UCLA Critical Planning Journal | About
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our history, our mission



The Critical Planning Journal began in 1993 as a forum for the urban studies and planning communities to debate current issues, showcase emerging research, and propose new ideas concerning cities and regions. The journal attracts submissions from scholars, graduate students, and practitioners from across disciplinary boundaries and from around the world. Through our double-blind peer-review process, Critical Planning identifies and publishes insightful scholarly research with a critical approach. As one of the cores of intellectual life in the Urban Planning Department, the journal provides a convivial space for rigorous debate. Our public programs—including lectures, exhibitions, film screenings, and symposia—extend this work to audiences in Los Angeles and beyond. Critical Planning reaches an international subscriber base of urban planning scholars, students, practitioners, libraries, bookstores, and enthusiasts.



The core mission of Critical Planning is to promote criticality and social justice. We are committed to doing this through:


·       Advancing imaginative, nontraditional analyses and interpretations of contemporary issues.


·       Encouraging scholars and practitioners to remain self-reflexive and critical of the status quo


·       Seeking out works that elevate the voices of the underrepresented and explore new methods of empowering communities


·       Connecting different groups and individuals to the larger global movement for social justice.


In pursuit of these ends, Critical Planning also seeks out new forms of knowledge and modes of representation. The journal is thus not only a space for planning scholars and practitioners, but also activists, artists, organizers and others who take “the city,” however defined, as their object of inquiry.

We believe that in order to improve cities–make them more livable, environmentally sustainable, and equitable–we must first create a forum for all voices to contribute their perspective and way of knowing. Through the publication of a variety of formats, including photo essays, fictional narratives, visual art, op-eds, as well as original academic research, we hope to depart from the traditional hierarchy of academic journals, and collapse the hapless divide between the University and the public.