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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.

The Region in the 21st Century

Issue cover

Editorial Notes

Introduction to Volume 14

In this edition of the Berkeley Planning Journal we explore the renewed interest in regions and regional planning. Many writers have commented on, and attempted to theorize, the surprising re-emphasis of the regional within an increasingly global world. It might be convenient to write this off as an assertion of defiant localism in the face of powerful multinational corporations and remote international treaties and organizations. However, for planners concerned about the growth and development of places and people, globalization presents a serious challenge to develop a coherent action agenda at the regional scale. Yet, if the challenge is great, it is not clear that the analytical paradigms and the policy tools of the academy and the profession are adequate.

Regional Planning: A Call to Re-evaluate the Field

The words "regional planning" appear in the titles of many academic planning departments. However, there is very little consensus about what the term "regional" means or what the agenda of the regional specialty should be. This is not a new problem, but it is one that very much needs to be addressed, as the rapid physical evolution of urban regions in the twenty-first century presents ever greater challenges in terms of livability, sustainability, and equity.

Book Reviews

Globalization and Its Discontents: Essays on the New Mobility of People and Money by Saskia Sassen

If lhe chapters of Saskia Sassen's newest book Globalization and itsDiscontents sound familiar, they may be: lhe book is a compendium of many of her previously published essays on topics surrounding lhe social effects of globalization. The ten essays were originally published between 1984 and 1998 in publications as diverse as the Urban Technology Journal and the Yale Law Journal. Sassen, a recognized expert in the field, takes on disparate and complex issues in each essay. The resulting chapters offer an original and meticulously argued approach for exploring the socio-political ramifications of globalization on the laws and boundaries of what Sassen calls "global cities". The book, however, is better at observation lhan solution, offering little insight into how better policies could help prevent or mitigate the myriad of problems identified.

Local and Global: Management of Cities in the Information Age by Jordi Borja and Manuel Castells

This "urban manifesto" was based on a report prepared for the Istanbul Habitat Conference of June 1996. In some ways this book should be treated as the fourth volume of Castells' critically acclaimed trilogy: The Rise OfThe Network Society (1996), The Power Of Identity (1997), and The End OfThe Millennium (1998). The strength of this book lies in the authors' attempt to make Castells' theoretical · and empirical works more practical, and it is on these terms that we should evaluate the book. More than half of this book is dedicated to comparative urban policy to illustrate the issues many cities are facing.

Cities and Complexity by K.S. Christensen

Karen Christensen's Cities and Complexity is a remarkably non­ partisan foray into the structural and analytical details comprising intergovernmental relations in the United States. Informed by years of work with the U . S . Department of Housing and Urban Development, teaching and research with the University of California at Berkeley, and a vast body of literature regarding organizational theory, this is a particularly multi-dimensional, yet practical, impression of the sprawling institutions we call "government".

Inside Game/Outside Game: Winning Strategies for Saving Urban America by David Rusk

David Rusk is widely recognized as the author of Cities without Suburbs. However, Inside Game I Outside Game is perhaps a better reflection of his years spent as a neighborhood organizer, government policy analyst, state representative, mayor, and advisor to city governments. The book draws upon these experiences to articulate a clear reform agenda for metropolitan regions. He presents empirical evidence and inspiring stories of success tempered with cautious tales and a practical outlook. This book argues that core issues for many practitioners-housingafof rdability,neighborhoodrevitalization,open space preservation, and fiscal policy reforms-are inherently related.

The Transit Metropolis: A Global Inquiry by Robert Cervero

The recent upsurge of interest in metropolitan regionalism-catalyzed by concerns about growth management, ecological sustainability, and suburban-central city equity disparities and found in the writings of Peter Calthorpe, Anthony Downs, Myron Orfield, Douglas Porter, and David Rusk--often focuses on the question of how planners can help create a more compact, transit-oriented metropolis. To many this seems to set an impossible goal. Indeed, a few observers such as Peter GordoJ:i and Haryr Richardson even argue that compact development is not necessary, believing that plenty of land and resources exist for suburban development and that traffic and efficiency problems are benign. A much larger number of planners believe that suburban sprawl does jeopardize equity, environmental, and even economic objectives, but have little hope of changing current land use and transportation patterns anytime soon.

Cities in Civilization by Peter Hall

One of the oldest ideas in Western thought is that of the golden age-a bygone era in which men and women, by virtue of exceptional creativity, were briefly able to live the good life. In Cities in Civilization, Peter Hall argues that most of these golden ages are urban ages. But why should creativity be concentrated in urban areas? What brings about golden ages in great cities? And why does this creativity dissipate so quickly?

Houser: The Life and Work of Catherine Bauer by H. Peter Oberlander and Eva Newbrun

Right after she graduated from Vassar in 1926, Catherine Bauer took offfor the grand tour ofEurope. She had studied English literature, had considered studying architecture, and was interested in the arts. So the idea of checking-out the European scene seemed a fitting way to cap off her B.A. degree. As things turned out, the post-graduation tour proved powerfully influential on that impressionable young woman. She was so taken by the things she saw and the people she met that she would never be the same. She'd readily won acceptance everywhere she went, even in the inner circles of the Parisian cognoscenti, and the trip became the start of a lifelong career of inquiry and advocacy in housing and urban development.


From Dual Disparities to Dual Squeeze: The Emerging Patterns of Regional Development in Taiwan

This paper surveys the difef rent regional development strategies emerging in Taiwan in irs current political, institutional, and socio­ economic context. It argues that the current strategies reflect and reinforce Taiwan's dual disparities: the persistence of regional economic disparity in spite ofincreasing GDP, and the institutional disparity of a highly centralized regional economic development planningframeworkfor an economy based on localized networks of small and medium-sized enterprises. In examining the existing strategies, this study finds a dual squeeze of the state-centered institutions on the one hand and local political interests on the other as the centralproblem in regional development in Taiwan. This has led to the pursuit of environmentally costly strategies for development in logging regions. Thispoper argues that Taiwan's egional evelopment efforts will not be effective at encouraging endogenous economic growth in the less urbanized regions unless regional-level environmental, economic, and social concerns are recognized and incorporated into development plans. This will likely require the restructuring. of the existing institutional andpolitical environment.

Georgia Regional Transportation Authority: A Case Study of an Innovative Regional Planning Institution

The Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA), a new regional planning institution, is a governor-appointed body of 15 regional leaders with broad authority over land use and transportation planning throughout the state. Created in the summer of 1 999, GRTA emerged from a public-private process that sought to reform transportation planning in the Atlanta region, but its authority far surpasses what was initially conceived by that public-private effort, theMetropolitanAtlantaTransportationInitiative(MATI). Thispoper is a case study of the MATI process and the emergence of GRTA that illustrates in some detail theformation ofa new and innovative regional planning institution. What it lacks in comparative breadth, it supplies in step-by-step analysis of how a group of business people and civic leaders reformed the planning process in a major American metropolitan region. One tentative conclusion is that theprivate sector can play a major role in regional planning, as they did in the development ofthis new regional planning institution. The case study also illustrates that while GRTA's initialfocus will be to solve Atlanta's transportation problems, GRTA may become an implementation vehicle for the Georgia Planning Act, a comprehensive but underutilized statewide land use planning statute.

Regionalism Through Partnerships? Metropolitan Planning Since ISTEA

Metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) were given significant new responsibilities for transportation decision-making with the passage ofISTEA but were expected to carry out these responsibilities in partnership with state agencies and a variety ofpublic and private interest groups. Since the ISTEA partnership approach is continued under thefollow-on TEA-21 /egis/ation, it is important to understand the institutional relationships thus formed and their strengths and limitations. Drawingfrom the literature as well as our own interviews in two dozen large metropolitan regions, in this paper we review the experience to date with partnerships under JSTEA. Five types of partnerships are identified, in order ofincreasing levels ofinteraction, shared responsibility, and role equality: consultation, coordination, cooperation, consensus building, and collaboration. Wefind that most MPO activities are of the first three types. Successes in lower-level partnerships can open doorsfor higher levels ofpartnership, but by no means assure it; partnerships have produced gains but they also have caused cmiflicts. Research on the social learning aspects of partnership development could provide insights into the evolution of regional institutions as well as useful modelsfor progressive practice.

Do Regions Matter? Evidence on Capabilities and Coalitions from Defense-Dependent Regions

This paper asks whether regional capabilities and coalitions can shape economic development outcomes in a period of intense structural adjustment. Rapid cuts in defense procurement spending with their associated closure offacilities and elimination ofmillions ofdefense­ related jobs since the end of the Cold War offer an opportunity to probe differences in capability and responses on theparr ofdefense dependent regions in the US and Europe. This paper uses a novel approac pooling across a set of in-depth case studies by the authors and other scholars to compare outcomes. Three kinds of defense regions are examined: 1) military aerospace , 2) military shipyards, and 3) naval bases---i1sing eleven cases drawnfrom three countries (US, Germany, and France). We conclude that regional capability and mobilization can make a dramatic difef rence. Regions more likely to succeed in movingpeople,facilities and technologies into new civilian uses are those with a history ofcoping with industrial decline, a strong public sector held in relatively high regard by its citizens, an ability to tronscend partisanpolitics andjurisdictional competition, and active advocacy for conversion on the part oftrade unimJS, peace activists, community economic development advocates, and/or local businesses. Comparing across nations, national government posture towards conversion can significantly enhance or constrain regional efforts as well. The paper concludes with recommendations to strengthen national and regional level planning approachesfor structural adjustment mare generally.

A High-Rise Vernacular in Singapore's Housing Development Board Housing

Vernacular architecture is commonly believed to be a quaint representation ofthe history and traditions ofa culture, built by average people using traditional technologies over a long period oftime but in Singapore there are several indications that the Modernist high rise housing and new towns have become a new vernacular. The factors that support this point of view are: I) the ubiquity of the highrise and new town way oflife; 2) a shared value system and culture within the new towns that is shaped by and reflected in the architecture and planning ofthe new towns; 3) the importance ofrelationships between spaces in the new towns; 4) the ability ofthe architecture andplanning ofnew towns to adapt to changes within Singaporean society; 5) the acceptance, legitimacy, and identification ofthe high-rise way oflife by Singaporeans. A vernacular in Singapore based upon high-rise housing and new towns profoundly impocts the understanding of vernacular architecture, Modernistplanning, and the industrialization offormer Third World countries in response to the globalism.