Understanding Public Policy Aspects and Issues

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Understanding Public Policy Aspects and Issues

Please help with responses to the questions below to better understand the aspects of public policy.

The nature of planning:

1. Is planning in this arena irrational?
2. What difference might planning have taken in the US if we had the same number of people but only land the size of California?
3. What role do interest groups play in the planning process?
4. Discuss reasons for and against citizen participation in deciding public issues?


1. What have been the main reasons for urbanization in the US? How have these changed over time? Any new trends in the last 10 years that you have noticed?
2. To what extent can it be said that the suburbs have been created by federal policies?
3. Is it possible that edge cities will replace central cities as the heart of American metropolitan areas? What do you think would be the effects of such a shift?

Governing and Planning Urban Areas:

1. What were the strands in the 19th century reform movement?
2. Describe the City Beautiful movement. How did it originate?
3. What lessons do you see from the history of American city planning for the debate about the relative merits of comprehensive planning on the one hand and incremental planning on the other?

The Evolution of Zoning:

1. Describe the police power. What does it have to do with zoning?
2. Discuss the constitutionality and fairness of the Mugler and Hadacheck cases.
3. Why did New York pass a zoning act in 1916? Why did it have implications nation-wide?
4. What are `standard state enabling acts`? Why are they important?

The Institutional and Legal Framework of Zoning

1. How does a local government obtain its power of zoning?
2. In what way do the courts presume that a municipality`s judgment is valid? Why do they do this?

The technique of zoning

1. Is zoning inherently exclusionary?
2. Discuss the role of zoning in the protection of property values?
3. In what ways has flexibility been introduced into zoning?

Development Charges

1. Make a list of the costs of developing a residential neighborhood. Discuss who should bear these costs.
2. Discuss the uses and problems of incentive zoning and bonusing.
3. Much of planning is in fact negotiation. Discuss.

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