Planning Process


Are Virtual Public Meetings Here For Good?

Online public hearings and other meetings have become commonplace. A case can be made to continue virtual meetings even in the post-COVID-19 era.

September 9, 2020 - Governing

Smart City

For Success, Smart Cities Need Stakeholder Engagement

Smart cities technologies are not going to lead to the right outcomes unless end users are recognized as integral players in the planning process.

August 27, 2020 - Smart Cities Dive

City Hall

Local Planning Departments Shutting Down in California

The entire state of California is now on a shelter in place order, but planning desks and public hearings on land use issues were already in the process of shutting down.

March 23, 2020 - Lay of the Land

Public Meeting Speaker

The 'Garbage Language' of Planning

The language we use as planners can serve many purposes and often hinders good communication rather than fostering it.

March 16, 2020 - Strong Towns


Lessons from a Six-Hour Hearing on Planning and Zoning

A recent debate in Washington, D.C. echoed common concerns about the planning process in cities around the country.

March 22, 2018 - Greater Greater Washington

Little Tokyo

The Final Days of 'Level of Service' in California's Environmental Review Process

A long-awaited draft update of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) has finally been released, and Level of Service will finally be a thing of the past in the next two to four years.

December 7, 2017 - Streetsblog California

Google Headquarters Expansion Trips Near the Finish Line

Negotiations between the city of Mountain View and tech giant Google over the latter's plans to expand its headquarters recently took a strange turn.

October 4, 2017 - The Mercury News

new Mexico

Planners Across America: Making Albuquerque the Land of Enchantment, Not Confusion

The city of Albuquerque is focused on bringing consistency and coherence to an unwieldy collection of planning and land use regulations. An interview with Albuquerque Planning Director Suzanne Lubar explores the city's approach to the challenge.

March 6, 2017 - Josh Stephens

Human-Centered Design

Innovating the Planning Process Through Community-Centered Design

Sean O'Malley and Andrew Watkins, of the landscape architecture, planning, and urban design firm SWA, describe the benefits of a design process that empowers people and communities to participate.

August 4, 2015 - Sean O'Malley and Andrew Watkins

San Diego Bay, Historic

The Rise of the Development Agreement

The evolution of the development agreement reveals how its proliferation as a land use tool is a symptom of a larger struggle between increasingly complicated land use regulations, the public’s conflicting goals, and developers’ desire for certainty

January 11, 2015 - Reuben Duarte

Public Meeting

Poll: What are the Most Important Skills for Planning Staffers?

In the second in a series of posts, PlannersWeb recently posted the results of a poll asking: "What are the skills you’ve found most important in serving on a planning commission?"

October 15, 2014 - PlannersWeb

Poll: What are the Most Important Skills for Planning Commissioners?

PlannersWeb recently posted the results of a poll asking: "What are the skills you’ve found most important in serving on a planning commission?"

October 14, 2014 - PlannersWeb


How a Bunch of Nosepickers are Helping Nashville Plan for its Future

Booming development and shifting demographics are driving updates to Music City’s land use policies. Civic leaders and planners say they want residents to steer the process, which has meant getting people’s attention in some unlikely ways.

August 6, 2014 - Colby Sledge

Development Fails the Public Opinion Polls

A recent article for PlannersWeb called “10 Things You Should Know About How the Public Feels About Development” provides helpful data and insight into the type of opposition encountered whenever new development projects face public scrutiny.

April 9, 2014 - PlannersWeb

A Call to Give New York's Planning Power to the People

Michael Sorkin bemoans the trickle-down planning ethos of the Bloomberg era and sees the need to increase the city's resiliency as an opportunity to "return to the task of physical planning attuned to local desires".

January 4, 2014 - Architectural Record

Techniques for Bridging the Activist-Developer Divide

A frank discussion about growth and development at a recent Vancouver forum revealed the extensive common ground shared developers and neighborhood activists, and promising techniques for bridging their traditional divide.

December 2, 2013 - The Vancouver Sun

Seaside Entrance

New Urbanism's Chief Regret?

In his fifth entry in a lengthy examination of the successes and failures of New Urbanism, Peter Katz looks at one of the movement's key blindspots: the failure to help improve the processes and practices of local governments.

May 30, 2013 - Better! Cities & Towns

Can Gamification Bring New Voices to the Planning Process?

A new Internet-based game hopes to expand the allure of civic engagement by making planning playful. Trial runs in Detroit and Salem, Massachusetts have already shown promise in attracting new voices to the planning process.

March 29, 2013 - Fast Company Co.Exist

Can a 'Case Management' Office Save the Development Process in Los Angeles?

Despite 40 percent fewer employees, the department recently announced a reform plan to expedite the development approval process by bringing the city's Planning Department and the Department of Building and Safety under one roof.

July 17, 2011 - The Planning Report

Improving Planning in San Francisco

The Wall Street Journal talks with Gabriel Metcalf, executive director of the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, about where the city is heading and how it needs to change.

May 2, 2011 - The Wall Street Journal

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

"Rethinking Commuter Rail" podcast & Intercity Bus E-News

Chaddick Institute at DePaul University

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.