It is often the burden of an introduction to find a unifying thread or theme in the material to follow. In a field such as planning, where academic research spans everything from the role of trees in urban beautification to the effects of globalization on regional economies, the synthesizing task is often unrewarding.
At first glance, the potpourri of theories and issues in this year's Journal articles offer no such emergent themes. The scope of the articles ranges from urban politics to social organization to multinational firm location to the relationship of land use and transit. Yet each contribution offers an argument that spatial policies, processes, and structures, however evolving, continue to shape modern society.