Top-Down Planning

Still image of EPCOT city concept from Disney's 1966 promotional film

EPCOT: The Original 'Smart City'

What can today’s futurists learn from Disney’s unrealized utopia?

October 7, 2022 - Diana Ionescu

A row of multistory, brick buildings in a small U.S. city, with retail uses on the ground floor and apartments above.

What Is Incremental Planning?

The concept of incrementalism can be applied to numerous fields and disciplines—one of which is planning. In the field of planning, the word incremental is usually used as an adjective to describe other planning words, such as code reform and development.

May 31, 2022 - James Brasuell

Chicago Public Housing

What Is Urban Renewal?

Ostensibly intended to improve "blighted" neighborhoods and provide better housing conditions, urban renewal often involved displacement and the wholesale destruction of urban communities.

July 16, 2021 - Diana Ionescu

New York City Street

The Case for Bottom-Up Urban Planning and Design

The wisdom of a broad cross section of residents and stakeholders is an essential part of planning and designing livable, efficient, and authentic communities.

January 22, 2019 - Strong Towns

Idiot brigade

More on the Cost of Anti-Growth Policies

As urban centers start making better sense for a digital economy, NIMBY policies might be worth re-examining. In addition to driving up the cost of housing, they may compound inefficiencies and slow down the economy.

April 12, 2015 - The Economist

A Dissenting Take on the Nicollet Mall Planning Process

While many are excited about the prospect of James Corner Field Operations redesigning the Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis, one commenter sees some of the worst dynamics of top-down planning at work.

January 8, 2015 - Streets MN

The Danger of Federal Money for Local Projects

Scott Beyer provides four reasons why federal money is the wrong policy mechanism for delivering the best possible transportation outcomes in the United States.

August 29, 2014 - Next City

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

Quantifying How Haussmann Changed the Function and Form of Paris

A new study has quantified how Baron Georges-Eugene Haussmann's plans changed the form and function of Paris - a topic that had previously been open to the subjective analysis of urban theorists. The results might surprise you.

July 31, 2013 - BBC

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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.