In order to develop and exercise their skills urban planners need to draw upon a wide variety of methods relating to plan and policy making, urban research and policy analysis. More than ever, planners need to be able to adapt their methods to contemporary needs and circumstances. This introductory textbook focuses on the need to combine traditional research methods with policy analysis in order to understand the true nature of urban planning processes. It describes both planning methods and their underlying concepts and principles, illustrating applications by reference to the daily activities of planning, including the assessment of needs and preferences of the population, the generation and implementation of plans and policies, and the need to take decisions related to the allocation of land, population change, employment, housing and retailing. Ian Bracken also provides a comprehensive guide to the more specialized research literature and case studies of contemporary urban planning practice. This book was first published in 1981.