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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


The publication of this volume of the Berkeley Planning journal marks a turning point in the journal's history. The students who pro­ duced the first issue four years ago are completing their studies and moving on to various academic or professional careers. Their succes­ sors have not yet appeared.

The questions posed in our first issue by Hilda Blanco, the journal's founder and first editor, must be asked again: What purpose will this journal serve, and who will assume responsibility for its sustenance?

Book Reviews

Rivers of Empire: Water, Aridity, and the Growth of the American West by Donald Worster

Next time you pass through the city of Oroville in Northern California on State H ighway 70, take a detour through town and go up to the Oroville Dam. Take the road that follows the channel of the Feather River, winding through hills clothed in manzanita, madrone, and oak. You will soon round a bend to the impressive sight of the world's tallest earthen dam at 770 feet. Swing up past the dam to the visitor center's museum. Against one wall, amid the wildlife taxidermy and Gold Rush artifacts, is a white graphic outline of the state of Cali­ fornia. Throughitsmidsectionathickbluearrowslashesfromnorthto south. It is simply captioned: "The Plan."


Congestion, Growth, and Public Choices

Within a fairly short period of time, traffic congestion has eclipsed virtually every other concern -- be it crime, unemployment, or air pol­ lution -- as America's number one urban problem. Public opinion polls in San Francisco, Atlanta, Phoenix, Washington, D.C., and at least a dozen other urbanized areas show citizens are more fed up with con­ gestion than with anything else. In the Bay Area, congestion has been pegged by areawide residents as the number one public menace for four years straight, outdistancing its closest rival -- air pollution -- by more than two-to-one.

Such widespread dissatisfaction reflects, in part, the fact that con­ gestion now afflicts nearly all commuters to some degree, whether headed downtown, reverse-commuting, or traveling on a secondary road. While only a decade ago congestion was the scourge of down­ town commuters, today it pervades the freeway networks of most large and medium-sized cities.

Transportation Planning Under Two Masters: Citizen Participation, Planning Styles, and the Tunnel Road Controversy

Transportation planning, perhaps more than other areas of planning practice, suffers from a split identity. On the one hand it is an area in which engineering considerations frequently dominate, and many of its practitioners are in fact professional transportation engineers. On the other hand, it is a particularly politicized arena in which planners work, at least on the local level; virtually no planning issue can rally a neighborhood to political action as readily as a proposed freeway bisecting it. Even less controversial questions such as changes in bus service regularly elicit heated debate.

Industrializing For Workers; Models from Italy and Spain

The career prospects for industrial workers in North America and Western Europe, once the mainstay of an affluent middle class, have become highly uncertain, if not bleak. The burdens of economic risk and uncertainty faced by mass producers with declining profits and productivity have been substantially passed off onto workers and the communities where they live. Sufficient profit margins are maintained by staff-gutting layoffs in the name of streamlining and plant reloca­ tions to areas where manipulable, non-unionized labor will work for lower wages. Bluestone and Harrison estimate that deindustrialization in the 1970s eliminated 32 million U.S. jobs.

The Case Against Statistics-as-Methods: Confessions of a Born-Again Planmaker

I n most planning programs, "methods" mean statistics. I n a 1 983 survey of 71 North American planning schools, E.H. Baxter found that statistics, chiefly inferential statistics, formed the core component of first-year planning methods classes in almost all of the planning pro­ grams surveyed ( 1 983). What explains this popularity? Statistics, I sus­ pect, has much the same appeal as a succesfs ul political candidate - although exciting to only a few, it is nontheless acceptable to many.


Abstracts and Titles of Student Work

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

Theme Section

Symposium on Planning in China

China seems at first examination to be a country in which com­ pletely rational, region-by-region planning could be undertaken, with the entire economy managed like a well-oiled, finely-tuned machine. At least that is the image conjured up by the term "planned economy," and it is one that strikes a responsive chord deep in the orderly recesses of the planner's heart. This was the notion I had of China when the idea for the China Symposium first came up before the BPJ Editorial Board. I was at once fascinated by the possibilities of plan­ ning in China, and daunted by the scope of power and responsibility inherent in so comprehensive a task. Much as I could appreciate the potential benefits of controlling plant siting, labor force migration, and the like, I was not at all sure I would want to live in such a society. I also realized how little I, in common with most of the Western world, knew about what life in China is actually like. Even travelling there, as more and more Westerners are now doing, does not seem sufficient to grasp the social, political, or day-to-day reality.

Ian McHarg on City Planning

Professor lan McHarg was a visiting scholar during the 1986-87 academic year in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of California at Berkeley. The Berkeley Planning Journal took this opportunity to interview Prof. McHarg on the subject of city and regional planning. Prof. McHarg is a Profesos r of Landscape Archi­ tecture and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsyl­ vania, also engaged in private practice, and the author of Design With Nature. The interview was conducted on April 20, 1987, by Cliff Ellis, a doctoral student in city and regional planning at Berkeley and editor of the Berkeley Planning Journal.