University of Hawaii at Manoa Library


Urban and Regional Planning


The Department of Urban and Regional Planning offers the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (thesis or non-thesis options) as a professional degree designed to equip students to fill professional planning and policy analysis roles. Students develop individualized courses of study, which draw on the resources of various departments. The department offers a Professional Certificate in Urban and Regional Planning for practicing planners who have had at least three years of professional experience. The department also offers a Certificate in Planning Studies for students pursuing a master's or doctoral degree in another areas, such as architecture, economics, engineering, geography, political science, public health, social work, and sociology.

Although the doctorate is not granted in this department, doctorates with a specialty in urban studies can be awarded through the Departments of Economics, Geography, and Sociology. A PhD degree program in urban and regional planning will result in an increased emphasis on development planning, that is, the economic, social, and spatial implications of the transformation of cities and regions.

Urban and regional planning is a highly interdisciplinary program, which focuses on planning theory and methods, community services and facilities planning, environmental planning and resource management, regional development planning, and land use planning. The department's work focuses on planning in the developing countries of Asia and planning in Hawaii.

The research interests of the faculty cover a broad range of topics, including ocean and coastal management, Southeast Asian urbanization, conflict resolution, rural planning, energy, comparative urbanism, ecosystem analysis, transportation, housing, and urban history. Physical urban design and communications planning are minor interests.


The urban and regional planning program relies on the related disciplines of American studies, anthropology, architecture, civil engineering, economics, education, environmental studies, geography, history, law, political science, psychology, public administration, real estate studies, sociology, and the Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific studies programs.

The department also maintains a separate reading-room that collects maps, pamphlets, reports from public and private agencies, and unpublished reports. The department also has a separate computer lab and buys its own software.


Language: In general, materials are collected in English. Historical treatments are selectively acquired in major European and Asian languages.

Chronological: Emphasis is on current and future developments. Materials on the history of urban planning and development in earlier periods are selectively acquired.

Geographic: Emphasis is on the United States and the countries of Asia and the Pacific. Works on other developing regions with hot humid climates, e.g. Africa or Latin America, are collected selectively.

Date of Publication: Emphasis is on current imprints. Retrospective materials are added selectively for such areas as architectural and urban history.

Types and Formats of Materials Collected: Books, serials, and government documents account for most of the materials acquired. Technical reports are selectively acquired. Maps, pamphlets, reports from public and private agencies, and unpublished reports are excluded except as collected by the Asia, Hawaiian, and Pacific collections. Hawaii planning-related materials may be duplicated in the general collection. Videotapes and films that document urban conditions and history are collected by and housed in the Wong AV Center. All formats may be collected, including electronic, print, and microform. Microforms are acquired as needed, depending on availability of other formats and preservation concerns.

Electronic Format: Electronic resources include indexes, databases, reference tools, e-books, and so forth. Networked electronic access is preferred for full text journal literature and for indexing and abstracting. Electronic resources may be available in a number of formats, including online, CD-ROM, or other digital storage formats.

Treatment: All treatments, including bibliographies are acquired; biographies, anthologies, and readers are collected very selectively; popular treatments and lower level textbooks are excluded. Planners rely heavily on survey and documentary research such as census, tax, land, and physical data sources. Government documents are collected by the Government Documents, Hawaiian, Pacific and Asia Collections.


Materials not regularly acquired on approval plans include periodicals, documents of the developing countries of Asia, nonprint media, association publications, university department publications, and machine-readable formats.

Planning faculty and students rely heavily on information collected by governments, especially such agencies as the World Bank, U.S. Bureau of the Census, U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Planning faculty and students rely on the area collections of Asia, Hawaii, and the Pacific. Parameters defining use include: English and Asian languages; contemporary focus; geographically related to cities and regions; mostly current imprints; print formats; and all treatments except biographies, anthologies, readers, and popular. Hawaiian local documents, including county ordinances, general plans, local area plans, development plan amendments, and tax map indexes are of value.

Compiled by: Theodore Kwok
Date: July 2008

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