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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 11

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.


Conceptions and Politics in the Patterning of an Urban-Regional Space: The Case of (New) Bombay

This paper reveals the conceptualizations and politics behind the form ulation and implem entation of the New Bombay plan, which emerged in the early 1970s to address problems of 'overurbanization ' by diverting growth away from Greater Bombay and its suburbs. It argues that conceptions of spatial inequality and

'largeness' of the city that are used to understand spatial policies obscure the political bases of state action. A (largely Marxian) framework is proposed for the analysis of the political bases of spatial policies and their implem entation. Such a fram ework n e cessarily requires anuanced conception o f the state with regards to its relation with civil society. is sho wn that the redefinition of territoriality is a conflictual and contested process.

It is pointless trying to decide whether Zenobia is to be classified among the happy cities or among the unhappy. It makes no sense to divide cities into these two species, but rather into another two: those that through the years and the changes continue to give their form to desires, and those in which desires either erase the city or are erased by it. -- ltalo Calvino (1974:35)

The Unorganized Militia Network: Conspiracies, Computers, and Community

This article surveys the presence of the Unorganized American Militia movement on computer networks and explores how the Militia movement uses computer networks to build an Mimagined network communityw. The transformation of computer networks from a tool of the academic elite to a mass consumption commodity offers new poten tial for social organization. This transformation also allows for new conceptions of community and the way relationships based on shared identities are built. This article argues that computer communications can h elp communities imagine themselves and expand.

Integrating Business and Location: An Overview of Two Theoretical Frameworks on Multinational Firms

This article presents an emerging theoretical framework on the locational dynamics of multinational firms in the 1990s. Until recently, theories on multinational firms have developed separately in two fields, one in the business/economics literature, with a focus on the logic of competition, and another in the economic geography literature, with a focus on locational dynamics. The article reviews existing theories in these two traditions and then describ es the emerging views of the 1990s, which address competition and location sim ultaneously. The article argues that the development of an integrated framework is useful for understanding the increasing importance of location in the competition among multinational firms.

Land Use Impacts of Rapid Transit: A Review of the Empirical Literature

This paper attempts to consolidate the existing empirical eviden ce on the land use impacts of rail rapid transit. A framework for organizing the literature is developed based on the objects of study, analytical techniques and methodological approaches used. Thirty-seven studies are reviewed co vering transit's impacts on property values, development and vacancy rates, changes in land use types, and population and emplo yment growth. Ten recurring themes in the studies ' fin dings are highligh ted. A ccessibility to transit tends to effect an average residential property value premium of six to seven percent, but o verall land use changes are typically small and require the presence of several complementary factors, such as supportive local land use policies and existing demand for high density development.

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Urban Fringe

Montreal: Planning and Politics, Quebec Style

The most striking realization for a person who moves from the U . S . to Canada is that, contrary to common perception, there is a whole country north of the 49th parallel. The faint image of Canada one gathers from the American media is generally that of a vast and sparsely populated expanse of frozen tundra, with settlements built around large skating rinks, where the four seasons are winter, winter, winter, and July. Sure, Americans know of Vancouver and Toronto; but aren't these really American towns that happen to lie at the other end of a bay, on the other side of a lake? Americans also know of NAFTA, the free-trade agreement with Canada arid Mexico; but wasn't Canada admitted into the partnership so that empty land would be available, further north, for the hordes of Mexicans who are invading from the south? The dim impression that there is nothing of real significance in the big pink area on the map between the U.S. and the North Pole is not really fortuitous. The rhetoric of national difference aside, many Canadians seem to do all they can to resemble their southern neighbors and blend into their mental and physical landscape. U.S. companies, of course, are only too happy to lend the strong, extremely visible hand of the market to this process of Americanization.


Abstracts and Titles of Student Work

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