Urban and Regional Planning

Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center
Photo: Jason Upton, via Flickr (CC license)

Welcome! This is a selective guide to help you do research in Urban and Regional Planning.

Article Indexes

Key Indexes

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Publication coverage: 1980 - present
Covers a range of political, social, public policy and urban planning issues in journals and monographs.
Covers city and regional planning, environment, economics, housing internationally. Since 1996, has included CPL Bibliographies.
Publication coverage: 1960s-
National Transportation Library of the Department of Transportation, U.S. provides access to federal, state, local, and association publications and to the IRRD database for additional coverage of international transportation.
A pre-selected group of 3 databases can be searched simultaneously from this starting point: Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, IBSS, and PAIS.

Multidisciplinary Social Sciences Indexes

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Publication coverage: 1951-   (updated quarterly)
International Bibliography of the Social Sciences. Interdisciplinary coverage includes social policy, demography, urban and rural studies and more...
Publication coverage: 1900 - present
Includes demography, cultural, economic, historical and human geography, planning and environmental studies and industrial relations.

Broad Multidisciplinary Indexes

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Publication coverage: 1865 - present
Peer-reviewed journals, conference proceedings, monographs and reports covering a broad spectrum of topics.
Use the Google search engine to locate articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles published on the "open" web.
Publication coverage: Varies by journal title
The content in Scholars Portal comprises the most complete multi-disciplinary database of peer reviewed academic literature available anywhere.

Architecture & Design Indexes

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Publication coverage: 1850s-
A database of architectural information and citations to periodical articles and books about buildings in Toronto and the rest of Ontario.
Publication coverage: 1984 - present
For 1907-1984 coverage see: Art Index Retrospective

Print holdings: Library also has older volumes in print: check QCAT for details.
Coverage includes city planning, design, landscape architecture and architecture.
Publication coverage: 1934-present (plus selective coverage back to 1741) - updated weekly
Covers all aspects of architecture and design, including history and practice of architecture, landscape architecture, city planning, and historic preservation.

Public Health & Urban Planning Indexes

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Publication coverage: 1981 - present
Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature. Index to English-language journals in nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, consumer health and other allied health fields.
A digital archive of full-text, peer-reviewed health and life sciences literature.
A pre-selected group of databases covering literature published in health & medicine. Each database can be searched separately but they also can be searched as a group, from this starting point.

Other Useful Subject-Oriented Indexes

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Publication coverage: 1954 - present
Access restricted to the Queen's community (6 user limit)
An essential index for American and Canadian history topics, including government, current affairs, and urban history.
Covers topics such as business conditions and trends, economics, finance, human resources, marketing, retail location and other business aspects of urban studies.
Publication coverage: Varies with publication
Indexes Canadian popular and academic journals as well as business and special interest journals.
Publication coverage: 1884 - present (updated weekly)
Land use, environmental impact, transportation, public policy, mathematical modelling and simulation, economic and social effects. A primary database for engineering. Interdisciplinary and international.
Publication coverage: 1915 - present
Public Affairs Information Service International covers political, social, public policy and urban planning issues.
Demographic and population literature, it presents an annotated bibliography of recently published books, journal articles, working papers, and other materials.
Publication coverage: 1952 - present
Covers social planning policy and development, public policy, demography, environmental interactions, urban sociology, and community development.

Books & E-books


Note: E- books are often collected within  "packages". The catalogue record for every individual book title in these packages may not yet be loaded into QCAT. However, for e-books not yet listed in QCAT, you can search directly within the packages.

Social Sciences and Humanities e-books | All e-book collections at Queen's

E-Book collections of note include:

Note: The following book collections are freely available on the Web


To find books by a particular author/person, search QCAT by author:

Catanese, Anthony
Mumford, Lewis

To find books about a particular author/person, search QCAT by subject heading:

Catanese, Anthony James
Mumford, Lewis, 1895-

To find books on a topic, use a keyword search if you do not know the correct subject heading for a topic. Think of the focus (or key) words that describe your topic.

Planning and environment
Cities and development

Select useful titles and look at the full record for subject headings. Click on the subject heading to do a new search or use words from the subject heading to modify your keyword search. Some useful Urban Planning subject headings are:

City planning
City planning - Canada (or other country)
City planning - History
Regional planning
Regional planning - Canada (or other country)
Regional planning - Law and legislation - Ontario
Cities and towns - United States (or other country)
Community development
Land use

These are just some examples. It is always a good idea to look at all the subject headings ("Subject(s)") in QCAT in the full record of books that are relevant to your topic. The "Subject(s)" words and phrases are hypertext links to related resources.

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

Consult dictionaries and encyclopedias to help you understand the concepts and terminology used in development studies.

A Dictionary of Architecture
Online (part of Oxford Reference Online)

Contains thousands of entries on architects, terms, periods, and styles, this is a highly comprehensive and up-to-date dictionary covering all periods of Western architectural history.

Dictionary of Ecology
Online (part of Oxford Reference Online)

Covers a vast range of subjects, including environmental pollution, conservation, molecular ecology, and the management of habitats. Has biographical notes on eminent ecologists and other scientists.

The Encyclopedia of Housing
REF HD7287.E53 1998

Provides entries on types of housing and issues in housing, for example historical development and legal concerns.

Encyclopedia of the city

Encyclopedia of Urban America: The Cities and Suburbs
REF HT123.E5 1998

Provides long entries with bibliographic information on subjects related to planning, including social aspects (for example, an entry on "Children in Cities") and biography.

Encyclopedia of Urban Planning
REF HT166.E5 1974

Includes long entries on general subjects in planning, with extensive coverage of the architectural and planning styles of different countries, and biographies.

Encyclopedia of Urban Studies
Online (©2010 by SAGE Publications)

"The encyclopedia is intended to provide comprehensive coverage of topics currently studied in urban studies."(from the Introduction)

Glossary of Zoning, Development, and Planning Terms
REF NA9108.A545 no.491/492

Offers short definitions of terms, from "convenience store" to the differences between types of housing or street configurations.

International Dictionary of Architects and Architecture
REF NA40.I48 1993t

Includes long entries for famous buildings, styles of architecture and architects. Organized alphabetically in two volumes: one for Architects and a second for Architecture.

International Encyclopedia of Human Geography

Over 1,000 detailed entries on philosophy and theory, key concepts, methods and practices, biographies of notable geographers, and geographical thought and praxis in different parts of the world.

International History of City Development
HT111.G98 (1964 - 72) 8 volumes

Includes regional treatment of urban planning styles from around the world, with each volume discussing a different area. Entries are essay length, and include discussion of individual towns, and black and white photos and maps.

The New Illustrated Book of Development Definitions
HT167.M683 1993

Includes short definitions of simple and complex ideas in urban planning. Illustrated.

Town Planning Glossary: 10,000 Multilingual Terms in One Alphabet for European Town Planners
REF HT166.V46 1990u

A multilingual dictionary to be used for the purpose of translation by planners working in a variety of languages. Definitions are not provided, only translations of terms to English, Spanish, French, Italian and German.

Urban Research in the Developing World Series (4 volumes)
HT110.U73 1994

Organized geographically, provides essay length country treatments of urban planning issues, including graphs, maps and illustrations. The first three volumes are divided as Africa, Asia and South America, while the final volume is a discussion of cities in the developing world.


Bibliographies provide a comprehensive list of sources on a specific topic or a selective list of key works on a topic. To find out what bibliographies the Library has, do a subject search in QCAT.


CPL (Council of Planning Librarians) Bibliographies 1979-1995 --  For a complete list of the three hundred and seven CPL Bibliographies, search for 'CPL Bibliography' as a title in QCAT. 

Journal of Planning Literature
-- Since 1996, this has included the CPL Bibliographies.

Planning History

Canadian Town Planning, 1900 - 1930: A Historical Bibliography

Canadian Town Planning and Housing, 1930-1940: a Historical Bibliography

Canadian Town Planning and Housing, 1940-1950: a Historical Bibliography

Canada's Urban Past: a Bibliography to 1980 and Guide to Canadian Urban Studies

The History of Urban Planning in the United States: an Annotated Bibliography

Urban Planning, 1794-1918: An International Anthology of Articles, Conference Papers, and Reports

Guides & Directories

Canadian Law of Planning and Zoning
KE5258.A6 R63 2005 - present (Lederman Law Library) -- An essential reference for the legal implications of planning and zoning.

Guidelines for Preparing Urban Plans
HT167.A748 1995t

Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics

Handbook of Urban Studies
HT151.H318 2001

Information Sources in Urban and Regional Planning: a Directory and Guide to Reference Materials
REF Z5942.D87 1994

Ontario Municipal Home Pages

Readings in Planning Theory
HT165.5.R43 2012

GIS and Statistical Data





Associations and Organizations

American Planning Association

Association des Aménagistes Regionaux du Québec

Canadian Institute of Planners

Canadian Urban Institute

CUI is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in urban areas across Canada and internationally.

Centre for Urban and Community Studies (University of Toronto)

Includes information about upcoming seminars, conferences and publications under "What's New at CUCS". Scroll down for links to articles discussing new issues in Urban Planning, and a short list of historical links under "What Was New in Urban Policy Debates".

City of Kingston: Planning and Development

Includes contact information for the City of Kingston planning divisions, as well as information about local planning initiatives and projects and information about transportation and by-laws. Acts as a gateway to information about the municipality of Kingston, its attractions, and its population.

Ontario Professional Planners Institute

Royal Town Planning Institute

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development: Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Institute

A nonprofit organization which researches social and economic problems in the U.S.

Urban Land Institute

"A nonprofit education and research institute that is supported and directed by its members. Its mission is to provide responsible leadership in the use of land in order to enhance the total environment." Membership required for full access.


BUBL Link 5:15

Catalogue of 12,000 selected Internet resources, classified by subject. The planning section, which opens directly here, contains links to planning related websites with an international focus.

CHMC Research Highlights

Research Highlights are brief summaries of complete reports on the findings of research projects conducted for or by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Divided into two streams: Technical Series and the Socio-Economic Series.

CNU: Congress for the New Urbanism

The News and Events section provides links to popular articles in Urban Planning.


A "comprehensive directory of Internet resources relevant to planning, architecture, urbanism and other topics related to the built environment." (State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Architecture and Planning).

HisTORcity: Toronto Then and Now

Part of the Toronto Public Library catalogue, a database of digital holdings and citations related to the history and present of the city of Toronto, including digital images of historical maps.

National Service Centre for Environmental Publications

Allows for keyword searching of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency publications.

Planetizen: The Planning and Development Network

Includes links to salient topics in Urban Planning, in both the popular and scholarly press. Also includes a searchable directory of Urban Planners and consultants, job postings, and announcements.


The Planning Commissioners Journal (USA), offers city and regional planning resources. Excerpts and some full-text articles, others are purchased downloads.

PPS: Project for Public Spaces

PPS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating and sustaining public places that build communities. They provide technical assistance, education, and research through programs in parks, plazas and central squares; buildings and civic architecture; transportation; and public markets.

Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program

A publicly available U. S. Environmental Protection Agency database that contains information on toxic chemical releases and other waste management activities reported annually by certain covered industry groups as well as federal facilities. It contains full-text of documents released by the U. S. government on the release of toxics.

Virtual Library: Sustainable Development (Université Libre de Bruxelles)