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Urban Planning For Dummies

Jordan Yin, W. Paul Farmer (Foreword by)
ISBN: 978-1-118-10023-3
360 pages
March 2012
Urban Planning For Dummies (1118100239) cover image


How to create the world's new urban future

With the majority of the world's population shifting to urban centres, urban planning—the practice of land-use and transportation planning to help shape cities structurally, economically, and socially—has become an increasingly vital profession. In Urban Planning For Dummies, readers will get a practical overview of this fascinating field, including studying community demographics, determining the best uses for land, planning economic and transportation development, and implementing plans. Following an introductory course on urban planning, this book is key reading for any urban planning student or anyone involved in urban development.

With new studies conclusively demonstrating the dramatic impact of urban design on public psychological and physical health, the impact of the urban planner on a community is immense. And with a wide range of positions for urban planners in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors—including law firms, utility companies, and real estate development firms—having a fundamental understanding of urban planning is key to anyone even considering entry into this field. This book provides a useful introduction and lays the groundwork for serious study.

  • Helps readers understand the essentials of this complex profession
  • Written by a certified practicing urban planner, with extensive practical and community-outreach experience

For anyone interested in being in the vanguard of building, designing, and shaping tomorrow's sustainable city, Urban Planning For Dummies offers an informative, entirely accessible introduction on learning how.

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Table of Contents

Foreword xix

Introduction 1

Part I: What Is Urban Planning 7

Chapter 1: Making Great Cities: Why Planning Matters 9

Chapter 2: Changing Places: Planning for the 21st Century 23

Chapter 3: Who Makes Urban Plans and Why 43

Chapter 4: Making Plans: A Step-by-Step Approach 57

Part II: Putting All the Pieces Together: The Main Components of an Urban Plan 75

Chapter 5: Land Use: A Place for Everything 77

Chapter 6: Housing: A Place to Call Home 97

Chapter 7: Moving the City: Transportation 119

Chapter 8: The City Beautiful: Urban Design 135

Chapter 9: The Great Outdoors: Natural Resources, Open Space, and More 149

Chapter 10: Infrastructure and Public Services: Something for Everyone 163

Part III: Hot Topics and Urban Planning Challenges 179

Chapter 11: Greening the City: Making Sustainable Places 181

Chapter 12: Urban Revitalization: Cities on the Rebound 195

Chapter 13: Rushing to the Suburbs: Managing Sprawl 207

Chapter 14: Healing the City: Planning and Disasters 223

Chapter 15: Taking Care of Business: Jobs and Economic Development 237

Chapter 16: Global Urban Planning: Answering the Challenges of Growth and Development 253

Part IV: Getting Involved and Going Further 267

Chapter 17: Getting Involved in Your Community 269

Chapter 18: Becoming a Professional Urban Planner 279

Part V: The Part of Tens 291

Chapter 19: Ten Ways to Make Your Community a Better Place to Live, Work, and Play 293

Chapter 20: Ten Great Cities with Great Plans 301

Chapter 21: Ten Urban Plans You Can Find Online 309

Appendix: Resources 317

Index 325

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Author Information

Jordan Yin, PhD, AICP, is a faculty member of the College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He has published research articles in leading academic journals, including Urban Affairs Review and Journal of Urban Affairs, and his work as an urban planner has been reported on by National Public Radio, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

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Press Release

March 23, 2012

All communities – from small towns to large metropolises – rely on urban planning to thrive and grow.  A well-designed urban plan allows communities to take stock of what’s good and bad about the community in the present, and determine the best improvements to make for the future.  Oftentimes, it can be a challenge to build consensus between different members of the local government or between citizens on what is best, making the need for an overall understanding of how urban planning works absolutely crucial.

 “Cities can change in many different ways, and what works in the planning of one place may not work as well in another,” says Jordan Yin, author of Urban Planning For Dummies® (Wiley; March 2012; Paper; $29.99).  Even an urban plan for a small town can be complex, and it’s important to fully understand all aspects of planning in order to make the best decisions for a particular community.

Yin’s book, Urban Planning For Dummies, can give everyone, from city officials to everyday citizens, a clearer understanding of what goes into planning a community – including the best uses for land, planning for transportation and economic development, and how to protect natural resources.

Ultimately, says Yin, people are the key element in urban planning and need to get involved.  “Ideally, an urban plan isn’t just a guide to the future for the community, but it’s also a guide to the future by the community.”

Jordan Yin is available for interviews and can speak about:

  • Best practices in issues of public transit, resources, infrastructure, etc. that every community can follow;
  • The top five ways that good urban planning can improve a community;
  • How everyday citizens can get involved with planning and improving their communities;
  • The challenges that planners face, including pollution, economic distress, and rapid population growth;
  • Dealing with urban sprawl and the rise of the megacity;
  • Planning for the future – the issues that cities face in the 21st century.
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