Community Planning Community Planning
An Introduction to the Comprehensive Plan


Eric Damian Kelly & Barbara Becker
Format: Soft Cover
Length: 400 pages
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 1559635401
Copyright: 1999

Community Planning is an introductory textbook that provides a thorough examination of the comprehensive planning process as practiced in the United States today. The authors consider all aspects of the comprehensive plan: its elements, adoption, and implementation. The book:

  • Introduces the planning student to the job of a planner.
  • Defines and explains the importance of a comprehensive plan.
  • Details the separate elements that make up the comprehensive plan.
  • Directs students to resources for obtaining data necessary for creating and updating a plan.
  • Provides techniques for citizen participation.
The authors begin with a series of six chapters that offer a step-by-step approach to creating a comprehensive plan for a city, county, town, or village. Following that, they consider focused and specialized plans for particular geographic areas (neighborhoods or downtowns) or for particular planning topics (transportation, parks and recreation). The book concludes with a section that presents techniques of plan implementation.

Each chapter ends with separate boxes that consider, for that stage of development, the role of the planner and how citizens can participate in and influence the planning process. In addition, each chapter presents exercises designed to reinforce the learning in the chapter and offers questions for further discussion.

By using the framework of the comprehensive plan and walking the reader through the planning process, the authors clearly demonstrate what planners do and how citizens can become involved in shaping the future of their community. The book will be an invaluable resource for students and faculty in planning departments across the country.


“Communities across the country are struggling to develop new comprehensive plans, or update existing ones. Community Planning provides a valuable resource for not only planning students but also for planning commission members, elected officials, and citizens who want to understand and be a part of the comprehensive planning process in their community. Drawing upon actual experiences, the book brings together the best of theory with practice. This book should be required reading for anyone involved in the development of their community.”
-- Janet Ayres, Professor, Purdue University, and Program Leader, Purdue Land Use Team

About the Authors

Eric Damian Kelly is a past president of the American Planning Association and Dean of the College of Architecture and Planning at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He is the author of Managing Community Growth (Praeger, 1993) as well as numerous APA Planning Advisory Reports.

Barbara Becker is associate professor and associate director of the Drachman Institute for Land and Regional Development Studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona.

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