City Planning for Civil Engineers, Environmental Engineers, and Surveyors: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

City Planning for Civil Engineers, Environmental Engineers, and Surveyors

1st Edition

By Kurt W. Bauer

CRC Press

368 pages | 78 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2009-09-22
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While engineers and surveyors are not urban planners, they are often engaged in urban development. Therefore, a high degree of competence in civil engineering specialties such as surveying and mapping, highway and transportation engineering, water resources engineering, environmental engineering, and, particularly, municipal engineering requires an understanding of urban development problems and urban planning objectives, principles, and practices. With this in mind, City Planning for Civil Engineers, Environmental Engineers, and Surveyors focuses on areas of urban planning with which civil and environmental engineers and surveyors are most likely to come into contact or conflict, in which engineers and surveyors may be required to participate, and for which engineers may be required to provide necessary leadership.

The text stresses basic concepts and principles of practice involved in urban planning as most widely practiced, particularly in small and medium-sized communities. It introduces engineering students to land-use planning as a foundation for infrastructure systems planning and development. It also presents plan implementation devices such as zoning, land subdivision control, official mapping, and capital improvement programming. It describes the factors affecting good land subdivision design and improvement. In addition, the text illustrates the importance of good mapping and control surveys for planning purposes. Written from the perspective that cities are social and economic as well as physical entities, the book offers a historical context for urban planning.

There are a large number of texts on the subject of urban planning, but most generally do not address in any comprehensive way the engineering problems encountered in urban planning. This book delineates these problems and stresses the importance of close cooperation between civil engineers and planning professionals to achieving effective urban planning. Armed with this information, students can become more knowledgeable participants in the urban planning process and more effective members of urban planning teams and governmental and consulting agency staff.


I highly recommend City Planning for Civil Engineers, Environmental Engineers, and Surveyors as an authoritative resource for those new to the land-use arena and to those wanting to improve their knowledge and add value to their land surveying practices. It deserves a place on the bookshelf of any land surveyor whose practice includes urban land development.

—Jeff Salmon, in Professional Surveyor Magazine

Table of Contents


Definition of Terminology

Definition of the Term "City"

Some Practical Definitions


City Planning

City Planning as a Team Effort

Criteria for Good City Planning

Need for City Planning

Value of City Planning

Further Reading

The Historic Context Of Urban Planning in the United States

European New Towns

City of London

Spanish Colonial New Towns

French Colonial New Towns

English Colonial New Towns

Contributions of Colonial Planning

Planning of National Capital

Decline of Public Planning

Renaissance of Public Planning


Compilation of Essential Data: A Brief Overview

Map Requirements For City Planning

Basic Definitions and Concepts

National Geodetic Survey Control System

U.S. Public Land Survey System

Map Requirements for City Planning

Survey Control for City Planning and Engineering

State Plane Coordinate Computations

Use In Creation of Land Information Systems

Aerial Photography

Population Data and Forecast

Estimating Current Population Levels

Projecting and Forecasting Future Population Levels

Other Population Characteristics

Components of Population Change

Spatial Distribution

Labor Force Participation Rates

Economics Data and Forecasts

Economic Base

Structure of the Urban Economy

Projection and Forecast Techniques

Example Application

Personal Income

Property Tax Base

Concluding Comments on Employment Projections and Forecasts

Land Use and Supporting Infrastructure Data

Maps for Land Use Studies

Land Use Survey


Community Facilities

Natural Resource Base Inventories


Air Quality



Mineral Resources


Surface Water Resources

Groundwater Resources



Areas Having Scenic, Historic, Scientific and Recreational Value

Environmental Corridors

Institutional Structure for City Planning and the Comprehensive Plan

The Plan Commission

The Comprehensive Plan

Staff Organization

Objectives, Principles, and Standards

Basic Concepts and Definitions

Overriding Considerations

Application in Alternative Plan Evaluation

Land Use Planning

Determinants of the Land Use Pattern

The Public Interest As a Land Use Determinant

Steps in Land Use Plan Preparation

Example of Land Use Plan

Neighborhood Unit Concept

Essential Features

Size and Density Considerations

Comments on the Concept

Example of an Actual Neighborhood Unit Development Plan

Principles of Good Land Subdivision Design

The Context of Land Subdivision Design

Principles of Good Design

Subdivision Design Patterns

Site Analysis

Utility Service

Historic Patterns of Development and Lot Yield Efficiencies

Common Issues of Concern

Other Design Considerations

Street Patterns and Transportation Planning

Purposes of the Street System

Types of Street Patterns

Functional Classification of Streets

Street Cross Sections

Arterial Capacity and Level of Service

Arterial System Planning

Jurisdiction Classification of Streets

Mass Transit Planning

Concluding Comments

Other Plan Elements

Common Base

Characteristics of Individual Elements

Need for Study Design

Plan Implementation – Land Subdivision Control

Historical Background

Reasons for Public Regulation

Purpose of Public Regulation

Statutory Authority for Land Subdivision Control

Required Plat Approvals

Final Plat Data

Recording of Plats

Local Land Subdivision Regulation

Example Local Subdivision Control Ordinance


Standardization of Utility Locations

Improvement Guarantees

Plan Implementation - Zoning


Brief History

Benefits of Good Zoning

Zoning Techniques

Zoning District Map

Zoning District Boundary Delineation Related to Resource Protection

Zoning Ordinance Regulations

Common Zoning Problems

The Official Map

Brief History


Relationship to the Comprehensive Plan


Legal and Administrative Considerations

Engineering Considerations

Base Mapping Considerations

Facility Design Considerations

Map Format

Capital Improvement Programming

Definition and Context

Benefits of Capital Improvement Programming

Elements of a Capital Improvement Program


About the Author

A specialist in the planning, design, and construction of municipal public works, Kurt Bauer has 50 years of experience in city and regional planning and has taught city planning to civil engineers for almost as long.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Environmental Science
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Remote Sensing & Geographic Information Systems