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History of City Planning: Finding Books & Articles

This is a bibliographic guide to research resources for the history of city planning and urbanism at the University of California, Berkeley libraries and on the Web, with an emphasis on American and California city planning.

Search Terms

Here is a selected list of Library of Congress subject headings which may be useful in your search. Check also for other useful subheadings, such as Bibliographies, History, Handbooks, etc. Guidebooks to cities may also have sections on city planning history.

For city planning research start with the UC Library Search catalog; which covers all University of California holdings and has great keyword searching.

If UC Library Search isn't enough -- particularly when your topic is geographically remote from California --use, a database of more than 540 million bibliographic records in 483 languages. Request items through The Library's Interlibrary Borrowing Service.

  • [place name]--Description and travel
  • [place name]--Guidebooks
  • Cities and towns--[place name]--History
  • City planners--Biography
  • City planners--[place name]
  • City planning--[place name]
  • City planning--History
  • Garden cities --[place name]--History
  • Land use, Urban --[place name]--History
  • New towns--[place name]--History
  • Regional planning--[place name]--History
  • Transportation--[place name]--Planning--History
  • Urban renewal--[place name]--History
  • Urbanization--[place name]--History

Newspaper Indexes

In addition to the indexes listed here, some newspapers are available full text on the Web; information regarding archives of older issues is sometimes available at these sites. See the Library's home page→How to Find→Databases→ Databases: By Type→ News Articles Databases for a list of links to online full-text local and international newspapers and other news media.

Finding Articles

Use journal and newspaper indexes and databases to discover articles on your topic. Some online databases include the full text of the articles you discover or the "Get it at UC" link which may lead you to the full text elsewhere. 

Selected Journals for Planning History

Here's a selection of historical and current journals containing articles relevant to city planning or urban history.