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Public Finance and Planning

A Survey of Planning Schools

Mary Edwards

June 2007, English

Development decisions made by planners on a daily basis, including those surrounding new development, zoned land uses, densities, building characteristics, parking requirements and others, have significant effects on the fiscal landscapes of their communities. To better understand how our educational system addresses fiscal issues in the training of planners, I surveyed planning instructors from across the United States and Canada and analyzed a series of public finance course syllabi. The following paper presents the results of this analysis and then contrasts the planning instructor survey results with the results of a national survey of practicing planners. In this second survey, planners were asked to provide their perspectives on the importance of public finance to effective planning. Taken together the survey results provide an interesting picture of the significance of public finance to planning academics and practitioners.