Community and Regional Planning Program


Date of this Version



The definitive, peer-reviewed and edited version of this article is published in Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 36 (2009), pp. 522–537; doi: 10.1068/b34076 Copyright © 2008 Pion Ltd. Used by permission.


The major planning theories provide a theoretical foundation for environmental planning. This study extends the major planning theories and develops a robust conceptual framework to measure the key factors influencing local environmental-plan quality. A random sample of forty Californian local comprehensive land-use plans and associated planning processes is analyzed to identify the critical factors influencing environmental-plan quality. Results from multiple regression analysis indicate that regular updating, environmental-information management and sharing, and planners contribute significantly to local environmental-plan quality. The findings expand established planning theories and practice by suggesting ways to improve local environmental-plan quality.