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Urban planning

Liaison librarian

  • Julie [dot] Jones [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email) 514-398-5727
  • McGill users only
  • Open access resource
  • Free resource
  • In-library-use only
  • Catalogue record

Additional resources for urban planning:

  • Maps & Geospatial Data
  • Statistics & Data
  • SimplyMap Canada 
    Enables non-technical users to create thematic maps and reports comparing demographic, business, and marketing data across geographic regions. GIS users can export data and corresponding shapefiles and use them in ArcGIS.

Sources for Background Information

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Guides and Handbooks

Searching the Catalogue: Helpful Tips

To search an exact phrase...use Quotes
"urban housing policy"

To narrow your search...use AND
"city planning" AND Canada

To exclude certain words from your search...use NOT
(city AND planners) NOT Japan

To use various terms for similar concepts...use OR
(city OR regional OR town) AND planning

To search the root of a word...use ?
plan? will retrieve:

Search the Library Catalogue

Article Databases 

  • Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals 
    Includes articles on the subjects of architecture, landscape architecture, city planning, historic preservation, and urban design.
  • EconLit  
    Core scholarly literature on economic topics.
  • Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management Database  
    Multidisciplinary, comprehensive coverage of the environmental sciences.
    Database for human and physical geography, ecology, environmental issues, geology, oceanography, geomechanics and development studies.
  • Google Scholar
    Searches scholarly literature across disciplines and sources. Includes citation counts. 
  • GREENFile 
    Focuses on human impact on the environment. Topics covered include green issues, global climate change, green building, pollution, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, recycling, and more.
    Devoted to the study of sustainability and the environment and provides access to academic articles, news articles, background information, video, primary source documents and statistics.
  • MEDLINE (1996- ) (or search via PubMed) - Journal article database of the National Library of Medicine in the U.S. Some coverage of health-related topics in Planning such as the impact of the built environment, social determinants of health, and climate change issues. 
  • PAIS International 
    Covers global public policy, social issues, demography, environmental studies, general social sciences.
  • Scopus 
    Multidisciplinary science and social sciences database that is capable of backward and forward citation linking and includes citation counts. Contains the contents of GEOBASE.
  • Transport 
    Comprehensive international transportation information. Contains the TRB's TRIS and the OECD's ITRD. McGill's subscription allows 5 concurrent users.
  • TRID 
    Transportation research. Combines the records from TRB's Transportation Research Information Services Database (TRIS) and the OECD's Joint Transport Research Centre’s International Transport Research Documentation Database (ITRD). Also contains articles and papers from peer-reviewed journals, conference proceedings, technical reports, and more.
  • Urban Studies Abstracts 
    Covers areas essential to urban studies, including city planning, urban affairs, community development, transportation, and urban design.
  • Web of Science - A multidisciplinary index to the journal literature of the Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities, and the Sciences. Allows for cited reference searching to find articles that cite a previously published work.

Grey Literature Sources

Non-academic or "in-house" literature outside of traditional publishing -- government documents, urban plans, reports, working papers, etc. If the source is a Google Custom Search, use the Google search tips here: google_tips_handout.pdf

  • Carleton University's Find Canadian Government Publications on the Web
    Google Custom Search that searches across Canadian government websites with the option to limit to federal, provincial, or municipal information.
  • Canadian electronic library: Canadian public policy collection
    Publications from Canadian public policy institutes, government agencies, advocacy groups, think-tanks, university research centres and public interest groups.
  • IGO Search
    Google Custom Search of websites of over 3000 IGOs for reports and other publications. Maintained by the Union of International Associations (UIA).  
  • NGO Search
    Custom Google Search of websites of NGO websites for reports and other publications  
  • Google Scholar
    Searches scholarly literature across disciplines and sources and includes some grey literature.
  • McGill Library Subject Guide for Theses and Dissertations
    Lists sources for locating theses and dissertations from McGill and beyond.  
  • McGill Library Subject Guide for Conference Papers
    Lists sources for locating conference papers and presentations. Conference papers and presentations report research in-progress. 
  • McGill Library Urban Plan Collection 
    Database of reports and plans for urban and rural areas from all Canadian provinces. Some American and international material. Years covered at present are roughly 1950-2006. Database will provide a box number for the print material, which can be found along shelved along the south wall of the Blackader-Lauterman Collection on the 3rd floor of the Redpath Library Building. 
  • Urban Studies and Planning Commons
    Scholarship from hundreds of universities and colleges. Provides open access to peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, dissertations, working papers, conference proceedings, and other original scholarly work. 

Selected Internet Sites

Other Resources

Professional Societies and Government Agencies

Selected Journals

  • Cities
    Find it online
  • Environment and Planning A
    Find it online
  • Environment and Planning B. Planning & Design
    Find it online
  • Environment and Planning D. Society & Space
    Find it online
  • Habitat International
    Find it online
  • Journal of the American Planning Association
    Find it online
  • Journal of Architectural and Planning Research
    Find it online
  • Journal of Planning Education and Research
    Find it online
  • Journal of Planning History
    Find it online
  • Journal of Planning Literature
    Find it online
  • Journal of Transport and Land Use
  • Journal of Urban Design
    Find it online
  • Journal of Urban Planning and Development
    Find it online
  • Plan Canada
    NA9000 P55x in Blackader-Lauterman
  • Planning Perspectives
    Find it online
  • Research Works
  • Urban History
    Find it online
  • Urban Morphology
    Find it online

Directories and Biographical Information

  • The American Planner: Biographies and Recollections
    About urban and regional planners who have shaped the American landscape over the last one hundred years. Well-referenced bibliographies for each chapter.
    HT167 A5767 1994 (Ref)
  • Directory of Canadian Planning Officials=Le Répertoire des responsables de l'urbanisme et de l'aménagement du territoire au Canada
    A compilation of municipal planning officials from across Canada, includes over 800 entries. Entries are presented by province, then by municipality.
    HT169 C3 D57 (Ref)
  • The Encyclopedia of Associations and Information Sources for Architects, Designers, and Engineers
    Listings include: associations and organizations; publications of associations and organizations; journals; newsletters; online databases; CD-ROMs; research organizations and testing laboratories; directories; periodical indexes; federal government information sources; and WWW sites. Indexed by keyword, name, title, and acronym.
    NA62 B35 1998 (Ref)


  • Architectural Theory and Criticism, Urban Design Theory, Architectural History
    Materials drawn together from both undergraduate and graduate programs at twenty-eight universities.
    Z5941 A715 1991 (Ref)
  • Exchange Bibliography (Council of Planning Librarians [CPL])
    Each issue number details all sources of a selected topic related to city and regional planning. Author and subject indexed.
    TD160 C6x (Periodical)
  • Housing Policy: An International Bibliography
    Classifies and lists over 3,000 contributions to the housing debate. Housing policy in this work is defined as the study of the formulation, implementation, monitoring, and physical expression of housing decision making by organizations in ultimate control of the housing process.
    Z7164 H8 N48 1986 (Ref)
  • Journal of Planning Literature Incorporating The CPL Bibliographies
    Aside from its review articles and book reviews, each issue abstracts several hundred books, articles, and dissertations in city and regional planning and design. The abstracts are subdivided under the three major headings: history / theory/ administration; methodology / qualitative / qualitative / economic; and physical / environmental. Indexed by author and subject.
    NA9000 J68 (Periodical)
  • Reaching Agreement on Urban Development: An Annotated Bibliography
    Consists of publications held by the Canadian Centre for Livable Places. Features works on alternative ways to handle conflicts in growth management, based on building consensus and working together. The focus is on urban planning, development, and the environment.
    Z7164 U7 W44 1992 (Ref)
  • Supervised Research Projects in Urban Planning, 1949-1997
    A list of thesis work produced by McGill University Graduates. Indexed by title and subject.
    Z5942 M34 1997 (Ref)

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