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Open Access Publications from the University of California


The Berkeley Planning Journal is an annual peer-reviewed journal published by graduate students in the Department of City and Regional Planning (DCRP) at the University of California, Berkeley since 1985.

Issue cover

Editorial Notes

Introduction to Volume 10

As the last pages are being proofed, the last diagrams formatted, and every pre-press detail is accounted for, we sit down to perform our final journal task: writing the introduction. In 1 973, Aaron Wildavsky argued that planning includes too much, asserting that "If planning is everything, maybe it's nothing."' To the proponents of Wildavsky's argument, we seek to demonstrate with this volume that planning may in fact be everything; but it certainly is not nothing.

Book Reviews

Common Interest Communities: Private Governments and the Public Interest, by Stephen E. Barton and Carol Silverman

Over the past 25 years, the creation of 150,000 new common interest communities has made 30,000,000 Americans members of "private governments." The spread of these common interest developments has created a quiet revolution in the structure of neighbor relations, local government, and land-use control. Stephen E. Barton's and Carol Silverman's, Common interest communities: Private governments and the public interest, offers us one of the first books addressing the complex nature of these increasingly widely-used i nstitutions.


Pragmatic Knowledge Codes

The article explains a research program that stems from the author's recent book, How to think about social problems (1994), where she argues for a reorganization of the domains of knowledge in public policy and planning into explicit, pragmatic knowledge codes. The author argues that knowledge in the public policy and planning fields is the common knowledge necessary for informed and responsible participation in public affairs, and thus a necessary condition for creating participatory, democratic communities in modern society.

The research project Thalia, outlined here, aims to show how expert knowledge in a relatively simple urban planning knowledge domain, urban forestry, can be made explicit and simulated. Thalia involves the appkation of an artificial intelligence cognitive architecture, FORR (FOr the Right Reasons), developed by computer scientist Susan Epstein. FORR is an architecture particularly promising for public policy and planning because of its ability to incorporate pluralism and pragmatism.

Economics, Environment, and Equity: Policy Integration During Development in Vietnam

Conflicts between economic development, environmental protection and social equity underlie efforts to promote sustainable development. The author proposes a simplified framework for integrating economic, environmental, and social policies in order to foster development that is ecologically and socially more sustainable. The paper analyzes the specific forms these policy areas are assuming in Vietnam, and the underlying political forces (both internal and external) driving policy implementation. An examination of how these policies are currently integrated and balanced follows. The analysis shows that contrary to government pronouncements, development patterns are unlikely to be altered toward more sustainable ends under existing institutions and laws. Finally, the article discusses the potential for integrating current policies to achieve sustainability goals.

Transnational Communities, Regional Development, and the Future of Mexican Immigration

This article examines the relationship between regional development and labor migration to the United States in the context of NAFTA. The article develops two principal arguments. first, the current migration process between Mexico and the United States is not only the result of push­ pull economic factors, as is generally assumed, but also the result of well-developed social networks and the implementation of U.S. and Mexican government policies as manifested by the formation of a number of "transnational communities. This observation leads to a second and related argument: the additional job creation resulting from NAFTA will not necessarily stem the international migration flows from regions with a long tradition of migration to the United States.

The Odds on TODs: Transit-Oriented Development as a Congestion-Reduction Strategy in the San Francisco Bay Area

Transit-oriented development, which clusters high-density, mixed-use development around transit stations, has been proposed as a way to reduce automobile travel in the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere. This paper relates research on neighborhood characteristics and vehicle travel to specific Bay Area characteristics. The analysis shows that, even using optimistic assumptions about travel behavior, redeveloping the area around most of the existing rail transit stations, coordinating similar development around feeder bus routes, and clustering close to one-fifth of the region's population in these areas would reduce vehicle miles traveled in the Bay Area by just 5%. If current trends continue, this would offset only three years of growth in vehicle miles traveled. Thus, transit-oriented development is unlikely to have a significant impact on regional vehicle miles traveled and traffic congestion. Although transit-oriented development may have other worthwhile benefits, it is inappropriate as the cornerstone of the Bay Area's congestion management strategy.

Selecting Bicycle Commuting Routes Using GIS

This study develops a procedure for using a geographic information system (GIS) to select bicycle routes in a city. The procedure includes: developing the required database, finding the most desirable route between each origin­ destination pair, and identifying the best bicycle routes in a city. The study shows that GIS is a powerful tool for developing a database from various readily available sources; that it can conveniently integrate quantitative analysis, data manipulation, and visualization in one operating environment; and that GIS is uniquely capable of performing spatial analyses that are critical to the selection of bicycle routes.


Feminist Theory and Planning Theory: Lessons from Feminist Epistemologies

At the root of any theory of social practice like planning is an epistemology, a concept of what knowledge is, how it is attained, and who may claim to have it. In planning, where the press of work and current issues in the profession leave little time for philosophical examinations, basic epistemological theory gets understandably short shrift. Nonetheless, it is wise on occasion to step back and examine the theories and ideas underlying our practice, for they are important, whether examined or not. This paper is one contribution to that project. It will examine feminist theoreticians' work on epistemology, and the lessons this work has for planning theory and especially planning practice. The aim is not to examine the impact on specific areas such as land use planning, but on the conception of planning and the ways it is carried out.

The challenges and contributions of this work have many implications for planning theory, going well beyond issues of gender and dealing with power, process, professionalism, and ethics. These issues reach to the foundation of many issues of current importance in planning: defining the public interest, citizen participation, equity, justice, and the legitimation of planning itself.

Space and Community - The Spatial Foundations of Urban Neighborhoods: An Evaluation of Three Theories of Urban Form and Social Structure and Their Relevance to the Issue of Neighborhoods

Neighborhoods have been centers of concern for city planning and urban theory since the late nineteenth century. According to scholars and activists such as Ttinnies (1887) in Vienna, and Jane Adams (Trolander 1987) and later Robert Park and his associates in Chicago (Park 1925; Wirth 1938), the social problems of the large city stemmed from the deterioration of local community ties which had been based on frequent face-to-face meetings, and their replacement by casual businesslike interactions among strangers. They believed that a major part of the problem was the blurring of clear boundaries between settlements as they were engulfed in rapidly growing metropolitan areas. Units of settlement ceased to have an identifiable structure to which people could relate.


Abstracts and Titles of Student Work

Recent PhD Dissertations, Masters Theses and Professional Reports from the Department of City and Regional Planning.