Sunday, February 12, 2006

Introductory post

Welcome to my web log of developments in "urban planning research."

The plan is to publish commentary related to the scholarship of cities. Why? The first defense is reactionary. There are now many well-read and perhaps influential blogs on academic & policy topics in related areas, such as architecture and economics. Though there are also plenty of sites on planning practice and by individual scholars, I haven't seen one specifically on the broader topic of research in the profession. This could suggest to the world at large that planning research doesn't merit the space or effort.

The other excuse is that blogs can be a useful way to communicate.

For reasons of limited time, attention span, and brain size, no attempt will be made to be complete in any meaningful sense. At first I will probably vent my own projects and research ideas but hope to go beyond those soon enough. If blogs prove a helpful way to converse in this field, perhaps more specialized -- or comprehensive -- planning research sites will emerge.

I am new at this and so consulted Wikipedia, possibly the best quick introduction to anything, for a quick introduction to web log etiquette. Among other things, it says blogs involve "a conversational style of documentation," which is right by me. Also, "Scientists have mixed feelings about blogging: while some see it as an excellent new way to disseminate and discuss data, others fear that blogs (and other informal means of publication) could damage the credibility of science by bypassing the peer review system."

While there is lots of room for more dissemination and discussion, I also think that credibility is an underexamined issue for planning scholarship. So I have mixed feelings about this too. Cheers.


Anonymous said...

Great, a blog on planning research is a truly welcome addition to the blogosphere.

There need not be any conflict between peer-reviewed research and discussions in your blog -- perhaps it's best just to discuss research that has already been published in peer-reviewed journals, yours and other scholars. Although this may limit the discussion, it will avoid any conflicts or publication issues.

Anonymous said...

This kind of informal global forum is exactly what is needed to freely exchange ideas. I have recently graduated from Berkeley and I am now conducting urban planning research at Tongji University (Shanghai, China). Due to a relatively tight control of information and a different education system (professor-student relationship) in China, it can be difficult to openly exchange ideas, and I hope that I can contribute, learn and ask questions on this site.


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