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Urban Planning


To find a specific journal or an article published in a particular journal, see our Find journals guide.

Core databases

  • Urban Studies Abstracts - Covers areas essential to urban studies, including city planning, urban affairs, community development, transportation, and urban design.
  • Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals - Includes articles on the subjects of architecture, landscape architecture, city planning, historic preservation, and urban design.
  • Scopus - A major multidisciplinary database that includes backward and forward citation linking as well as citation counts.
  • Web of Science - A major multidisciplinary database for the Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities, as well as the Sciences. Includes backward and forward citation linking as well as citation counts.

Additional databases

  • EconLit  
    Core scholarly literature on economic topics.
  • Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management Database  
    Multidisciplinary, comprehensive coverage of the environmental sciences.
  • GEOBASE - Multidisciplinary database containing research on the earth sciences, ecology, geology, human and physical geography, environmental sciences, oceanography, geomechanics, alternative energy sources, pollution, waste management, and nature conservation.
  • Google Scholar - Searches scholarly literature across disciplines and sources and includes some grey literature. Search commands differ from those in academic databases, so use the Google search tips found here: google_tips_handout.pdf.
  • GreenFILE - Focuses on human impact on the environment. Topics covered include green issues, global climate change, green building, pollution, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, recycling, and more.
  • GREENR - Devoted to the study of sustainability and the environment and provides access to academic articles, news articles, background information, video, primary source documents and statistics.
  • PubMed - Journal article database of the National Library of Medicine in the U.S. Some coverage of health-related topics in Planning such as the impact of the built environment, social determinants of health, and climate change issues. 
  • PAIS International - Covers global public policy, social issues, demography, environmental studies, general social sciences.
  • TRID - Transportation research. Combines the records from TRB's Transportation Research Information Services Database (TRIS) and the OECD's Joint Transport Research Centre’s International Transport Research Documentation Database (ITRD). Also contains articles and papers from peer-reviewed journals, conference proceedings, technical reports, and more.

Grey Literature

Sources for searching for grey literature

Grey literature is information produced outside of traditional publishing - government documents, reports, working papers, urban plans, etc. This information is often produced by organizations "on the ground" (such as NGOs and IGOs) where dissemination of information and reporting on activities is the goal before publishing an academic article or book.

  • Carleton University's Find Canadian Government Publications on the Web - Google Custom Search that searches across Canadian government websites with the option to limit to federal, provincial, or municipal information.

  • Canadian electronic library: Canadian public policy collection - Publications from Canadian public policy institutes, government agencies, advocacy groups, think tanks, university research centres, and public interest groups.

  • IGO Search - Google Custom Search of IGO websites for reports and other publications. 

  • NGO Search - Custom Google Search of NGO websites for reports and other publications  

  • Google Scholar - Searches scholarly literature across disciplines and sources and includes some grey literature.

  • McGill Library Subject Guide for Theses and Dissertations - Lists sources for locating theses and dissertations from McGill and beyond.  

  • McGill Library Urban Plan Collection - Database of reports and plans for urban and rural areas from all Canadian provinces. Some American and international material. Years covered at present are roughly 1950-2006. Database will provide a box number for the print material, which can be found along shelved along the south wall of the Blackader-Lauterman Collection on the 3rd floor of the Redpath Library Building.  

  • Urban Studies and Planning Commons - Scholarship from hundreds of universities and colleges. Provides open access to peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, dissertations, working papers, conference proceedings, and other original scholarly work.

Urban Planning Journals

Here is a list of selected journals on or related to Urban Planning:

  • Cities
    Find it online

  • Environment and Planning A
    Find it online

  • Environment and Planning B. Planning & Design
    Find it online

  • Environment and Planning C. Government & Policy
    Find it online

  • Environment and Planning D. Society & Space
    Find it online

  • Habitat International
    Find it online

  • Journal of the American Planning Association
    Find it online

  • Journal of Architectural and Planning Research
    Find it online

  • Journal of Planning Education and Research
    Find it online

  • Journal of Planning History
    Find it online

  • Journal of Planning Literature
    Find it online

  • Journal of Transport and Land Use

  • Journal of Urban Design
    Find it online

  • Journal of Urban Planning and Development
    Find it online

  • Plan Canada
    NA9000 P55x in Blackader-Lauterman

  • Planning Perspectives
    Find it online

  • Urban History
    Find it online


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David Greene
Humanities & Social Sciences Library

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