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Planning Theory

Planning Theory

eISSN: 17413052 | ISSN: 14730952 | Current volume: 20 | Current issue: 1 Frequency: Quarterly

SAGE and Planning Theory are committed to making the latest research available to institutions in developing countries for free or at a greatly reduced price. We participate in several major global initiatives to ensure that students, researchers and policy makers in the poorest nations have access to the latest leading peer-reviewed research in science, medicine and the social sciences.

"Planning Theory provides an invaluable outlet for the increasing number of scholars in planning who are interested in theoretical issues, whether they be debates around sustainability, or justice, or difference, or ethics, or power and knowledge. Most of the major names in the field (Patsy Healey, James Throgmorton, John Forester, Heather Campbell, Stanley Stein and Thomas Harper for example) have been publishing in this journal in recent years, indicating its respectability and status". Leonie Sandercock, Professor and Director, SCARP, University of British Columbia

"Since its launch in 2002, Planning Theory has attracted a set of highly regarded editors and an eminent editorial board representing 'the fine fleur' of planning theory. The editors and editorial board guarantee a continuous high quality of articles. Leading theorists choose Planning Theory for their best theoretical papers." Louis Albrechts, Professor of Planning, University of Leuven

"Planning Theory provides a unique and much-needed forum for interchange of concepts and theories of planning. It will be an invaluable source of state-of-the-art thinking in the field for scholars, students, and practitioners alike." Bent Flyvbjerg

"Planning Theory is excellent news... I am delighted to see that Planning Theory intends to expand and deepen both the internationalism and the critical debate." Beth Moore Milroy

"Planning Theory will assume a central place in debates about planning issues and concepts. I very much welcome the renewal of this most important forum for debate of planning ideas and concepts." Brendan Gleeson

Planning Theory is an international peer-reviewed forum for the critical exploration of planning theory. The journal publishes the very best research covering the latest debates and developments within the field. A core publication for planning theorists, the journal will also be of considerable interest to scholars of human geography, public administration, administrative science, sociology and anthropology.

Electronic Access:

Planning Theory is available to browse online.

This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)

Planning Theory is an international ISI-indexed, peer-reviewed forum for exploring ideas concerned with a broad conception of spatial planning. The Editors welcome intellectually diverse contributions that advance planning theory understanding and debate.

There exists a broad range of views about what planning theory is and could, or should, be. This reflects an equally diverse range of views about the processes and products of planning as practised in different parts of the world. One of the roles of Planning Theory as a journal is to work through the agreements and tensions between views by publishing quality papers presenting, for instance, strong theoretical arguments, innovative ways of thinking, new ways of applying theory and so on.

At the core of planning is a concern with space and with ethical judgments that may affect immediate as well as trans-generational temporal scales. Sources of planning theories are eclectic and diverse, drawing on disciplines and concerns that range from philosophy, architecture, post-colonial studies and law to the social sciences and design practices. The journal encourages a critical exploration of planning paradigms and ideas that reflect on major planning issues such as social conflict, urbanisation, notions of informality and environmental change. Especially welcome are contributions that clarify or critique current planning theories or introduce disciplinary, cultural, moral or methodological concepts that advance theoretical debates about planning.

Planning Theory publishes:

Peer-reviewed articles


Book reviews and review essays

Managing Editor
Angelique Chettiparamb The University of Reading, UK
North American Editor
Charles Hoch University of Illinois at Chicago, USA
Michael Gunder University of Auckland, New Zealand
Jean Hillier RMIT School of Global Studies, Australia
Stefano Moroni Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Bishwapriya Sanyal Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA
Huw Thomas Cardiff University, UK
Vanessa Watson University of Cape Town, South Africa
Reviews Editor
Lucie Laurian University of Iowa, USA
Book Reviews Editor
Stephen Wood University of New England, Australia
Editorial Administrator
Rita Nasr University of Reading, UK
Editorial Board
Henri Acselrad Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
E.R. Alexander University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA
Nurit Alfasi Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
Claudia Basta Department of Spatial Planning and Quality of the Environment, Netherlands
Luuk Boelens Ghent University, Belgium
Kang Cao Zhejiang University, China
Susan S. Fainstein Harvard University, USA
Mona Fawaz American University of Beirut, Lebanon
John Forester Cornell University, USA
Kristina Grange Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
Enrico Gualini University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Nikhil Kaza University of North Carolina, USA
Neema Kudva Cornell Institute for Public Affairs, USA
Mickey Lauria Clemson University, USA
Helen Liggett Cleveland State University, USA
Raine Mantysalo Aalto University, Finland
Alan March University of Melbourne, Australia
Jonathan Metzger KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Nihal Perera Ball State University, USA
Libby Porter RMIT University, Australia
Yvonne Rydin Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, UK
Tore Sager Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway
Aleksander D. Slaev Free Varna University, Bulgaria
Bruce Stiftel Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
James Throgmorton University of Iowa, USA
Karen Umemoto UCLA, USA
Kristof van Assche University of Alberta, Canada
Joris Van Wezemael University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Niraj Verma Virginia Commonwealth University, USA
Lawrence Wai-Chung Lai University of Hong Kong, China
Tanja Winkler University of Cape Town, South Africa
Stephen Wood University of New England, Australia
Oren Yiftachel Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
Former Managing Editors
Michael Gunder University of Auckland, New Zealand
Jean Hillier RMIT School of Global Studies, Australia
Huw Thomas Cardiff University, UK
Founding Editor
Luigi Mazza Polytechnico di Milano, Italy
Former Editorial Board
Simone Abram Durham University, UK
Judith Allen University of Westminster
Philip Allmendinger Clare College, Cambridge University, UK
Howell S. Baum University of Maryland, USA
Andreas Faludi Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
Bent Flyvbjerg Said Business School, Oxford University, UK
John Friedmann University of British Colombia, Canada
Patsy Healey University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Nicholas Low University of Melbourne, Australia
Beth Moore Milroy Ryerson University, Canada
Ananya Roy UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, USA
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  • Manuscript Submission Guidelines: Planning Theory

    This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics

    Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

    Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Planning Theory will be reviewed.

    There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this journal.

    As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere. Please see our guidelines on prior publication and note that Planning Theory may accept submissions of papers that have been posted on pre-print servers; please alert the Editorial Office when submitting (contact details are at the end of these guidelines) and include the DOI for the preprint in the designated field in the manuscript submission system. Authors should not post an updated version of their paper on the preprint server while it is being peer reviewed for possible publication in the journal. If the article is accepted for publication, the author may re-use their work according to the journal's author archiving policy. If your paper is accepted, you must include a link on your preprint to the final version of your paper.

    1. What do we publish?
      1.1 Aims & Scope
      1.2 Article types
      1.3 Writing your paper
    2. Editorial policies
      2.1 Peer review policy
      2.2 Authorship
      2.3 Acknowledgements
      2.4 Declaration of conflicting interests
    3. Publishing policies
    4. 3.1 Publication ethics
      3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
      3.3 Open access and author archiving
    5. Preparing your manuscript
      4.1 Formatting
      4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
      4.3 Supplemental material
      4.4 Reference style
      4.5 English language editing services
    6. Submitting your manuscript
      5.1 ORCID
      5.2 Information required for completing your submission
      5.3 Permissions
    7. On acceptance and publication
      6.1 SAGE Production
      6.2 Online First publication
      6.3 Access to your published article
      6.4 Promoting your article
    8. Further information


    1. What do we publish?

    1.1 Aims & Scope

    Before submitting your manuscript to Planning Theory, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope

    1.2 Article Types

    The editors recognize that Planning Theory is not a precisely bounded area of intellectual inquiry. The journal enshrines a broad view of Planning Theory; it is a forum in which differences within and between schools of thought and intellectual traditions can be debated. It prizes rigour, and the attempt to communicate across as well as within competing traditions and perspectives. The submission of papers from less experienced or established scholars is especially welcomed.

    Planning Theory publishes peer-reviewed articles, essays, book reviews and review essays.
    Articles should not normally be more than 8,500 words in length including references and should be written in the English language. They should include an abstract of about 100 words. 

    Guidelines for Author’s Colloquium
    Guidelines for 

    1.2.1 Essays

    Authors wishing to write an essay should refer to the additional guidance prepared by the Essay Editor.

    1.2.2 Author's Colloquium

    Guidelines for Author's Colloquium can be found here.


    For guidance on submitting Comments please see here.

    1.2.4 Review Articles

    For guidance on submitting Review Articles please see here.

    1.3 Writing your paper

    The SAGE Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources.

    1.3.1 Make your article discoverable

    When writing up your paper, think about how you can make it discoverable. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article through search engines such as Google. For information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords, have a look at this page on the Gateway: How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online

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    2. Editorial policies

    2.1 Peer review policy

    All manuscripts submitted to Planning Theory are reviewed initially by the Editors and only those papers will be sent for outside peer review that meet academic and editorial standards and which fit within the aims and scope of the journal. In submitting their manuscripts authors testify that their manuscript is not currently under consideration for publication by another journal. Planning Theory adheres to a rigorous double-blind reviewing policy in which the identity of the reviewers and author/s are concealed from all parties. Each manuscript is sent to at least three referees. All manuscripts are reviewed as rapidly as possible, and an editorial decision is generally reached within four months of submission.

    Manuscripts submitted by Editors or Editorial Board members adhere to the same rigorous double-blind reviewing policy.

    As part of the submission process you will be asked to provide the names of 2 peers who could be called upon to review your manuscript. Recommended reviewers should be experts in their fields and should be able to provide an objective assessment of the manuscript. Please be aware of any conflicts of interest when recommending reviewers. Examples of conflicts of interest include (but are not limited to) the below:

    • The reviewer should have no prior knowledge of your submission
    • The reviewer should not have recently collaborated with any of the authors
    • Reviewer nominees from the same institution as any of the authors are not permitted

    Please note that the Editors are not obliged to invite any recommended/opposed reviewers to assess your manuscript.


    2.2 Authorship

    All parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.

    2.3 Acknowledgements

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.

    2.3.1 Third party submissions

    Where an individual who is not listed as an author submits a manuscript on behalf of the author(s), a statement must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript and in the accompanying cover letter. The statements must:

    • Disclose this type of editorial assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input
    • Identify any entities that paid for this assistance
    • Confirm that the listed authors have authorized the submission of their manuscript via third party and approved any statements or declarations, e.g. conflicting interests, funding, etc.

    Where appropriate, SAGE reserves the right to deny consideration to manuscripts submitted by a third party rather than by the authors themselves.

    2.4 Declaration of conflicting interests

    Planning Theory encourages authors to include a declaration of any conflicting interests and recommends you review the good practice guidelines on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway

    2.5 Research data

    At SAGE we are committed to facilitating openness, transparency and reproducibility of research. Where relevant, Planning Theory encourages authors to share their research data in a suitable public repository subject to ethical considerations and to include a data accessibility statement in their manuscript file. Authors should also follow data citation principles. For more information please visit the SAGE Author Gateway, which includes information about SAGE’s partnership with the data repository Figshare. 


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    3. Publishing Policies

    3.1 Publication ethics

    SAGE is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the SAGE Author Gateway

    3.1.1 Plagiarism

    Planning Theory and SAGE take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

    3.1.2 Prior publication

    If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a SAGE journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the SAGE Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.

    3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement

    Before publication, SAGE requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. SAGE’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants SAGE the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than SAGE. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the SAGE Author Gateway

    3.3 Open access and author archiving

    Planning Theory offers optional open access publishing via the SAGE Choice programme. For more information please visit the SAGE Choice website. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit SAGE Publishing Policies on our Journal Author Gateway.

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    4. Preparing your manuscript for submission

    4.1 Formatting

    The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. LaTeX files are also accepted. Word and (La)Tex templates are available on the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of our Author Gateway.

    4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics

    For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit SAGE’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines  

    Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from SAGE after receipt of your accepted article.

    4.3 Supplemental material

    This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplementary files

    4.4 Reference style

    Planning Theory adheres to the SAGE Harvard reference style. View the SAGE Harvard guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

    If you use EndNote to manage references, you can download the SAGE Harvard EndNote output file

    4.5 English language editing services

    Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using SAGE Language Services. Visit SAGE Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.

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    5. Submitting your manuscript

    Planning Theory is hosted on SAGE Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit to login and submit your article online.

    IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created.  For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.

    5.1 ORCID

    As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process SAGE is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized. 

    The collection of ORCID IDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID ID you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID ID will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID ID is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.

    If you do not already have an ORCID ID please follow this link to create one or visit our ORCID homepage to learn more.

    5.2 Information required for completing your submission

    You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. The affiliation listed in the manuscript should be the institution where the research was conducted. If an author has moved to a new institution since completing the research, the new affiliation can be included in a manuscript note at the end of the paper. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).

    5.3 Permissions

    Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the SAGE Author Gateway

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    6. On acceptance and publication

    6.1 SAGE Production

    Your SAGE Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be made available to the corresponding author via our editing portal SAGE Edit or by email, and corrections should be made directly or notified to us promptly. Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate. Please note that if there are any changes to the author list at this stage all authors will be required to complete and sign a form authorising the change.

    6.2 Online First publication

    Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the SAGE Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.

    6.3 Access to your published article

    SAGE provides authors with online access to their final article.

    6.4 Promoting your article

    Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The SAGE Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice.

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    7. Further information

    Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the Planning Theory editorial office as follows:

    Managing Editor, Angelique Chettiparambil Rajan (

    Books for review, review suggestions, and manuscripts in response to review requests:
    Reviews Editor, Lucie Laurian, School of Urban and Regional Planning, The University of Iowa, 347 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242-1316, USA.

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