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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.

Regional Planning

Issue cover

Editorial Notes


The editors of the Berkeley Planning Journal wish to thank the Institute of Urban and Regional Development (IURD) for its fi­ nancial support in the publication of Volume 1 7 . The remaining publi­ cation costs for this volume are covered by subscribers whose con­ tinuing support makes each edition possible.

We are grateful to Professor Cris Benton, of the Department of Architecture, for pennitting us to use one of his amazing kite aerial photography images for the cover, and to Marianne Wyss for creating a beautiful cover design. Thanks to Karen Chapple for providing help­ ful advice as the faculty advisor for Volume 1 7. And special thanks to Kaye Bock, Graduate Assistant for the Department of City and Re­ gional Planning, for her invaluable logistical and moraf support, and to the members of the editorial collective.

Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Asset Building and Community Development by Gary Paul Green and Anna Heines

Urban Sprawl: Causes, Consequences, & Policy Responses by Gregory D. Squires

The Prospect of Cities by John Friedmann


Planning To Perform: Evaluation Models For City Planners

Planners create a wide array of planning products, from area plans to zoning ordinances. How, if at all, are these products evaluated? This article uses a three-pronged approach to identify post-hoc evaluation models for three common products: comprehensive plans, area plans, and zoning ordinances. The three-pronged approach examines the planning textbooks, the evaluation provisions in the plans themselves, and the actual evaluations. After probing the evaluation models, the article discusses incentives and disincentives for evaluations, revealing factors that may make planners less inclined to conduct evaluations. The article concludes by exploring new directions and tools for city planning evaluation.

Unpacking Municipal Home Rule: Can California Regionalists and Locals Talk to One Another?

This article focuses on the contemporary home rule discourse in California and how it relates to state-level efforts to promote regional governance and regional planning initiatives. The purpose here is to unpack the contemporary home rule discourse, as represented by a series of articles on home rule that appeared between 1997 and 2001 in the League of California Cities’ journal Western City. By unpacking the discourse, the major strains of the argument for home rule are identified. Once identified, the article argues that the foundations of the home rule discourse provide opportunities to evaluate and strengthen the discourse on regionalism and regional governance, perhaps to the benefit of both regional and home rule advocates. Via discourse analysis and the lessons which it uncovers, the article provides a useful lens through which other State-home rule and regional planning debates can be considered critically.

Funding Regionally: How Private Foundations Can Set a Regional Planning Agenda

Though the problems facing U.S. cities are increasingly regional in nature, traditional state and market institutions set up to address these problems are often organized along counter-regional lines. In this article I ask: Given the non- regional nature of these institutions, how can planners set a regional planning agenda? After examining the counter- regional pressures placed on most institutional actors, I conclude that private foundations are in a key strategic position to set this agenda. Basic goals that policymakers and grassroots leaders articulate for improving economic, environmental, and social conditions in their regions are discussed, and I attempt to re-frame these goals in terms of a regional funding strategy for foundations. In re-framing these goals, the potential for foundations to encourage collaboration between diverse grantees is highlighted, as are various strategies that foundations can use to help their grantees achieve these goals. Ultimately, the proper role for a private foundation interested in promoting regional equity and sustainability is to create a “language of regionalism” by promoting information-sharing between grantees with the most abstract vision for the region (policy institutes and universities) and grantees who are working on the ground (community-based organizations).

Urban Nature and Well-Being: Some Empirical Support and Design Implications

This article is a literature review of empirical research on the relationship between exposure to nature and the well- being of city inhabitants. Two scales of nature are discussed – urban green space and wilderness. Urban green space may reduce physiological stress levels, restore mental abilities, and foster neighborhood social ties. Wilderness experiences may provide the stress-reducing and attention- restoring benefits of everyday nature in a longer-lasting way. They are also associated with a variety of spiritual/ transcendent experiences that provide benefits such as greater self-confidence, a sense of belonging to something greater than oneself, and renewed clarity on “what really matters.” At each scale, the article considers the physical features key to the natural area’s benefits on well-being and the implications of the research for urban planning. The article concludes that providing both types of restorative natural environments in cities will make urban life more livable and environmental protection more instinctual.

How Green is Silicon Valley? Ecological Sustainability and the High-tech Industry

Sustainable development theory explores the tensions between ecological systems, economic growth, and technological advancement. Meanwhile public policy has focused on the compatibility of environmental and economic goals through sustainability discourse and indicators projects. High-tech is often perceived to be a clean industry and Silicon Valley has become an economic phenomenon that other regions attempt to mimic. Yet, industry-sponsored sustainable indicator reports have not fully explored the ecological costs of high-tech production processes. The intense chemical throughput of the manufacturing process and the high volume of toxic waste from the end products pose serious ecological and human health risks. The international scope of the industry and the frequent outsourcing of the production supply chain make regulating the high-tech industry a complex undertaking. Increased company responsibility for the impacts of their products is necessary for the industry to approach the ecological goals set by the sustainability and indicators reports of Silicon Valley.


Abstracts and Titles of Recent Student Work

Doctoral Dissertations, Masters Theses, MCP Professional Reports, and Recent Publications from the Institute of Urban and Regional Development