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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

A Publication of the Graduate Students of the- Department of City and Regional Planning, University of California at Berkeley

Editor: Stephen Tyler

Assistant Editor: Susan Handy

Editorial Collective: lisa Bornstein, Roddie Cole, Cliff Ellis, Vicki

Elmer, Raphael Fischler, Subhrajit Guhathakurta, Michael leaf, jonathan levine, Nancy Nishikawa.

Faculty Advisor: john landis Faculty Associates: Edward Blakely, Robert Cervero, Peter Hall,

Michael Teitz, and Melvin Webber.

Editorial Notes


As Eve said to Adam as they passed through the gates of Eden, "It appears that we are entering a period of transition."

Yes, we here at the Berkeley Planning journal also seem to be in a perpetual state of transition. This is, one might suppose, the fate of any student publication. Unlike a "real" journal with a permanent staff, our publication is dependent upon the efforts of a group of individuals who are, despite their tendencies toward the contrary, only passing through. In his introduction to the last issue, Cliff Ellis called for succes­ sors to come forward and assume responsibility for the Journal, as each founding member slipped quietly into obscure retirement from student life.

Book Reviews

Planning in the Face of Power by John Forester

john Forester's new book pursues several objectives: to apply criti­ cal social theory to the study of planning, to make sense of the micro­ processes that constitute planning practice, and to help planners be progressive practitioners. Forester brings together, in a single volume, essays which have appeared in various journals since 1 980 and which have been reworked as chapters for this publication. The key concep­ tual development in this work consists of redefining planning in terms of communicative action and of refining advocacy planning with "the practical recognition of systematic sources of misinformation" (p. 46). For Forester, planning involves not only technical analysis, but primarily a clash of arguments and social identities. Progressive planning there­ fore requires arguing and organizing, as well as an emancipation from oppressive structures. His is an important, valuable, praiseworthy work.


Another Development: Possibilities of a Counter-Hegemonic Planning

How do we approach the question of an alternative develop­ ment (for the Third World no less than for the First) in ways that go beyond mere literary utopias? This essay seeks to ex­ plore this question by examining the kinds of behavior that are revealed as the so-called popular classes of Latin Ameri­ can cities confront their daily struggles of survival and liveli­ hood. It is agued that their behavior reflects an existential Reason that must be balanced off against the cognitive Rea­ son which underlies the Enlightenment model ofmoderniza­ tion. Four aspects of this model are examined: in metaphys­ ics, epistemology, philosophical anthropology, and the legal­ political order. The essay concludes by aguing that existen­ tial and cognitive Reason stand in a dialectical relationship where each defines and sets limits to the other, thus preven­ ting the totalization of any model, including the hegemonic model of capitalist modernization.

Preliminary Findings on San Francisco Bay Area Nonprofit Housing Developers

A study of San Francisco Bay Area nonprofit housing devel­ opers shows that they have the organizational capability to be an agent of low-income ho using policy. They are relatively productive and serve predominantly very-low-income house­ holds. Their organizations tend to be well established, with significant staff levels, wide geographic service areas, and substantialgovernment support. Both the nonprofit housing developer organizations and their /ow-income housing pro­ jects depend heavily on government resources. Thus, non­ profit housing developers offer not an independent alterna­ tive to government, but rather represent a hardworking, dedicated partner.

The Other Energy Crisis: Managing Urban Household Energy Use in Senegal

The persistent and growing demand for woodfuels in devel­ oping countries constitutes an important, often ign ored resource and environmental problem. To gauge the impact ofthis other energy crisis, the case ofSenegal in the 1990s is assessed, focusing on the important urban household sub­ sector. A disagrg egated database is used to highlight the problems of increasing urban energy demand met by unsus­ tainable rural woodfuel supply, and the inadequacy of exist­ ing policies and programs. A flexible, consumer-oriented strategy is recommended, based on biomass supply system management, interfuel substitution, conservation, and a sound pricing policy.

Economic Development and Technological Change in Rural Australia: Some Critical Policy Issues

The paper discusses the status of the rural economy in Aus­ tralia, emphasizing that agriculture, and primary industry in general, have historically played a dominant role in national economic development and have occupied a prime position in general economic policy. In this context, rural develo ment policy in Australia has consisted mainly of measures to expand agricultural production through a pattern of capital­ intensive technological change aimed at minimizing labor in­ puts and maximizing land-labor ratios. While leading to vety high levels of labor productivity, this approach has failed to prevent the wider rural economy from deteriorating in many communities. It has also been accompanied by a deteriora­ tion in the overall economic performance of the agriculture sector itself, despite continued improvements in certain po ularly quoted agricultural indicators (such as gross physical production). The paper argues that Australia's rural policies andprograms have not taken adequate account ofstructural changes in the national and international economy. It con­ cludes that improvements in the rural economy will require a new approach which includes: (1) the replacement of "growth in agriculturalproduction• as the main focus ofrural policy by a new paradigm concerned with "integrated rural development"; and (2) a new emphasis on technology policy as a tool for ensuring that the pattern of technological prac­ tice in agriculture and other rural industries is developed to fit properly the underlying economic conditions.

Employment Policy in Sweden: National Goals and Regional Development

This article describes the development of Swedish employ­ ment policy under the leadership of the Social Democratic Party from 1932 to the present. The Swedish case illustrates how national employment policies may form the basis of industrial and regional development policy, such that the diverse goals of full employment, inflation control, and sus­ tained economic growth may be simultaneously achieved. The price Sweden has paid for its full employment policy has primarily been the policy's contribution to uneven regional economic development. The article focuses on the institu­ tional and political context for Swedish policy development, the creation of the Swedish Model, and employment and regional development policy today.

Hazardous Waste Contamination: Implications for Commercial/Industrial Land Transactions in Silicon Valley

More than 400 hazardous waste contamination sites exist in California's Silicon Valley. Zealous enforcement of deanup laws and the threat of litigation have meant that toxic con­ tamination can drastically affect market values of property. Uability insurance to cover cleanup costs is virtually unavail­ able. However, Silicon Valley's competitive commerdal/ industrial real estate market has forced buyers and sellers to allocate the risks posed by contaminated properties instead of immediately terminating transactions. Nine case studies in this article illustrate that many contaminated properties in Silicon Valley continue to sell at near-market prices. Such land transfers are now routinely subject to an array of mech­ anisms designed to internalize the costs of cleanup, includ­ ing in-depth environmental risk assessments, detailed pur­ chase agreements, and long escrow periods during which cleanup can begin.


Regional Histories and the Cycle of Industrial Innovation: A Review of Some Recent Literature

Most mainstream models that attempt to account for the local occurrence of innovative activity and the rate and pattern of its spatial diffusion build on an ahistorical method of inquiry borrowed from neo­ classical economics, an apparatus geared in any case toward explana­ tions of spatial economic convergence rather than regional differentia­ tion (cf. Hagerstrand 1 953; Berry 1 97 1 ; Krumme and Hayter 1 975; Nor­ ton and Rees 1 979). Disequilibrium theories that attempt to account for stubborn tendencies toward the spatial polarization of innovative activi­ ty in the real world also focus mainly on the explication of abstract eco­ nomic factors (in general, internal or external economies and disecono­ mies of scale) which may trigger or inhibit the interregional or interna­ tional transmission of growth (Myrdal 1 957; Vernon 1 966, 1 979; Krug­ man 1 979; Markusen 1 985). None of these theories accounts for the actual location of innovative activity, much less the influence that local culture and history may have on the innovative process. Even much of the radical literature tends to reduce evidence of local specificity to rigid displays of class structure; it is unabl_e, therefore, to admit any locally-specific non-class effects as factors in the historically-specific generation and diffusion of technological change (Biaikie 1 978; Gregory 1 985).

Urban Fringe

Fires, Cities, and the "Let it Burn" Policy: Towards a New Theory of Urban Development

Last summer's fires in Yellowstone National Park and other public lands -- and the federal government's response to these disasters -­ have led to a renewed public debate in the United States on forest-fire­ fighting policies. At stake are the new "let it burn" policies, which allow forest fires of natural origin to burn in a controlled situation. Though the U.S. Park Service was severely criticized during the 1988 fire season for apparent neglect of its forest resources, the Service continues to main­ tain its case for burning, citing the positive long-term effect of fires.


Abstracts and Titles of Student Work

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