URSI 100--Introduction to the City

Comprehensive Planning

Almost every city has a “comprehensive plan.” In fact, the Courts have ruled that the zoning and land use plans, to be legal, have to be based on a comprehensive overview of the city. Ideally, a comprehensive plan will look out 20 years, and will be updated every 5 years.

Most comprehensive plans follow a common format:

I.                    Vision

a.       Based on a “current scan”, which includes a SWOT analysis—

                                                               i.      strengths & weaknesses [internal] and

                                                             ii.      opportunities & threats [external]).

II.                 Elements

a.       Housing

b.      Employment

c.       Transportation

d.      Infrastructure/Open Space/Recreation/Public Buildings


III.               Land Use Plan

a.       Residential

                                                               i.      R-1 Low density, single-family detached

                                                             ii.      R-2 Moderate density, includes duplexes and fourplexes

                                                            iii.      R-3 High density, includes apartments

b.      Commercial

                                                               i.      C-1 Dowtown shopping

                                                             ii.      C-2 Regional shopping (malls)

                                                            iii.      C-3 Community shopping (strip malls, gas stations)

                                                           iv.      C-4 Neighborhood shopping (local convenience shops)

c.       Office

                                                               i.      O-1 Large office complexes

                                                             ii.      O-2 Neighborhood office establishments

d.      Manufacturing

                                                               i.      M-1 Heavy industry (significant air, water, or land impacts)

                                                             ii.      M-2 Light industry (impacts limited to site)

e.       Public

                                                               i.      P-1 Public buildings

                                                             ii.      P-2 Parks & public open space


So, create a comprehensive plan for the City of Miniapple, assuming the following:

  1. The population of each ward is approximately 10,000 people
  2. The interior boundaries of the wards are most likely major streets (“trunk highways”); the boundaries along the outer edge of the city are probably not streets, but property lines.
  3. Each ward will have some focus, but the initial (historical) focus may have changed/shifted over time.


2003 A.J.Filipovitch
Revised 18 April 07