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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 year 1991 certainly has been fertile in extraordinary events. The war in the Persian Gulf and the failed coup d'etat in the Soviet Union will receive ample space in history textbooks. The same probably holds for the confirmation of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court of the United States and the after-shocks of his confirmation hearings. Yet in the short term, perhaps another development is of greater significance to planners and planning academics. This year has also been the year of "political correctness." With the "PC" debate, what came to the fore are not only academic problems but also, and more importantly, problems of collective identity and of the distribution of power in a multicultural society.

All of these events, international and national, are linked by more than a common position in the calendar. In each of them-the breakdown of the Soviet empire, the Gulf War, and the debate over "political correct­ ness"-one specific issue deserves further attention here. That issue is: critique vs. orthodoxy.


Managing Growth in the World's Cities

Major western cities have experienced strong growth in the 1980s and have become poly-nucleated urban areas. In order to solve the problems that growth and decentralization have created or exacerbated-in particular, housing and transportation problems-officials and planners have proposed and sometimes implemented new development policiesandnewformsofmetropolitanplanning. Thisarticle provides an overview of the major issues facing western world cities, presents the pros and cons of alternative courses of action, and proposes a set of guidelines to mitigate the social costs of cu"ent metropolitan growth.

Institutions and the Growth of Silicon Valley

The success ofSilicon Valley is generally explained with refer­ ence to free-market competition or to government conlracls. Proponents of these explanations overlook the critical role of informal and formal relationships among the region's engi­ neers and executives and among its firms. This artide desribes the growth and evolution of Silicon Valleyasan indus­ trial district, from an early phase characterized by private networks to one characterized by more formal otganizations. The existing institutional infrastructure, however, is found to be inadequate in the face of emetging threats to the "'Bion's industry. New collective institutions and public forums are required if local companies are to meet the growing chal­ lenge of international competition, if they are to secure a skilled work-force, and if they are to solve the transportation, housing, and environmental problems which affect them.

Industrial and Occupational Change in Los Angeles: The Concentration and Polarization of Minority and White Laborers

Metropolitan Los Angeles is one of the laJgeSt inclustnal regions in the world and one of the most important destina­ tions of immigrants in the U.S. 1his artide examines the relationship between the city's old and new workforce (immi­ grants, women, and baby boomers). It addresses the ques­ tion: how did Latinos, Nrican-Americans, and whites "rit" into Los Angeles' economy between 1970 and 1980. Several theories about the position of minorities and women in post­ industrial society are analyzed for their applicability to Los Angeles: (1) mismatch; (2) polarization; and (3) ethnic succes­ sion. The author, using a shift-share method employed in a similar study on New York Oty, tests the ethnic succession hypothesis in Los Angeles. He condudes that, unlike New York, Los Angeles' white population did not decrease in its total employment, thus not allowing for a large minority employmentsuccession. Ukewise,themismatchandpolari­ zation theories do not fully capture what is occurring in Los Angeles. Instead, laborers in Los Angeles cOntinue to be con­ centratedinjobsalonglinesofraceandgender. Inaddition, minority and female workers are concentrated in /ow-paying and low-skilled jobs, which contributes to wase polarization by race and gender.

Bridging the Macro with the Micro Through the Lived Experiences of the Community: The Calcha of Bolivia and Community Development Planning

Community development planning depends, for its success, on a bottom-up approach and a depe understanding of local culture. In this paper, a case of economic development planning invoMng the Calcha, an ethnic group living in southern Bolivia, is used to illustrate how different the understanding of a same reality can be for planners and for local residents. Planners are urged to look at communities not as given objects but as cultural entities being continu­ ously created and adapted through the interpretive work of individuals and households interacting with one another and with their changing environment.

Capping Impacts Instead of Development: an Alternative Approach to Growth Management

Traditional growth management techniques that focus on regulating the amount of development often fall short of their objectives because of the weak relationship that aists betwene the amount ofgrowth and its impacts. Performance zoning and similar efof rts to control impacts are insufficient solutions because they ignore the cumulative effects of new and aisting development. jurisdictions are aperimenting with a new approach where caps are put on impacts rather than development. This is different from previous strategies because it focuses on ambient conditions and the impacts of newandaistingdevelopment. Cappingimpactsentailsset­ ting cumulative impact standards, devising a strategy to achieve them, and following a program to monitor progress and make necessal}' adjustments. While capping impacts is not without its technical and political difficulties, it does offer the potential for more effective growth mana&ement.


Planning for Higher Residential Densities

The purpose ofthis paper is to explore some ofthe reasons for suburban resistance to higher-density housing developments and to propose some policies which will address underlying concerns without sacrificing the density itself. Threecasesare examined where a parcel of land was developed amid existing singlfamily neighborhoods. Aside from opposition to socio­ economic and racial integration, the dominant concerns were the physical character of the new development-the size of the abuildings and the quality of construction and maintenance-and a fear of (overall) change in the physical character of the existing neighborhood.

Neo-Traditional Development: The Debate

One of the hottest topics in the planning field today is the concept of nee-traditional development-that is, the creation of new communities that look and function like towns of times past. Nearly every issue of the American Planning Association's monthly Planning has an article related in some way to this topic, and these articles are inevitably fol­ lowed each month by numerous letters from around the country. At the july conference of the American Collegiate Schools of Planning and the Association of European Schools of Planning, several papers from both American and European researchers addressed the topic either directly or indirectly. The American Institute of City Planners' Training Service held a series of workshops, entitled "Nee-traditional Town Planning" last spring and summer.

Privatization of Transportation Investments

Over the past decade, there has been a wave of public support in many countries for privatization and deregulation in a number of indus­ tries. One of the industries in which privatization is most controversial is urban transportation. In some ways, urban transportation has been the most resistant to privatization, both in the intellectual/theoretical realm and in the political realm. Nevertheless, there is increasing dis­ cussion of privatization to transportation. Recently, the Governor of Massachusetts appointed a task force to study the possibility of privatiz­ ing the maintenance of highways, commuter rail lines, and Boston's Logan Airport (Wall Street journal, May 1, 1991) . There are talks of privatizing the airports of Philadelphia and Los Angeles, and of privatiz­ ing transportation services in other cities. In any case, the arguments for and against privatization are different in many ways for the transpor­ tation sector because of the unique characteristics of urban transporta­ tion markets. Among the special characteristics is the common expecta­ tion that urban transportation, unlike most commodities and services, should operate in order to meet a variety of social goals beyond mere efficiency, including distributional, environmental, and political goals.

What Motivates California's Global Promotion Efforts

State governments in the U.S. have increasingly been promoting their business climate and products abroad. The motivation behind these efforts at "global promotion" might seem obvious to persons acquainted with export base theory. According to this theory, growth in a region's total economy-usually measured in either jobs or income -is a function of growth in its export or "basic" sectors; one builds an economy by building exports.

Export base theory has been a mainstay of economic development literature, and students of economic development theory probably would not be surprised to see state governments across the country engaging in global promotion. Thus, policy-makers in this area appear to be applying a well-established theory to the practical problem of enhancing economic development.

The Making of the Future: Limits of and Alternatives to Forecasting in the Planning Process

One of the distinctive features of planning is its orientation toward the future and its attempt to cope with uncertainties about the future. In planning practice, the task of predicting the future is mainly materi­ alized in projections and forecasts. However, when using projection and forecast in planning processes, we often encounter the problem of inconsistency between the forecast, the plan, and the outcome. In this paper, I will review the major limits of forecasting methods, then explore alternative ones. I propose that the problems of existing fore­ casting methods are mainly due to the use of pre-fixed and narrowly­ defined models to apprehend the dynamic social processes in which planning actions as well as socio-economic and political forces interact. This general problem is to be analyzed at three levels. At the technical level, the need for manageable models and the lack of .adequate information have been the major limits of forecasting; at the epistemo­ logical level, the static prediction of a contingent future has inevitably led to contradictions between forecasting and planning; at the political level, political use of forecasts and incoherence between political prerequisites of the plan and the existing political structure have greatly contributed to the problem.

Urban Fringe

A Review of Industrial Policy, Transportation Policy, and the Evolution of Autocracy in America

Due to an apparent technological foul-up, the fol­ lowing article arivedr via the BPI's fax machine on September 1 1, 1991. Dated 11 September, 2042, it was clearly intended for con­ sideration by another generation of editors. We were unable to send it back to its proper time, nor did we succeed in contacting the author (who may not yet be born). Though we are unable to confirm the absolute veracity ofthe facts and conclusions presented in this brief review, we have elected to print it as submitted, since we cannot confirm their falsehood either.


Abstracts and Titles of Student Work

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