The landscape and evolution of urban planning science


The science of urban planning has drawn on a wide range of disciplines and research perspectives. This makes it challenging to define the boundaries and directions of the field. Here, nearly 100,000 articles on urban planning are analysed to objectively determine divisions, temporal trends and influential references and actors of urban planning. In terms of the structural composition, four broad divisions are identified: (1) governance and policy, (2) economics and markets, (3) housing and (4) built and natural environment. In terms of the temporal evo-lution, the earliest trends were related to "welfare economics", "agglomeration economies", "urban economics", and "urban growth machine". During the 1980s and 1990s, the focus moved towards "regional policy and development", "social welfare", and "urban renaissance". This trend continued during the 2000s and 2010s, heading to "urban morphology", "participatory planning", "urban sociology", "global cities", and "political economy". The field has recently headed towards areas of "resilience", "smart cities" and "urban green space". These transitions have been derivative, and the paradigm shifts have been very gradual. Another key observation is a notable increase in author connectivity and international collaboration. The results provide objective insights into how the science of urban planning has historically transitioned and where it is headed.



Urban planning, Regional planning, Urban science, Science of science, Document co-citation, Temporal analysis, International collaboration