The Article “A Trail Across” by Tim Daniels

Environmental planning nowadays is crucial to ensuring the sustainable development of every country. In his article A Trail Across, Time Daniels analyzes the environmental planning in the United States, defining five periods of its formation.

The activists of the Progressive era in the early XX century advocated for physical measures of environmental planning. Among those were building of urban parks and playgrounds, development of city beautiful plans and creation of garden cities, wildlife protection, and natural resources conservation with the latter being more prevalent one. During the Second era, dating from the 1920s to 1969, much attention was devoted to regional ecological planning, governmental regulation of wilderness protection and “incorporating science into environmental assessment” (Daniels, 2009, p. 5).

Due to the increased levels of air and water pollution in the 1970-s, the planners of the Modern era focused on the adoption of pollution cleanup acts, reduction of negative effects of suburban sprawl and development of environmental planning at the state and local levels.

The key problem of the Fourth Era, from 1982 to 2008, to Daniels point of view, was “a backlash against government environmental regulation” in an attempt to create a cooperative environment for the private sector (Daniels, 2009, p. 7). This period was also characterized by the spread of land preservation trusts. The modern Fifth era is the time of sustainability, ecological urban planning, and global environmental protection. The efforts today are devoted to coping with global environmental problems and preservation of the planet for future generations.

In conclusion, for the environmental planning to be successful, the author suggests that planners should focus on minimization of sprawling urban development, promotion of environmental friendliness among businesses, propagation of land ethic and incorporation of environmental planning into the political process.

Land use planning and waste management have in the last decades transformed into an enormous field of scientific research. Covering a considerable period from 1971 to 1997, Hostovsky in his annotated bibliography offers a comprehensive overview of the most worthwhile publications in the field.

The author tries to understand the reasons for rising public hostility to land planning in Canada and the United States. He suggests that this was due to the insufficient attention of practicing planners to modern planning theories and models. For his analysis, the author used such planning journals as Journal of the American Planning Association, Journal of Planning Education and Research and Plan Canada, waste management journals Waste Management and Research and Resources, Conservation and Recycling and two journals in overall environmental management namely Journal of Environmental Management and Environmental Management (Hostovsky, 2000, p. 306).

The articles were divided according to disciplines, authors’ professions and nationality. Concerning the research methods, Hostovsky applied six planning approaches developed by Briassoulis, who distinguished comprehensive-rational, incremental, adaptive, contingency, advocacy and participatory models of environmental planning (Hostovsky, 2000, p. 307).

The results of the research showed that the comprehensive-rational model was the most common among the land planning authors, while adaptive techniques were predominant among the waste and environmental management authors. The comprehensive-rational model considers planning in its social and economic perspective while adaptive focuses on dynamic computer modelling.

None of the articles within the blocks were published with high periodicity during the 70-s and early 80-s; environmental management journals published the least accurate waste-related articles. The authors were mainly professional environmental planners and less – engineers and ecological scientists. Several articles were written by social scientists and government officials. Concerning the nationality, most of the authors were Canadians, Americans, and Europeans. European authors paid the least attention to the public opinion on environmental planning.

Thus, it can be seen that the publications of the period were focused both on general and practical aspects of environmental planning and management and could be used to establish effective environmental policies.


Daniels, T. (2009). A trail across time. American environmental planning from city beautiful to sustainability. Journal of the American Planning Association, 75(2), 178-192.

Hostovsky, C. (2000). Integrating planning theory and waste management – an annotated bibliography. Journal of Planning Literature, 15(1), 305-332.