Urban Planning 540: 
Fall Semester, 2011

Final Study Guide

Prof. Scott Campbell
Office hours
office:  2225C A&AB
(734) 763-2077

Last modified: Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Exam Logistics:

EXTRA OFFICE HOURS: In addition to my online office hours, I will be available in my office on these dates/times:

Feel free to come by individually or as a group for an informal discussion. No need to sign up -- just stop by anytime during that time.

Exam Logistics:

The exam will likely be a combination of some of the following elements:

Here are some useful terms to know by the end of the semester.
Note regarding this study guide:   This is NOT a complete list of terms, ideas, and questions that may be on the exam, though it should provide a fairly good idea of what to expect.

Terms and Concepts

physical determinism
property contradiction
market failure
public goods

comprehensive planning
"rational model" of planning
incremental planning
advocacy planning
strategic planning
equity planning
communicative action planning

suburb (and the difference between inner-ring and outer-ring)
global city

City Beautiful Movement (and the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago)
Garden City (Ebenezer Howard)
Radiant City (Le Corbusier)
Broadacres (Frank Lloyd Wright)
the Regional Planning Association of America (not covered much in class in 2011)
Post Modernism
New Urbanism

Lewis Mumford
Rexford Tugwell
Ebenezer Howard
Le Corbusier
Frank Lloyd Wright
Daniel Burnham
Robert Moses
Jane Jacobs
Clarence Stein
Patrick Geddes
Benton MacKaye
Abraham Levitt (Levittown)
Norman Krumholz

(more names: covered less in course readings/requirements but nevertheless notable in planning/design history):
Albert Speer
Frederick Law Olmsted
Baron Haussmann
Andres Duany (New Urbanist architect)

Radburn, NJ
Letchworth and Welwyn, UK
Seaside, FL
Celebration, FL
the "White City" (1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago)

A few questions to consider.  Please note that some of these questions below are far broader than one can easily answer in a short essay, so that the actual exam questions will be more modest.

  1. Comprehensive planning has been alternately endorsed and rejected by planners.  Define comprehensive planning and briefly discuss its development in the history of planning and planning theory.   Is it still the dominant approach to planning?
  2. Explain (briefly) what Lindblom means when he advocates for "successive limited comparisons" as a planning approach.  Is this really a form of planning, or is it a rejection of planning?
  3. Outline the characteristic assumptions or justifications associated with the 4 following approaches to planning theory: traditional, advocacy, equity, incremental..   (Fainstein/Fainstein)  (An easier alternative to this question would ask about associated political commitments, and maybe only ask for 2 or 3 of the four)
  4. Fishman states (in Urban Utopias):  " Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright were both intensely concerned with the preservation of the family in an industrial society, but here as elsewhere they adopted diametrically opposite strategies."  How did these visions differ?
  5. What are the key points in Jane Jacob's critique of planning and where does it fall short of providing a new model of intervention?   Is she accurate in lumping together 3 schools of planning thought as "Radiant Garden City Beautiful?"
  6. What does Fishman mean when he describes the city plans of Howard, Wright and Le Corbusier as "social thought in 3 dimensions."
  7. Fishman asserts that in providing "manifestoes for an urban revolution" Wright, Howard, and Le Corbusier set out a classical triad and vocabulary of basic forms that can be used to define the whole range of choices available to the planner.  How would you characterize the key elements or "dominant values" represented by each of these visions?
  8. What are the most important features differentiating America's current experience of suburbia with that of the immediate post war period?
  9. What key themes for the future of America and its cities gained expression in the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893.
  10. Can planning theory, now or in the past, be said to have a dominant paradigm? a) Trace the history of planning theory from the beginning of the century in terms of what paradigms were widely adopted. b) Relate these paradigms to the socio-political context in which planning was operating. c) During the time when comprehensive rationality (or the rational model) was particularly influential, is it accurate to say that it constituted a dominant paradigm? d) What is the current situation?
  11. Planners have traditionally been able to define themselves professionally and politically based on where they draw the line between proper government activities and private interests.  However, this may be increasingly complicated in an era of blurred public-private boundaries , of public-private partnerships, of quasi-private public authorities (such as port authorities), and of non-profits (the "third sector").  In addition, planning graduates increasing work in all three sectors, rather than just for local government.  Explain how the relationship of planners to the public-private boundaries has changed in recent years.  What political, economic and/or cultural factors have shaped this changing relationship?
  12. City and regional planning is a recent, interdisciplinary field that draws heavily from other disciplines.  Outline what you think are the basic intellectual origins of the field.  That is, from what other fields does planning borrow its theories, its political beliefs and/or its tools of analysis?  Does this mix make for a powerful synergy, or instead (as some have argued) simply create a confusing hodgepodge lacking a coherent set of tools or best practices?  (Do not hesitate to be critical of planning where appropriate.)  Finally, in which direction should planning head in the future (e.g., more towards economics, architecture, social work, public policy, business, etc.)?
  13. Some authors (e.g., Forester, Healey, Innes) have promoted communicative-action as a new paradigm to replace the antiquated rational-scientific model of planning.  Explain the supposed shortcomings of the old planning paradigm, and the promise of communicative-based planning.  Do you agree?
  14. Planning theory can be divided into two general areas:  substantive planning theory and procedural planning theory.   Elaborate on this distinction, and give examples of each.  Are there connections between the two, or are these really two quite distinctive sets of theories?


Note: All of the course materials and readings (from the entire semester) might be covered on the exam. What is the relative importance of each topic/reading? You can use the coverage in the "required" readings -- and the coverage in class lectures -- as a rough indicator of the material's importance. Also: Several of the course themes/readings (economic restructuring; sustainable development; globalization) come after the deadline for the third and final essay. Because you were not able to explore these topics in your essay assignments, I may place somewhat greater attention on including these topics in the final exam.