Help for urban planning: The transect strategy

Emily Talen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The transect approach is a planning strategy that seeks to organize the elements of urbanism - building, lot, land use, street, and all of the other physical elements of the human habitat - in ways that preserve the integrity of different types of urban and rural environments. These environments can be viewed relative to a continuum that ranges from rural to urban, varying in their level of urban intensity. This paper seeks to position the transect strategy firmly within the inventory of urban planning approaches. It does this by exploring the ways in which the transect might be able to resolve the tensions, or conflicts, that exist in contemporary urban planning practice. These tensions are organized into three interrelated groups: the tension between three-dimensional form and two-dimensional pattern; the tension between planning for order vs planning for diversity; and finally, the tension between 'town' and 'country' and the problems that have resulted from our failure to find the proper relationship between the two.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-312
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Urban Design
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies


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