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Planning Theory and Practice

Planning Theory % PracticePlanning Theory and Practice is an internationally regarded research journal, providing a focus for the development of theory and practice in spatial planning and encouraging the development of a spatial dimension in other areas of public policy.

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RTPI members can receive a discount on a subscription to the journal - see the member benefits pages for more detail.

About Planning Theory and Practice

Planning Theory and Practice provides an international focus for the development of theory and practice in spatial planning and a forum to promote the policy dimensions of space and place. Planning Theory and Practice aims to challenge theory and change practice and is distinctive in its commitment to publishing content which combines intellectual rigour with practical impact. The editors invite theoretically informed and robustly researched papers which raise issues at the leading edge of planning theory and practice. Papers on controversial subjects are welcomed and supported. Authors are requested to draw out the wider significance of their particular contribution and to write for a broad disciplinary and international audience.

The journal's innovative Interface section adopts an original approach to stimulating critical and challenging debate through academic publishing. This includes promoting dialogue between the academic and practitioner communities, encouraging analytical reflection on practice and practical engagement with theory. Each issue of Interface offers a multifaceted investigation of a topical theme, in the form of a series of contributions reflecting on an issue from different perspectives.

The journal's Comments and Reviews section comprises Policy & Planning Briefs, which provide critical insights into key policy developments and analysis of spatial plans, Book Reviews, and Comments on a current issue and rejoinders to articles previously published.

The range of Planning Theory & Practice includes:

  • Developing the theoretical and methodological foundations of planning theory and practice, as well as urban studies more generally;
  • Developing the contribution of the planning field to social science, both analytically and normatively;
  • Exploring the relationship between theory and practice, including reviews which examine emergent practices and interpret them in the light of current intellectual debates;
  • Challenging the impact of intellectual ideas through critical reflection and review;
  • Examining policy development in particular fields such as housing, regeneration, transport, urban design, participatory practice, diversity and climate change.

Interface section - linking theory and practice

The journal's innovative Interface section adopts an original approach to stimulating critical and challenging debate and promoting dialogue between the academic and practitioner communities. Find out what it can offer by downloading the issues below. 

Resilience: A Bridging Concept or a Dead End?

Simin Davoudi, Keith Shaw, L. Jamila Haider, Allyson E. Quinlan, Garry D. Peterson, Cathy Wilkinson, Hartmut Fünfgeld, Darryn McEvoy and Libby Porter (Volume 13, Issue 2)

Exploring the Challenges of Environmental Planning and Green Design: Cases from Europe and the USA

Andres Walliser, Nicholas B. Rajkovich, John Forester, Carley Friesen, Björn Malbert, Henrik Nolmark, Jo Williams, Stephen M. Wheeler, Robert B. Segar, Michael Utzinger, Steve Swenson, Ignacio Bisbal Grandal, Carlos Verdaguer, Larissa Larsen and Robert F. Young (Volume 13, Issue 1)

Rural Gentrification

Mark Scott, Darren P. Smith, Mark Shucksmith, Nick Gallent, Keith Halfacree, Sue Kilpatrick, Susan Johns, Peter Vitartas, Martin Homisan and Trevor Cherrett (Volume 12, Issue 4)

RTPI Centenary edition of Planning Theory and Practice

The Interface section in the latest Planning Theory and Practice comprises a special set of essays which ask critical questions about the future of professional planning. The essays bring together noted planning thinkers, researchers and practitioners from around the world to consider professional planning one hundred years on from the founding of the RTPI, and call on planners to act as leaders in facing the challenges of the future. 'Challenging theory: Changing practice: Critical perspectives on the past and potential of professional planning' has been edited by RTPI Fellow Kelvin MacDonald on behalf of the Institute in its Centenary Year. These essays can be downloaded for free from the Planning Theory and Practice website.

Contribute to Planning Theory and Practice

Planning Theory and Practice has re-launched its reviews section, and the editors are inviting contributions to three different types of articles.

  • 'Comment articles' of between 1,500-2,000 words can include retorts to previously published Planning Theory and Practice articles orcritical reflections on developments within Planning Theory and Practice.
  • 'Policy and Planning Briefs' of 1,500-2,000 words caninclude critical insights and analysis of key policy developments and debates,or analysis of spatial plans based on describing the plan's context, its aimsand content, the planning process and an illustration or map.
  • 'Book reviews' of between 800-1,000 words should give thejournal audience a concise summary and offer a critical assessment of the book's content. Articles that re-evaluate 'classic' planning texts within the context of a more recent publication are also welcomed.

Comment and reviews or suggestions for contributions should be emailed directly to the Reviews editor, Mark Scott (

For further information on the journal, or advice on how to write and submit articles, visit the Planning Theory and Practice website.

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