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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: David M. Simpson Assistant Editor: Rolf Pendall Business Manager : Y odan Rofe

Editorial Collective: Margo A bd EI-Shahid, Rafael A larco n, Y uko A oyama, l ee A xelrad, l isa Bornstein, Merrill Buice, Peter Calagero, ] umbi Edulbehram, Edmund A . "Ted" Egan, Raphael Fischler, Karen Gibson, William Huang, Jodi Ketelsen, Neema Kudva, Rick lee, Betsy Morris, Chico Muller, Michael Neuman, Nancy Nishikawa, Ayse Pamuk, Balaj i Parthasarathy, Rula Sadik, l isa Servon, john Shaw, Ruth Steiner, Bob Thompson, and Maria Y en.

Faculty Advisor: John l andis.

Editorial Notes

Introduction: Planning without Walls

Though most of us will not admit it, as planners we tend to like walls-walls specifically in the sense of boundaries. We are very ac­ customed to them. If we take a look around, we see them everywhere. I doubt if our profession could last long without them. There are politi­ cal boundaries, areas defined by zoning, general plans, neighborhood boundaries, census tracts, just to name a few. In our lives as practitio­ ners we struggle to keep everything within these lines, to find ways to define what is inside and outside of these city and community •walls." We are constantly faced with the need to understand a bounded area and what do with the problems in and around it. NIMBY-ism (not-in­ my-backyard), as an example, refers to a phenomenon in which a group of citizens are very aware of a smaller boundary condition (namely their own lot lines), but are vocal about what happens around that boundary, particularly as it affects property values.


The Street Food Project: Using Research for Planning

Planning that improves life chances of the poor in low­ income countries is challenging and difficult. This article describes EPOC's Street Food Project as a possible model for using an action research project as a planning tool. The project involved participation of municipal officials, univer­ sity staff, non-governmental organizations, and the vendors themselves in the design and interpretation of data collec­ tion. Implementation ofproposals for improving the income of vendors and the safety of the food they sell is illustrated by the founding of the Street Food Vendors' Organization in Minia, Egypt. Policy implications of the nine country study, and of the Minia organization, emphasize the impact of carefully designed research.

A Cycle of Dependence: Automobiles, Accessibility, and the Evolution of the Transportation and Retail Hierarchies

This paper explores how the automobile has indirectly led to dramatic changes in patterns of accessibility to retail and service activity within metropolitan regions. The automo­ bile instigated a greater articulation of the hierarchy of transportation facilities, as reflected in a greater differentia­ tion between the local and the regional systems. At the same time, the automobile instigated a collapse in the retail hierarchy, by encouraging the growth of community and regional centers at the expense of local shops and the cen­ tral busmess district. The result has been a cycle of depend­ ence, in which suburban communities are designed for the automobile, leaving residents little choice but to drive. Ac­ cess to retail activity is now dependent on the automobile but vulnerable to increasing levels of congestion that are driven by dependence on the automobile.

Contra Costa County Edge Cities: Challenges for Urban Planning

This article reports on research on the role of land-use planning in the emergence of new urban centers, or "edge cities, in Contra Costa County, on the eastern periphery of the San Francisco Bay Area. Based on an examination of the development of four employment and commercial nodes in that county, this article examines the process of planning these new suburban centers, and the role of pub­ lic land-use planners, local electorates concerned with growth, and traditional market players.

Water Transfers and the Imperfect Water Industry in California

Market ideology often obscures public choices about rea­ sonable and beneficial uses of water. Current debates in California water policy reflect the tug of war between the potential efficiency and flexibility of water transfers (often called ·water marketing") and the desire for a stable and re­ liable California water system. The water industry's para­ mount concern remains the protection of the reliability and stability of operations of its complex socio-technical sys­ tems for delivering water, particularly at a time when envi­ ronmental concerns over instream uses of water are increas­ ing. Loosening restrictions on water transfers while protecting appropriative rights is a flexible approach to meeting long-term water demand. But given such market imperfections as oligopoly and redistributive land rents, state regulation of transfers of California's most political natural resource-for example, through a drought water bank-remains likely in the future.


American Housing Policy

The 1992 election of President Bill Clinton rescued housing, cities, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from the obscurity to which they had been relegated by the Reagan and Bush administrations. How much the Clinton Administration does for cities and housing-that is, what level of resources will ultimately be directed to cities and housing-remains to be seen. For the moment, however, there is little doubt that the problems of urban America in general, and of housing in particular, are back on the national agenda:

History teaches that new presidents and new administrations often take new approaches to housing policy. What directions should the Clinton Administration take? Should it break completely with past housing policies and programs, and consider fundamentally new ap­ proaches-perhaps those pioneered at the local level in places like Boston and San Francisco? Or should it continue and expand the pro­ grams and institutions that have successfully weathered the indiffer­ ence of the last twelve years? Where those programs and policies have been successful, should the Administration build on them?

Theories of Labor and Industrial Location

In the past 20 years, the threat of competition from low-wage coun­ tries in the Third World has been a recurring theme in the discourse of American economic policy. After two decades of job losses in the key manufacturing sectors of the postwar economy, as we strive to under­ stand the new dynamics of metropolitan labor markets, regional forma­ tions and shifts, and try to plan for our economic future, many are quick to point to high American wages with a kind of fatalism.

Notwithstanding the fact that most of the real competitive ground has been lost to other developed countries, it is the recurring image of a Korean or Mexican worker, willing to work for a fraction of Ameri­ can wages, which continues to haunt debates in a number of fields: trade policy, where opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is precipitated by a desire to protect higher-wage American workers; education policy, where a workforce prepared for the "high-tech jobs of the future• is widely seen as an imperative even before these jobs exist en masse; social policy, where excessive taxa­ tion and regulation, producing an •unfriendly business climate: can ostensibly drive industries to the far corners of the Earth.

Progressive Cities and Critical Practice: Toward a Meeting of the Twain

Recent work in planning and political science has shown the dura­ bility of liberal hopes for •progressive cities• (Clave! 1986, Clave! and Wiewel 1991, Deleon 1992, Goldsmith and Blakely 1992). In Chi­cago, New York, and San Francisco, long-dominant •pro-growth coali­tions• have fallen to alternative coalitions who tried to ensure that more resources reached or remained in the hands of "the community" (Mollenkopf 1983 and 1993, Elkin 1987, Stone 1989, Deleon 1992, Clave! and Wiewel 1991). In practice, this diversion of resources tended to mean more power for resident-controlled neighborhood groups (Castells 1983), more resources for non-profit economic and housing development corporations (Mier and Moe 1991), more oppor­ tunities for public participation in local decision-making (Keating and Krumholz 1991 ), and constraints on large-scale real estate developers (Deleon 1992).

The Language of Planning: A Look at the Uses of Critical and Feminist Theory

Planning theory is an ill-defined body of literature that is supposed to guide planning practice. The object of this paper is to challenge the appropriateness of traditional planning theory, to expose the places where it grows thin, and to begin the question-asking process that can lead to change. John Friedmann (1987: 318) writes recently of a "crisis in planning," marked by an apparent failure of scientific and technical reason. In planning, recognition of the inadequacy of the "rational" branch of theory arises from the recognition that planning is messy business, that values vie with facts in a decision-making arena domi­ nated by politics rather than rational objectivity. Acknowledging the political nature of planning entails asking questions about power, about the fault lines along which decisions get made and through which the allocation of resources takes place.


Abstracts and Titles of Student Work

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

Urban Fringe

Two World Truths

In our business one of the things we're supposed to do is discover truths. World truths are best. On some days I discover two or three of them. There are also days when I discard them, two or three at a time. Over the years, a few have remained and it's important, I think, that they be shared. Two world truths follow.

Theme Section

Enacting a Progressive Housing Agenda

The election of President Bill Clinton has put the problems of our cities, including housing and poverty, back on the national agenda. What does it really mean to say that an issue like housing is "back on the agenda"? After twelve years of Reagan-Bush anti-housing policies (policies enacted with the complicity of the Democrats in Congress, I might add), we have come so far from any real vision of a decent fed­ eral housing policy, that even returning to where we were in 1980 would leave us far behind the curve.

I think all of us in this room tonight can agree that twelve years of cutbacks in federal housing assistance, and twelve years of bank de­ regulation, have had a devastating impact on American cities. During the last decade, the American establishment basically became indiffer­ ent to the needs of its poorest citizens. All you have- to do is walk down the street going home or on your way to work and you will either step over or be confronted by someone who doesn't have any­ thing to eat, or any place to live. This situation didn't exist in America 15 years ago, certainly not at the magnitude we see today. Because many suburban communities reject all forms of low- and moderate­ income housing, our central cities have become places in which poor people are concentrated in ghettos and barrios. The severity of the so­ cial and economic problems plaguing our central cities has worsened noticeably over the last 1 5 years.

Housing Policy Can Work

I want to share with you tonight six housing policy lessons learned from the past that can be directly applied to the future. The first is that housing policy can work, and sometimes does. The second lesson is that housing equals jobs. The third lesson is that housing and commu­ nity development go together. The fourth lesson is that housing and supportive services go together. The fifth lesson is that housing can bring people together-and sometimes does. And the sixth is that part­ nerships are the housing policy of the future. Let me elaborate on each of these poi nts.

Let the Market Meet our Housing Needs

Good evening. It is indeed a great privilege to be here this evening as one of the speakers in the Catherine Bauer Wurster Lecture Series. I am here in the interests of ideological balance. Or, to put it more sim­ ply, I'm the bad guy. It has fallen to me to be the defender of the hated Reagan-Bush do-nothing policies which, according to Peter Dreier, drove American housing markets into the ground. To be called upon to defend the market at Berkeley is about as comfortable a position as de­ fending socialism before the U.S. Cha'Tiber of Commerce. But what the heck: if I have survived doing this kind of thing for twenty-odd years in New York, I certainly can do it once again here in Berkeley. After all these years, I still love preaching to the unconverted.