planning history

People on bikes ride on protected bike path along the Seine River in Paris, France

The Most Influential Contemporary Urbanists

The 100 people making an impact on planning and cities today.

August 2, 2023 - Planetizen

Black and white photo of two young boys standing on a hill overlooking the Frederick Douglass housing project in Anacostia, D.C.

Most Influential Urbanists: Call for Nominees

Change doesn’t happen accidentally. Who are the people shaping cities and communities through the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond?

May 11, 2023 - Planetizen

Vintage 1929 map of Los Angeles

L.A. County's Regional Planning Commission Celebrates 100 Years of Service

The first planning commissioners were appointed by the Board of Supervisors in 1923, making the Regional Planning Commission the oldest county planning commission in the United States.

April 25, 2023 - Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning

A road sign reads "Welcome to City of Wheat Ridge Buckle Up and Drive Safely"

Denver Suburb Points Spotlight at Racial Covenants

A symbolic, but necessary, action.

August 10, 2022 - Thee Dever Post

Central Los Angeles

How California Planning has Changed—and How it Hasn't

In the newest edition of his classic book Guide to California Planning, Bill Fulton says there is still tension between the state's suburban planning system and its urban reality.

June 13, 2022 - California Planning & Development Report

Garden City

What Is the Garden City Movement?

Born as a reaction to the crowded, dirty conditions in turn-of-the-century London and other industrial cities, the Garden City movement offers an idealized planned community designed to join elements of town and country.

December 27, 2021 - Diana Ionescu

A Black LIves Matter Protest, with a protestor holding up a sign that reads "Open Your Eyes: Systemic Racism Is Real"

Planning Directors Commit to Change on Racial Inequities

Planning directors around the country have acknowledged the historic role of the planning profession in furthering the causes of racial discrimination and have publicly committed to change that history.

October 13, 2021 - Next City

Robert Moses at the ribbon-cutting for the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

Who Is Robert Moses?

Known to some as the 'master builder' and to others as a villain in the history of New York City's development, Robert Moses was an influential and controversial city official who guided the construction of hundreds of projects in the mid-20th century.

September 22, 2021 - Diana Ionescu

Hells Kitchen Sidewalk New York City

Looking Beyond the 'Sidewalk Ballet:' Jane Jacobs in the 21st Century

While The Death and Life of Great American Cities remains an urban planning classic, today's planners must contend with challenges that Jacobs couldn't have anticipated.

August 12, 2021 - The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

Redlining Map

Story Mapping the Racism in Planning History

A Story Map created by the Louisville Metro Office of Planning & Design Services offers a detailed, visual presentation of the history of racism and discriminatory in the planning and zoning of the Louisville and Jefferson County.

April 7, 2021 - Louisville Metro Office of Planning & Design Services

Çatalhöyük, 7400 BC, Konya, Turkey

What Is Çatalhöyük?

Thought to be one of the first major urban centers in human civilization, Çatalhöyük was a Neolithic settlement that, at its height, reached a population of close to 10,000 at a time when most humans still lived in small hunter-gatherer bands of several hundred people.

April 2, 2021 - Diana Ionescu

UC Berkeley and North Berkeley

History (Un)made: Berkeley City Council Votes to Eliminate Single-Family Zoning

The city that invented single-family zoning in 1916, for discriminatory purposes, will completely remove that exclusionary legacy from its zoning code.

February 24, 2021 - San Francisco Chronicle

Mrs. Ella Watson, a government charwoman, with three grandchildren and her adopted daughter

Repositioning Black Urbanists in the History of Planning

The history of planning is dominated by a few iconic figures—all white.

February 2, 2021 - Planning Magazine

110 Freeway

When Discussing Racist Monuments, Don't Forget Urban Freeways

The racist history of planning in Los Angeles is particularly evident in the way Interstate freeways were planned in the region.

June 30, 2020 - Los Angeles Times

Soviet Planning

Watch: How Soviet Planners Created a Different Kind of City

The latest video from City Beautiful looks at the legacy of planning from the Soviet Union.

June 26, 2020 - City Beautiful

Reading Viaduct

'The Art of Classic Planning' Critiques a 'Century of Bad Planning'

A book review of a book published this year with the title, "The Art of Classic Planning: Building Beautiful and Enduring Communities," offers stinging criticism of the past and present of planning.

March 13, 2020 - The American Conservative

Black Urbanists

Elevating Black Voices in the Planning Canon

The traditional narratives about the history of planning fail to note the role of Black urbanists, as well as the effect of planning policies on Black Americans.

February 10, 2020 - Planning Magazine

Arizona Streets

Study Traces the History of Racism and Urban Heat Islands

The people living in urban heat islands are much more likely to be inhabited by low-income people of color, and the roots of the environmental justice issue can be found in planning history.

January 21, 2020 - The Oregonian

Aurelian Wall

How Transportation Technology Determines the Footprint of Cities

The Marchetti Constant, the willingness of people to travel for about a half an hour to get to and from work, explains the size of cities in history, and the metropolitan areas of today.

August 30, 2019 - CityLab

Garden City

An Infographic to Explain the History of Urban Planning

What do you think about the linked visual presentation of the history of urban planning?

January 23, 2018 - Visual Capitalist

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

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.