This book provides a comprehensive and readable account of the American system of controlling the private use of land—the public control of private development. It explains the general, social, legal, and political context and the historical origin of these controls. It provides a technical description of the main methods (zoning and subdivision control) and identifies recent innovations in technique. The objectives of control and its effectiveness are considered, and some parallels with British experience are explored. In a final chapter, "Retrospect and Prospect—1969," written especially for this new edition, developments of the past ten years and prospects for the future are discussed.
The book is intended to provide an introduction to the subject for all those whose work or studies require some acquaintance with land-use controls—students of planning, law, social administration, and politics; professional planners, zoning lawyers; elected representatives. It is also intended to provide the foreign visitor or observer with a clear account of American methods of land-use control and a general introduction to the American planning scene.
There is no other book that deals with this subject in a similar way. There are legal textbooks that record the case law in excessive detail, and there are planning textbooks that deal with the techniques in an uncritical way, unrelated to the historical, political, and administrative context.
"... a precise, penetrating and revealing analysis of the history, basic principles and application of land-use controls in the U.S.A."
—Journal of Planning and Property Law (speaking of the first edition)
"I consider this a very important summary of land use practices in the United States and a more important contribution than much of the material published here. In my opinion, it should be required reading in our planning schools."
Walter H. Bleucher, Journal of the Town Planning Institute (speaking of the first edition)
"The book is ideally suitable for the British Planner about to visit the U.S.A., while for those concerned more with re-examining our own system the book provides a useful insight into alternative methods of dealing with thorny control problems."
Victor Robinson, Journal of the Town Planning Institue (speaking of the first edition)
"The major part of this book is taken up with a clear and concise account of the machinery: this provides an excellent introduction to the subject without diversions into legal backwaters."
Professor J. B. Cullingworth, Urban Studies (speaking of the first edition)
"This is a beautifully written book, infinitely more interesting and easy to read then the vast majority of planning literature, but, for all itslightness of touch, full of facts and information... It is, in fact, difficult not to seem to overpraise this admirable book."
Lewis Keeble, Town and Country Planning (speaking of the first edition)