History

Aerial view of Monte Alban plaza ruins in Mexico.

First Cities: Planning Lessons for the 21st Century

A new book about urban planning in the deep human past explores principles, strategies, and lessons relevant for today.

April 9, 2024 - Dean Saitta

View form second story inside Southdale Mall in Edina, Minnesota with escalators and model cars parked on downstairs floor.

The Mall Is Dead — Long Live the Mall

The American shopping mall may be closer to its original vision than ever.

March 21, 2024 - Governing

View of Statue of Liberty with New York City skyline in background

New York City: An Urban Planner's Guide to the City

One of the earliest urban centers in the United States, New York City is a vibrant, multicultural city with a complex set of challenges ahead of it.

March 7, 2024 - Planetizen

Nighttime view of downtown Los Angeles skyline with tall palm trees in foreground.

Los Angeles: An Urban Planner's Guide to the City

A diverse global city, Los Angeles is characterized by unique neighborhood nodes and is a center of global trade and entertainment.

January 26, 2024 - Planetizen

Aerial view of Houston, Texas skyline at golden hour.

Houston: An Urban Planner's Guide to the City

Infamous for its lack of zoning codes, this east Texas port city grew thanks to the energy industry and an abundance of developable land.

January 26, 2024 - Planetizen

Empty navy blue camping chair with small American flag in front of unhoused encampment in People's Park, Berkeley, California.

UC Berkeley Says Supportive Housing ‘Inseparable’ Part of People’s Park Project

The park remains closed to the public as a court weighs a decision on the university’s proposed housing development.

January 12, 2024 - KQED

Close-up of historic building with green facade and curved windows in San Francisco, California.

Op-Ed: A ‘Culture of Preciousness’ Undermines Historic Preservation

A focus on historic materials could foster inequity and obscure the important social and historical meanings of a structure.

January 11, 2024 - Next City

View of Burj al Babas, Turkey, abandoned development of French-style chateau homes.

What Abandoned Places Teach Us

Abandoned cities and other forsaken human-built sites are haunted by the mistakes city leaders and builders have made over centuries.

October 20, 2023 - Reader's Digest

Green wall with floor or apartment numbers missing number 13, goes from 12 to 12 1/3 to 14 instead.

The Mystique of the 13th Floor: Superstitions, Sustainability, and the Future of Electrical Building Design

How engineers adapt a common superstition to maximize the utility of a stigmatized space.

October 13, 2023 - Johnathan Meade

Black and white photo of actress Jayne Mansfield leaning out of the window of a military plane wearing flight helmet for promotional photo

The Mansfield Bar: How a Celebrity Death Changed Auto Safety

The shocking death of actress Jayne Mansfield 56 years ago today led to changes in the trucking industry, but underride crashes continue to kill hundreds of people each year.

June 29, 2023 - Diana Ionescu

Looking up at giant sequoias in Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park at sunrise with sun's rays coming through trees

Public Lands in the United States, Part One: “Redeemed From Wilderness”

This is part one in a blog series examining the history of public lands in the United States and their shifting role in the American psyche.

May 31, 2023 - Diana Ionescu

White obelisk monument with Japanese writing at Manzanar Historic Site, former internment camp, California

Ten Parks and Sites for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander History

Learn more about some of the parks and historic sites that preserve and share the stories of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander people and communities in the U.S.

May 15, 2023 - The Wilderness Society

HOLC map of Bridgeport, Connecticut with yellow push pins on it

New Exhibition Examines Democracy and Land Use in Connecticut

"The Practice of Democracy: A View from Connecticut" is a new exhibition on display from January to June in Bridgeport, New Haven, and Norwalk which unpacks the relationship of land use and development to democracy.

March 8, 2023 - Mark H. McNulty

Close-up of black elevator panel qith square white buttons missing 13th floor, person pushing floor 9

The Missing 13th Floor: How Ancient Fears Influence Modern Architecture

If you’ve ever looked closely at the elevator panel of a high-rise hotel or residential building, you’ve likely noticed something missing: a button for the 13th floor.

January 13, 2023 - Diana Ionescu

Close-up of green street sign at Heights Blvd and 8th Street in Houston, Texas with "Historic District" and star logo

Proposed ‘Conservation Districts’ Could Change Preservation in Houston

The proposed model could be a new tool for preserving historic neighborhoods with more flexibility and with a focus on reducing displacement and addressing community concerns.

January 8, 2023 - Urban Edge

Gravestones along pathway in green Mount Auburn Cemetery

From Garden Cemeteries to Levittown

Tracing the story of the American suburban form.

December 26, 2022 - Governing

Stoplight with green light and "no right turn on red" pictograph on overhead signal

How Right Turns on Red Became the Norm

Born out of the oil crisis of the 1970s, the practice of turning right on red lights is a uniquely American—and uniquely dangerous—custom.

October 20, 2022 - Slate

Metropolitan Detention Center, Los Angeles

Mike Davis on Life, Politics, and Mortality

The celebrated City of Quartz author speaks with the Los Angeles Times about activism, climate change, and his decision to stop cancer treatment.

July 28, 2022 - Los Angeles Times

Bike Light

The Mystique of the Bicycle

A new book illuminates the history and meaning of the bicycle in human society.

June 5, 2022 - The Atlantic

Expocenter of Ukraine

The Radical Architecture of Kyiv

Five Ukrainian urbanists discuss the buildings, parks, and neighborhoods that make Kyiv unique.

April 4, 2022 - The Atlantic

Top Books

An annual review of books related to planning.

Top Websites

The best of the Internet—since 2002.

Top Apps

Planning apps for a brave new world.

Top Schools

The definitive ranking of graduate planning programs.

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.