Basic Quantitative Research Methods for Urban Planners: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Basic Quantitative Research Methods for Urban Planners

1st Edition

Edited by Reid Ewing, Keunhyun Park


328 pages | 194 B/W Illus.

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In most planning practice and research, planners work with quantitative data. By summarizing, analyzing, and presenting data, planners create stories and narratives that explain various planning issues. Particularly, in the era of big data and data mining, there is a stronger demand in planning practice and research to increase capacity for data-driven storytelling.

Basic Quantitative Research Methods for Urban Planners provides readers with comprehensive knowledge and hands-on techniques for a variety of quantitative research studies, from descriptive statistics to commonly used inferential statistics. It covers statistical methods from chi-square through logistic regression and also quasi-experimental studies. At the same time, the book provides fundamental knowledge about research in general, such as planning data sources and uses, conceptual frameworks, and technical writing. The book presents relatively complex material in the simplest and clearest way possible, and through the use of real world planning examples, makes the theoretical and abstract content of each chapter as tangible as possible.

It will be invaluable to students and novice researchers from planning programs, intermediate researchers who want to branch out methodologically, practicing planners who need to conduct basic analyses with planning data, and anyone who consumes the research of others and needs to judge its validity and reliability.


These textbooks will likely prove useful for students in masters or doctoral programs alike for some time to come. For the practice-oriented student, the "basic" text will provide a well-documented reference that explores general statistical methods with various useful examples and interpretations for urban planning applications. These students will likely find this textbook to be both informative for learning applications of general statistics in planning contexts, as well as a useful reference as they move into practice and industry. For research-oriented students, the "basic" and "advanced" texts together extend the practical benefits of planning-oriented statistical applications into a complete reference that supports a foundation in quantitative research methods and statistics. Even for students interested in practice, the combination of these textbooks provide guidance for performing and interpreting the most commonly used quantitative research methods in research today.

—Kristina M. Currans, Assistant Professor, University of Arizona

This textbook series fills the void in basic and advanced methods of planning analysis. Reid Ewing and Keunhyun Park have compiled a well-organized set of essays that artfully explain and develop a range of methodological topics with specific application to planning practice. Techniques are developed from their historical beginnings and the authors walk through step-by-step procedures using SPSS, R, and other coding software. While the Basic text will see widespread use in graduate professional degrees at the Master of Science level, the Advanced text will resonate with instructors seeking a textbook appropriate for doctoral planning students.

—Dave Marcouiller, University of Wisconsin – Madison

This book is essential to read for both beginners and experts in the Planning field because they contain such comprehensive quantitative research methods with clear and easy introduction of various basic concepts. The neat chapter structure also very valuable for the first steppers to the planning field. Especially, actual planning examples taken from various planning-related peer-reviewed journal articles are providing how planning practitioners and scholars can apply a particular method to resolve their real planning issues that are not easy to find in a planning method book.

—JiYoung Park, University at Buffalo and Seoul National University

Basic and Advanced Quantitative Research Methods for Urban Planners provide a comprehensive guide to collective, analyzing, visualizing, and writing about planning related-dated. The planning-related data sets and example analyses provide a rich set of cases to articulate core concepts and implement them in SPSS, HLM, and R. A terrific resource for planners and educators interested in using and presenting quantitative data in academic and professional settings.

—Erick Guerra, University of Pennsylvania

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Technical Writing

3. Types of Research

4. Planning Data and Analysis

5. Conceptual Frameworks

6. Validity and Reliability

7. Descriptive Statistics and Visualizing Data

8. Chi-Square

9. Correlation

10. Difference of Means Tests (T-Tests)

11. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)

12. Linear Regression

13. Logistic Regression

14. Quasi-Experimental Research

About the Editors

Reid Ewing, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor of City and Metropolitan Planning at the University of Utah, associate editor of the Journal of the American Planning Association and Cities, and columnist for Planning magazine, writing the column Research You Can Use. He directs the Metropolitan Research Center at the U. He holds master’s degrees in Engineering and City Planning from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Transportation Systems from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A recent citation analysis found that Ewing, with 23,000 citations, is the 6th most highly cited among 1,100 planning academic planners in North America.

Keunhyun Park, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at Utah State University. He holds master’s degrees in Landscape Architecture from Seoul National University and a Ph.D. in Metropolitan Planning, Policy, Design from the University of Utah. His research interests include technology-driven behavioral research (e.g., drone, VR/AR, sensor, etc.), behavioral outcomes of smart growth, and active living.

About the Series

APA Planning Essentials

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Methods & Materials
ARCHITECTURE / Urban & Land Use Planning
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / City Planning & Urban Development
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Urban