Citation Activity of Urban Planning Assistant Professors

Occasionally I am asked how the citation rankings for planning programs take into account the age and rank distribution of planning programs (see most recent analysis: They do not. Younger faculties have fewer overall citations compared to older faculties. For each additional average year of faculty service within a planning program, the average citation total increases by roughly 80 citations. This is not surprising. For this reason it is interesting to look at citation activity by rank for planning programs. The table below shows the top 25 planning programs, ranked by mean citations of their assistant professors. This was drawn from faculties with at least 3 assistant professors during the 2017-2018 academic year. As shown, the list has changed significantly since 2016 (see:

Table 1. Planning Programs Ranked by Mean Citations of Assistant Professors

RankSchoolNMean CitesMean H-Index
All Planning Schools2841925
2University of Washington36478
3University of Iowa361411
4University of Michigan65818
5State University of New York at Albany65047
6University of British Columbia348110
7University of Maryland43706
8University of Waterloo, Ontario63637
9Virginia Tech63596
10Harvard University33354
11University of Texas, Austin53136
12Western Michigan University43048
13University of Delaware33016
15Universite Laval42477
16University of Illinois, Chicago42365
17Ohio State University92316
18University of Calgary42223
19University of Pennsylvania42026
20Rutgers University31966
21Portland State University71965
22University at Buffalo, The State University of New York51944
23Saint Louis University31934
24University of Toronto51755
25University of Hawaii31582
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2018 Urban Planning Faculty Citation Analysis

Approximately half of urban planning faculty in the U.S. and Canada now have Google Scholar Profiles (534 out of 1,079), which makes my data collection a bit easier now than in the past. I tabulate publication and citation activity manually for individual faculty who do not have profiles. Not only do profiles help to analyze citation activity, but they also identify publications so that topics and trends can be analyzed. This assumes faculty maintain accurate profiles, which is generally true.

Each year I update faculty rosters from planning program websites, and attempt to include only “regular” (tenure track faculty) faculty at the rank of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and (Full) Professor.  The objective is to represent faculty who are full-time members of these programs – not an easy task given the wide range of faculty appointments and affiliations.  Instead of rehashing the whole methodology here, see my article in the Journal of Planning Education and Research (JPER). The following shows the most cited individuals and planning programs. Also shown are statistics by rank, years since terminal degree, and gender. Previous year results are available for 2017, 201620152014, and 2013. In addition, the full, searchable database is available here.

Table 1. Top 25 Urban Planning Faculty Ranked by Google Scholar Citations

1Michael StorperUCLA36,968
2AnnaLee SaxenianUC Berkeley25,608
3Neil BrennerHarvard University25,089
4Lawrence D. FrankUniversity of British Columbia24,469
5Stewart FotheringhamArizona State University19,111
6Reid EwingUniversity of Utah18,899
7Martha FeldmanUC Irvine17,765
8John M. BrysonUniversity of Minnesota15,664
9John ForesterCornell University14,598
10Nik TheodoreUniversity of Illinois, Chicago14.149
11Robert BullardTexas Southern University13,273
12John PomeroyUniversity of Saskatchewan11,802
13Jennifer WolchUC Berkeley10,526
14Julian AgyemanTufts University9,492
15Lawrence SusskindMIT8,941
16Dale WhittingtonUNC8,768
17Marina AlbertiUniversity of Washington8,705
18Marlon BoarnetUSC8,701
19Teresa CaldeiraUC Berkeley8,551
20Susanna B. HechtUCLA8,207
21Rob ShieldsUniversity of Alberta8,032
22William N. DunnUniversity of Pittsburgh7,926
23Genevieve GiulianoUSC7,791
24Daniel RodriguezUC Berkeley7.485
25Timothy BeatleyUniversity of Virginia7,436

Table 2. Top 25 Urban Planning Programs Ranked by Median Google Scholar Citations

RankPlanning SchoolFacultyTotalMedianMean
1Columbia University715,7412,3662,248
3New York University611,7931,9451,965
5Simon Fraser University1537,6721,6582,511
6Arizona State University1335,5021,5322,730
7Rutgers University1522,0451,4781,469
8University of Minnesota1238,1131,4173,176
9UC Berkeley1569,7541,3314,650
10University of Maryland811,7471,2911,468
13Tufts University618,9521,0313,158
14The New School for Social Research77,1361,0131,019
15Harvard University1747,0919792,770
16University of Toronto1917,218928906
17University of Saskatchewan1224,8628602,071
18University of Pittsburgh59,7157911,943
19University of Alberta1317,7737871,367
20University of Michigan2227,8657381,266
21Georgia Tech1313,8656901,066
22University of Pennsylvania1219,0506881,587
23University of Massachusetts-Amherst63,570662595
24Wayne State University44,2246331,056
25University at Buffalo, The State University of New York158,509632567

Figure 1 & 2. Citations and H-Index by Rank


Figure 3 & 4. Citations and H-Index by Years

Figure 5. Citations and H-Index by Gender

Finally, the planning faculty included here currently account for over 1.2 million citations. This total includes double-counting that result from co-authored publications by planning faculty. By far the most cited publication is AnnaLee Saxenian’s book Regional Advantage, published in 1996. The top cited journal article is Julian Agyeman’s “Mind the Gap: Why do people act environmentally and what are the barriers to pro-environmental behavior?” in Environmental Education Research (co-authored with Anja Kollmuss). See the top 25 cited publications in Table 3.

Table 3. Top 25 Cited Publications by Planning Faculty

Planning FacultyTitleCitesPublication
AnnaLee SaxenianRegional Advantage11,696Harvard University Press
John M. BrysonStrategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations4,890John Wiley & Sons
Michael StorperThe regional world: territorial development in a global economy4,728The Guilford Press
Julian AgyemanMind the Gap: why do people act environmentally and what are the barriers to pro-environmental behavior?3,804Environmental Education Research
William N. DunnPublic Policy Analysis3,747Routledge
Neil BrennerNew State Spaces: Urban Governance and the Rescaling of Statehood3,674Oxford University Press
John ForesterPlanning in the Face of Power3,330University of California Press
Robert BullardDumping in Dixie: Race, class, and environmental quality3,310Westview Press
Stewart FotheringhamGeographically Weighted Regression: The Analysis of Spatially Varying Relationships3,181John Wiley & Sons
Martha FeldmanReconceptualizing organizational routines as a source of flexibility and change2,988Administrative Science Quarterly
Neil Brenner & Nik Theodore Cities and the geographies of “actually existing neoliberalism”2,966Antipode
Rob ShieldsPlaces on the margin: Alternative geographies of modernity2,653Routledge
Teresa CaldeiraCity of walls: crime, segregation, and citizenship in São Paulo2,546University of California Press
Michael StorperThe resurgence of regional economies, ten years later2,513European Urban and Regional Studies
Michael StorperBuzz: face-to-face contact and the urban economy2,368Journal of Economic Geography
Martha FeldmanInformation in organizations as signal and symbol2,278Administrative Science Quarterly
John ForesterThe argumentative turn in policy analysis and planning2,051Duke University Press
John ForesterThe Deliberative Practitioner2,017MIT Press
Marina AlbertiComplexity of coupled human and natural systems1,936Science
Leonie SandercockTowards cosmopolis: Planning for multicultural cities1,936Academy Press
Michael StorperThe capitalist imperative: Territory, technology, and industrial growth1,930Blackwell
Robert FishmanBourgeois utopias: The rise and fall of suburbia1,888Basic Books
Albert SaizConsumer city1,863Journal of Economic Geography
AnnaLee SaxenianThe new argonauts: Regional advantage in a global economy1,759Harvard University Press
Martha FeldmanOrganizational routines as a source of continuous change1,753Organization Science

More analysis is underway, stay tuned. Your comments are greatly appreciated. Please report any errors or omissions to:

Special thanks to Lucas Mun (Virginia Tech, Computer Science) for his programming expertise.
And in case you were wondering, planning faculty with Google Scholar Profiles do have more citations and higher H-indices compared to those who do not. So, create a profile and increase your citation total today! (somewhat kidding)
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Planning Knowledge and Research (edited by Thomas W. Sanchez)

The field of urban planning is far-reaching in breadth and depth. This is due to the complex nature of cities, regions, and development processes. The knowledge domain of planning includes social, economic, technological, environmental, and political systems that continue to evolve and expand rapidly. Understanding these systems is an inter-disciplinary endeavor at the scale of several academic fields. The wide range of topics considered by planning educators and practitioners are often based on varying definitions of “planning” and modes of planning practice. This unique book discusses various elements and contributions to urban planning research to show that seemingly disparate topics do in fact intersect and together, contribute to ways of understanding urban planning. The objective is not to discuss how to “do” research, but rather, to explore the context of urban planning scholarship with implications for the planning academy and planning practice.

This edited volume includes chapters contributed by a diverse range of planning scholars who consider the corpus of planning scholarship both historically and critically in their area of expertise. It is essential reading for students of planning research and planning theory from around the world.

See the Routledge website for more details:

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2017 Urban Planning Citation Analysis

Updated: March 16, 2017

The following is the most recent update (as of 1/2017) and ranking of urban planning citation activity using Google Scholar Citations. These data are for urban planning programs and faculty in the U.S. and Canada, which currently includes 116 schools and 1,100 faculty. Faculty rosters were assembled from program websites, and attempted to include only “regular” (tenure track faculty) individuals at the rank of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and (Full) Professor.  The objective is to represent faculty who are full-time members of these programs – not an easy task given the wide range of faculty appointments and affiliations. For instance , Luc Anselin from the University of Arizona is now listed on their website as a “Research Professor” (previously “Professor”) which means he is no longer the most cited urban planning faculty member. The top position is now held by Michael Storper of UCLA (see Table 1 below). Previous year results are available for 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013. Columbia University remains the top ranked faculty based on median number of citations (see Table 2). More detail on the methodology is available in my recent article in the Journal of Planning Education and Research (JPER). In addition, the full, searchable database is available here.

Table 1 Top 25 Urban Planning Faculty Ranked by Google Scholar Citations

Table 2 Top 25 Urban Planning Programs Ranked by Median Google Scholar Citations

More analysis is forthcoming, stay tuned. Your comments are greatly appreciated. Please report any errors or omissions to:



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Ranking North American Urban Planning Scholars Using Google Scholar Citation Profiles

Inspired by Isidro Aguillo‘s ranking of scientists in Chile (see:, I prepared a ranking (by Hirsch Index) of urban planning faculty from schools in the U.S. and Canada. The list is based on the schools from my 2015 citation analysis and ranking (see: Planning Citation Analysis Update). Keep in mind this includes only planning faculty with Google Scholar Citation (GSC) profiles, where my 2015, 2014, and 2013 analyses included all planning faculty. Of the 1,000+ faculty, just over 400 had GSC profiles (as of November 30, 2016).

See Aguillo’s description of the Google Scholar Citation methodology at:

My updated ranking for 2016 will be available during January 2017 on my website along with the searchable database at: Your comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated.