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Environmental Science & Management Research Guide


Planning information includes primary and secondary information about natural and human systems, laws and regulations affecting the planning process, planning practices, and the results of planning activities. Below are listed:

  1. major literature sources that focus on natural resource planning and
  2. key reference sources for identifying research, professional and practical information in planning
  3. legal resources
  4. statistical and environmental data resources.


Planning Literature

The following section lists some of the major planning research journals and popular magazines. It also includes information on how to find urban, regional and other plans. For information on scientific literature see in general see Literature of Science.


  • Planner's Guide to the Digital Bibliographic Revolution (Striftel and Mogg) Journal of the American Planning Association 73(1): 68-85, 2007 (HSU users only) lists 97 planning journals. Below are journals available through the HSU Library. Check the Journal and Newspaper Finder for exact holdings and location. See Finding Articles for databases that index individual articles in these journals and other related journals.

    Applied Geography
    Environment and Behavior
    Environmental Conservation
    Environmental Impact Assessment Review
    Environmental Management
    Habitat International
    Int. Journal of Urban & Regional Research
    Journal of Applied Ecology
    Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy & Mgt.
    Journal of Environmental Planning & Mgt.
    Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning
    Journal of Planning Education and Research
    Journal of Planning History
    Journal of Planning Literature
    Journal of Regional Sciences
    Journal of Rural Studies
    Journal of the American Planning Association
    Journal of Urban Planning and Development
    Land Economics
    Land Use Policy
    Landscape & Urban Planning
    Landscape Ecology
    Natural Areas Journal
    Ocean & Coastal Management
    Park Science
    Planning & Environmental Law
    Planning Commissioner's Journal
    Planning Practice and Research
    Planning Theory
    Policy Studies Journal
    Policy Studies Review
    Progress in Planning
    Regional Studies
    Renewable Resources Journal
    Urban Ecology
    Urban Studies
    URISA Journal

Magazines & Newsletters 

California Coast and Ocean (California Coastal Conservancy)
High Country News
Planning (American Planning Association)

Plans - To locate city and county general plans in the HSU Library search the HSU Library Catalog

  1. By subject:
    city planning-California-[city or county name]
    regional planning-California-[city or county name]
  2. By title:
    Search "general plan" using the Keyword search option

Plans (LUPIN) Contains links to over 400 fulltext city and county general plans, regional plans, coastal plans, and other types of plans.California Local Planning Documents Database (UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies Library) Searchable database of city and county planning documents available in the Institute of Governmental Studies Library. Searchable by jurisdiction, element (e.g. housing, open space) and year adopted. One can also limit to plans available on the web.

For local plans available in online fulltext format see Humboldt Room Links: Government and Community Services.

Reference Materials


  • CERES (California Environmental Resources Evaluation System) (California Resources Agency) Information system providing access to natural and cultural resource data from multiple contributors which describes "California's rich and diverse environments." Subsystems include Cal Ocean, Land Use Planning Information Network, Watershed Information Technical System, and Wetlands Information System.
  • Guides to City and Regional Planning Research (UC Berkeley, Environmental Design Library) Lists planning resources available at UC Berkeley and on the Internet. The HSU Library has some of the print resources.
  • LUPIN (California Land Use Planning Information Network) Information service supporting land use and planning in California. Searchable by geographic area, organization, theme or data type.
  • Planner's Guide to the Digital Bibliographic Revolution (Striftel and Mogg) Journal of the American Planning Association 73(1): 68-85, 2007 (HSU users only)


Dictionaries & Encyclopedias


  • Bibliography of Landscape Architecture, Environmental Design and Planning (Powell) 1987 (SB 472 P68)
  • HUD User Database (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Policy Development and Research) Bibliographic database covering housing and community development issues. It contains more than 10,000 references to research reports, articles, books, monographs, and data sources in housing policy, building technology, economic development, urban planning, and other related fields.
  • Journal of Planning Literature (HSU users only) Each issue includes several review articles on specific topics and a bibliography of recent planning literature gleaned from 49 journals. Each bibliography is arranged by broad planning topics with more specific author and subject indexes.
  • "Planning Literature Information Service" IN Planning Practice & Research (HSU users only) Lists articles from 30 planning journals under 10 subject categories: Planning Theory and History; Methodology; Modelling and Information Systems; Economic and Property Development; The Built Environment; Enviornment, Energy and Nature; Transport; Housing and Community Development; Urban and Regional Planning; Rural Planning; Public Administration, Public Policy and Professional Concerns.
  • SOURCES: An Annotated Bibliography for California Planners (Governor's Office of Planning and Research) Lists paper and Internet resources on land use planning.

Handbooks & Manuals

  • California Planning Guide: An Introduction to Planning in California (California Office of Planning and Research) 2005 Introduction to land use planning in California. Explains, in general terms, how communities regulate land use and contains definitions of commonly used planning terms.
  • City & Environmental Planning Professional Practice (UC Berkeley Environmental Design Library) Lists handbooks, planning regulations and other materials which support the professional practice of city and regional planning. The HSU Library has some of the sources listed.
  • Community Planning Website (Royal Town Planning Institute) Contains how-to-do-it best practice information.
  • The Conservation Easement Handbook: Managing Land Conservation and Historic Preservation Easement Programs (Diehl & Barrett) 1988 (Kf 736.L3 D54 1988)
  • Guide to California Planning (Fulton and Shigley) 1999 (HD 393 C3 F85 2005)
  • International Handbook on Land Use Planning (Patricios) 1988 (HD 108.6 I58 1986)
  • Land Use Planning Handbook (US Bureau of Land Management) 2005
  • Landscape Restoration Handbook (Harten) 1993 (SB 439 L35 1993)
  • Planner's guide to Specific Plans (California Governor's Office of Planning and Research)
  • Planning Advisory Service Reports (American Planning Association) (HSU users only) Ongoing series of reports offering guidance on current issues and innovative practices. APA maintains a list of available reports.
  • Small Town Planning Handbook (Daniels) 1995 (HT 167 D36 1995)
  • Subdivision Map Act Manual: a Desk Reference Covering California's Subdivision Laws and Processes (Curtin) 2002 (ref KFC 811 C875 2002)

Geospatial Resources (Atlases, Maps, GIS, Imagery)

  • See Geospatial Resources for print and digital geospatial resources available in the HSU Library or on the Internet.

Legal Resources


  • American Land Planning Law: Cases and Materials (Williams) 1978 (KF 5692 A4 A47)
  • Cases and Materials on Land Use (Wright & Gitelman) 1997 (KF 5698 A4 W73 1997)
  • Environmental Regulation of Land Use (Malone) 1990 (KF 5698 M264 1990)
  • Federal & California Primary Legal Sources Contains links to federal and California statutory, case and administrative law available in paper or electronic format in the HSU Library.
  • Internet Law Library: Land Use, Zoning, Real Property, and Historical Preservation Law (LawGuru.com)
  • Land Use in a Nutshell (Wright) 1994 (KF 5698 Z9 W74 1994)
  • Land Use Law (Mandelker) 1993 (KF 5698 M29 1993)
  • Land Use Law: an overview (Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute) Provides brief summary along with links to key primary source material.
  • Land Use Planning and Control Law (Juergensmeyer & Roberts) 1998 (KF 5692 J84 1998)
  • Land Use Regulation: Planning, Zoning, Subdivision Regulation, and Environmental Control (Salsich) 1991 (KF 5698 S24 1991)
  • Law of Regulatory Takings (LUPIN) Includes fulltext of leading court cases.
  • Managing National Park System Resources: A Handbook on Legal Duties, Opportunities and Tools (Mantell) 1990 (KF 5635 M36 1990)
  • Municipal Codes Online (Seattle Public Library) Contains links to city and county codes available on the web. Subdivided by state.
  • Summary of State Land Use Planning Laws (Institute for Business and Home Safety) 1998
  • "Zoning and Land Planning" in Corpus Juris Secundum Vol. 101A (KF 154 C6)
  • Zoning & Planning Law Handbook (Clark Boardman Company) annual (KF 5697 A152 Z66)



Internet Subject Guides/Portals/Gateways

Statistical & Environmental Data

Listed below are some of the important guides to statistical and environmental data compilations that are an essential part of planning research.


  • Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) Contains an extensive collection of global, regional and national datasets that focus on human interactions in the environment.
  • CEOS International Directory Network (IDN) "Gateway" directory to worldwide earth science data and services.
  • EarthTrends: the Environmental Information Portal (World Resources Institute) Contains information on the environmental, social, and economic trends that shape the world. Organized into themes with each theme including data, country profiles, maps and feature article sections. The country profiles section includes charts, graphs and vital statistics for each country. Themes include coastal and marine ecosystems; water resources and freshwater ecosystems; climate and atmosphere; population, health and human well-being; economics, business and the environment; energy and resources; biodiversity and protected areas; agriculture and food; forests, grasslands and drylands; environmental government and institutions; and poverty resources.
  • Environmental Data Explorer (United Nations Environment Programme) Online database holds more than 500 different variables, as national, subregional, regional and global statistics or as geospatial data sets (maps), covering themes like Freshwater, Population, Forests, Emissions, Climate, Disasters, Health and GDP. Display data on-the-fly as maps, graphs, or data tables; or download the data in different formats.
  • Social Science Data Search (UC Berkeley Library) Google Custom Search Engine targets 800+ academic, government agency, non-profit, and other websites that provide high quality, downloadable statistical information and data sets. Emphasis is on data pertaining to the social sciences, health, developing countries, energy, natural resources, and the environment.
  • Statistical Compendiums for Initial Data Research (Morse)
  • Statistics Resources and Big Data on the Internet (Zillman) Master directory to statistical web sites and other directories.
  • Statistical Sites on the World Wide Web (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) Lists sources of federal and international statistics
  • Digital Spatial Data (HSU Library) Lists guides to geospatial data available on the Internet. Listed under the following categories--World, United States, California, California (northwestern).
  • UNdata (United Nations) Contains current and historical statistics collected by UN agencies. Organized by theme and then by country. Also includes individual Country Profiles,and links to the major statistical agency in each country.

United States (may also include California statistics)

  • American FactFinder (US Census Bureau) Population, housing, economic, and geographic data from the decennial census of population and housing, the economic census, and the annual American Community Survey (ACS). See Census Information for additional both resources.
  • Data.gov (US Government) Allows users to find, download, and use datasets that are generated and held by the federal government.
  • DataPlace (Fannie Mae Foundation) Presents demographic, economic, social, and housing data from multiple government agencies in a user-friendly interface. Users can display the data at different geographic levels and create thematic maps and scatterplots to graphically represent the data.
  • Econdata.Net (Andrew Reamer & Associates and Impresa) Guide to regional socioeconomic data sources on the web, arranged by subject and provider.
  • FEDSTATS Contains a detailed subject directory and search engine to statistics available on the Internet from over 100 federal agencies.
  • Guide to U.S. Government Statistics (Andriot) 1987 (Docs Abstract Z 7554 U5 G8 1987) Annotated guide to 12,500 government statistical publications.
  • Guide to Rural Data (Salant and Waller) 1995 (Ref HB 2385 S25 1995) Guide to data sources that can be used in rural community development.
  • ProQuest Statistical Insight (HSU Users Only) Indexes statistical tables from federal, state and intergovernmental organizations from 1999 to the present. Federal statistical sources are indexed back to 1973. Tables from 1999 are selectively available for download as PDF or Excel file format. Search by subject and limit by geographic level, e.g., county; demographic qualifier, e.g., age; economic qualifier, e.g., occupation; or frequency of publication.
  • Links to Sources of Environmental Statistics (US Council on Environmental Quality) Links to online statistical sources which have been used in preparation of the statistics section of Environmental Quality, the annual report of the US Council on Environmental Quality.
  • Statistics and Data (Rural Assistance Center) Alphabetical annotated directory of rural data sources on the web.
  • Statistics and Data for City Planning (UC Berkeley Environmental Design Library)
  • US Census Bureau Subjects A to Z (U.S. Census Bureau) A to Z index that includes subjects and titles of census reports.
  • USA.gov: Data and Statistics (US Government)


  • "California: the Golden State" IN Profiles of America: Facts, Figures and Statistics for Every Populated Place in the United States (Grey House) 2003 (ref HT 123 P7624 2003) Contains facts and statistics on the geography, weather, history, heath, population, religion, crime, economics, education, housing, and transportation for each California county. Also includes similar profiles for each incorporated municipality and many other census designated places and unincorporated places. Includes an alphabetical place name index.
  • California Environmental Information Catalog (CERES) Contains descriptions (metadata) of California environmental data available from many contributors including cities, counties, utilities, state and federal agencies, private businesses, and academic institutions. The basic catalog is searchable by resource title, contributing organization, resource type, subject keyword, or geographic region.
  • California Facts: A Comprehensive Look at California Today, County by County (Clements) 1989 (ref F 856 F69 1989) A fact-filled narrative characterizing each county in California.
  • California Environment Information Sources (HSU Library)
  • Community Information by Zip Code (California State University, Northridge Library)
  • Data.CA.gov (State of California) Repository of raw data on the California economy, public health, transportation, environment, and more.
  • Subject Guide for California Statistics (San Diego State University Library)

Northwestern California