity, Stupid! (Try 'Splainin' that in an Elevator)

The dangerous absurdity of building a national—or a community—to-do list around fear, resentment, and wishful thinking

April 6, 2016 - PlaceShakers

Big Ideas Drive 'planOKC' Effort in Oklahoma City

One of the country's largest cities has been growing quickly and will continue to grow—how is Oklahoma City planning for the future?

October 20, 2014 - The Oklahoman

Cargo Cult Urbanism?

In many exurban locations, planners and developers are often enticed by the idea of building urban environments, but without the necessary markets to support them, argues a real estate consultant.

September 3, 2013 - Baltimore Business Journal

Dharavi Slum

Is Urban Planning Effective in the Developing World?

A common question raised by those working in the developing world is whether urban planning is useful in those environments. Since questions often focus on planning of a comprehensive type, they overlook planning's intrinsic value and flexibility.

July 1, 2013 - The World Bank Group

Comprehensive Planning off the Beaten Path

Liven up your comprehensive planning effort Texas style. Matthew Lewis, Development Director for the city of San Marcos, used everything from Legos to "design rodeos" (i.e. Texas charrettes) to get to common ground.

May 21, 2013 - PlaceShakers

Planning is Not Necessary

Municipal comprehensive plans are neither necessary nor sufficient for smart growth.

May 19, 2013 - Michael Lewyn

APA 2013: Dispatches from Chicago

This year's host for the APA National Conference, themed "Plan Big," is the city that virtually invented modern big picture planning. But what does Chicago's seeming inability to plan comprehensively say about the state of contemporary planning?

April 14, 2013 - Jonathan Nettler

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

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Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.