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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: Ruth l. Steiner Astsis ant Editor: David M. Simpson Business Manager : lisa M. Servon

Editorial Collective: Margo Abdei-Shahid, Rafael Alarcon, Yuko Aoyama, Lee Axelrad, Rich Bell, lisa Bornstein, Merrill Buice, Peter Calagero, Geoffrey Dalander, jambi Edulbehram, Ted Egan, Raphael Fischler, Karen Gibson, Joey Goldman, Susan Handy, William Huang, Jody Kettleson, Rick Lee, Anne Martin, Elizabeth MacDonald, Betsy Morris. Chico Muller, Michael Neuman, Aye Pamuk, Balaji Parthasarathy, Rolf Pendall, Rula Sadik, John Shaw, Qing Shen, Bob Thompson, Teresa Vasquez, and Maria Yen.

Faculty Advisor: John Landis.

Editorial Notes


This .issue of the Berkeley Planningjournal presents articles that reflect the diversity of the planning profession. Some articles highlight the importance of implementation of plans. Others highlight aspects of physical, social, and economic development planning. Finally, the globalization of planning is demonstrated with articles about the United States, Latin America, and Asia.

Book Reviews

Wasting Away by Kevin Lynch and The Production of Space by Henri Lefebvre

Can a French philosopher and an American urban design theorist have any­ thing in common7 Even if one was a radical marxist and key activist in the May 1968 Paris revolt and the other a deeply conservative yet highly original educator of planners and designers? Their common ground is a commitment to making settlements more humane by understanding the processes that make them tick. These mature works, coming near or at the end of their respective careei'S, speak to all who care for places in urgent, compelling. yet timeless voices.

The Rise of the Gunbelt by Ann Markusen, Peter Hall, Scott Campbell, and Sabina Deitrick

The Rise ofthe Gunbelt, a recently published work byArin Markusen, Peter Hall, Scott Campbell, and Sabina Deitrick, paints a portrait of the geography of military procurement contracting in America. A significant aspect of this geography is the uneven distribution of contracts between regions. Markusen et al. describe the areas of concentration as a gunbelt, stretching "from the state of Washington through California to the desert states of the Southwest, on through Texas and the Great Plains, across to Florida, and discontinuously up the East Coast to New England" (p. 3). The stated purposes of the book are to describe this gunbelt, "what is it, where is it and what does it do7" and also to describe how the concentration of military spending has shifted over time and why these shifts have occurred (p. 4). The authors address these questions by presenting empirical data that show the uneven distribution of military procurement contracts and how this distribution has changed in the postwar era. A major strength of their work lies in the highly detailed case studies of several of the most significant agglomerations of military production activity. The case studies give anecdotal evidence that demonstrates how and why shifts in the concentration of procurement contracts have occurred.

Rejoinder to Elizabeth Bury

It is always good to have additional empirical evidence for one's work In her regressions on the relationship between U.S. military procurement spend­ ing and state-level changes in growth rates over the period 1977 to 1986, Elizabeth Bury adds to the body of work confirming a statistically significant and positive correlation between the two. What puzzles us is the interpretation that Bury places on these results, especially her suggestion that they refute our contention about the substantial contribution ofAmerican military preparedness to the economic remapping of the United States. In fact, Bury's formulation comes nowhere near capturing the extent of the phenomena we encompass with our term "the gunbelt."


Housing Prices and the Location Choice of Firms: Implications for Economic Growth

Housing prices in the coastal United States have increased sharply since the mid-1970s. On the one hand, high or increasing housing prices are indicative of a strong and grow­ ing economy. On the other hand, housing prices that are "too high" (relative to prevailing wage levels and cost struc­ tures) make cities and region less attractive to businesses look­ ing to expand, and may even encourage some businesses to leave. This paper describes the resul13 of a recent survey of firms in a selected set of high-priced, moderately-priced, and low-priced metropolitan areas throughout the United States. In undertaking the survey, special attention was focused on the role of housing prices in business location and expansion

decisions. Unlike previous SUI'Ve)'S of the determinanl3 of business location, this one was designed to distinguish between the factots (including housing) that influence a firm's: (1) decision to choose a new site or location; (2) deci­ sion to leave an old site or location; and (3) ability to recruit newemployees. Highhousingpricesandalackofaffordable housing were found to be a significant deterrent to the ability of firms to recruit qualified labor, but did not, by themselves, either attract businesses to new sites; or cause them to leave existing sites.

Environmental Planning and Policy in a Post-Rio World

A growing sense of an international environmental crisis has brought new attention to the field of environmental planning and policy, yet many of the planning techniques and policy mechanisms in the field reflect the characteristics of environ­ mental problems from the late 1960s and 1970s. The chal­ lenges of the 1990s are quite different from those facing envi­ ronmental planning and regulatory agencies when those agen­ cies were first established, and several emetging trends could compel new approaches to environmental planning and poli­ cy. This article discusses five major trends and their implica­ tions for environmental planning and policy in the coming decade. Together, these trends will require environmental policymakers to rely more upon incentives-based regulatory approaches that address the cumulative .efectf of many small, dispersed, ubiquitous emission sources that could have global impacts. Thisnewchallengecontrastssharplywiththehistoric regulatory approach in the United States, which has empha­ sized technology-oriented, standards-based, command-and­ control regulation oflarge, centralizedpoint sources ofpoilu· tion emissions. Unless environmental planning and policy institutions adapt to this new environment, however, they will not succeed.

From Carioca to Karaoke: Brazilian Guestworkers in Japan

This article examines the advent ofa new phenomenon - the migration of Brazilian (generally ofJapanese ancestry) guest­ workers to Japan. In Part I, Japan's 1990 immigration policy is described, and the scope ofthe migration and the character­ istics of the guestworkers are presented. In Part II, the article explores how two social institutions affect the migration pro­ cess. Based on interviews with guestworkers and recruiters, the author ;ugues that recruiters, and the economics of their operations, are greatly determinant of the types of jobs migrants get, and that the soda/ relationships underlying migration sente to mask the economics ofrecruitment. More­ over, the experience of the migrants upon arriving in Japan is also a product of soda/ relations, ones in which the ethnicity of these migrants is constructedprimarily on the basis of their position in the labor market and their cultural attributes. In Part Il,l the migration of these lkazilian-Japanese, and the immigration policy permitting it, are shown to be rooted in the failure of alternative policy instruments to resolve labor shortages in Japanese industty and in fears over the impact of widespread immigration.

Regulation of Firm Size in Industrial Development: The Experience of Two Manufacturing Sectors in India

This paper examines two manufacturing sectors in India and shows that regulation aimed at protection does not provide the necessary impetus for growth and survival of small indus­ tries. Rather, such regulation provides a fertile territOI)' for larger businesses to avail themselves of undue rents through protected markets and regulatory loopholes. The article also proposes a new role for the state to better serve the twin objectives of social equity and industrial growth. Such a role would rely on the existing coalitions of small enterprises and pool resources to consolidate their economic and political power. The article concludes that state institutions can pro­ vide a forum for small-business coalitions that would create conditions for all scales of operation to survive and grow without protective regulations.

Risk and Disaster: Arguments for a Community-Based Planning Approach

Using recent natural disasters in the San Francisco Bay Area as illustrative examples, this paper examines the general nature of disaster planning and traditional approaches that emphasize response and recovery aspects. For strategies focused on preparation, this process is for the most part cen­ tralized, located within structured government or organiza­ tional response networks, and neglects the individual and neighborhood levels.

The author argues that planners must go beyond a focus on the traditional land-use mitigation strategies in pre-disaster planning stages, and give equal attention to the value of a bottom-upplanningprocess. Amodelforthistypeofplan­ ning, using community andneighborhood-levelgroups as the primary vehicle for disaster preparedness activity, is briefly described. Examples of this process emerging in the Bay Area are also identified. Rnally, given the scant attention to com­ munity-basedmodels ofdisasterpreparedness, an agenda for further research is proposed.


Introduction to Special Section on the Informal Sector

The informal sector - that of unregulated economic activities - has been the subject of much inquiry and debate among development practitioners and scholars. The discussion has encompassed issues of the .sector's definition and boundaries, political and economic significance, and programmatic (or policy) implications. On none of these issues have researchers been able to agree. At the same time, the 'informal sector' concept has spread beyond its early use in development circles into various disciplinary areas of planning. Our concern in organizing this section was to re-examine the conceptual basis of the infor­ mal sector and its application throughout planning research and analysis.

Information and Illegality: The Case of Coca Production in Bolivia

This essay examines the relationship between infonnality and illegality, par­ ticularly as addressed from a policy-oriented perspective. It suggests some criteria for differentiating informality from illegality and, to illustrate the basic model, it considers a case in which this relationship is currently being con­ fronted: the production of coca in Bolivia.

Informality and Urban Land Markets

While there is an extensive literature on squatter housing and infonnal set­ tlements, there is at present only a small body of work on infonnal land mar­ kets. An assessment of the infonnal sector literature and of the basic issue of land as a marketable commodity in general indicates that infonnality in land markets is only partially analogous to the broader concept of infonnality as it is dealt with in the development studies literature. This esysa is an attempt to define the concept of infonnality, specifically in the context of urban land mar­ kets. I will argue that, unlike the situation in other commodity markets, the use of a dualistic classification of formal and infonnal lands is a valid distinction. After reviewing the existing literature, this paper will examine the effects on policy resulting from the interactions between the various actors in the urban land market system. It is necessary to emphasize from the outset that there is no single, coherent infonnal "sector" of the urban economy, of which land markets are only one part. Rather, there are various types of economic acti­ vities that may exhibit varying degrees of informality, the system of urban land markets being one of them.

Elusive Boundaries of the Informal Housing Sector

Conceptualizing the urban economy in a dualistic framework generated debate since it was first introduced in the International Labor Organization (ILO) studies in the early 1970s (Moser 1978). The duality originally posed in these studies with reference to urban economic activities was later adopted in contexts as diverse as transportation and housing, gradually losing its differen­ tiating focus. Currently its use is quite ambiguous, and may even misguide public action unless its connotations are clarified at the· outset of policy formulation.

Historically, the 'informal' housing concept has been equated with self-built housing. Nonmonetary relationships in particular have been perceived as characterizing 'informal' housing production and transactions. In this paper, by highlighting the increased evidence of commercjalization of housing activi­ ties,2 I will illustrate the increasing ambiguity of the 'informal' housing con­ cept. If the empirical evidence shows that the distinction between formal and informal housing sectors is blurring, the justification for using these concepts to characterize housing activities would be untenable. This paper is an attempt to critically assess what we mean by the 'informal' housing sector, and to examine whether the distinction between formal and informal sectors as an analytical construct accurately depicts current housing activities in developing countries.

Microcredit in the U.S.: An Alternative Economic Survival Strategy

Since the introduction of the first U.S. microenterprise1 program in 1983, more than 100 have been started. They exist in both rural and urban settings, target diverse populations, and maintain different criteria for lending. Their single common denominator is that they all serve as "lenders of last resort" (Mclenighan and Pogge 1991), providing credit to people who want to be self-employed but who cannot obtain credit through traditional channels.

Urban Fringe

Postcards from Paris

Editor's Note: The Berkeley Planning journal sent its special correspondent to Paris to see "what was cooking up there. Taking this directive all too literally, Raphael Fischler agreed very reluctantly, to gather some impressions of things urban in between two good meals. Especially for the journal's readers, here are a few ofhis spring-time observations.


Abstracts and Titles of Student Work

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