Basic Methods of Policy Analysis and Planning

Carl Patton / David Sawicki / Jennifer Clark
Februar 2013
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Basic Methods of Policy Analysis and Planning presents quickly applied methods for analyzing and resolving planning and policy issues at state, regional, and urban levels.


Divided into two parts--Methods, which presents quick methods in nine chapters and is organized around the steps in the policy analysis process, and Cases which presents seven policy cases, ranging in degree of complexity--the text provides students with the resources they need for effective policy planning and analysis. Quantitative and qualitative methods are systematically combined to address policy dilemmas and urban planning problems. Students and analysts utilizing this text gain comprehensive skills and background needed to impact public policy.


Learning Goals

  •        Analyze and resolve planning and policy issues at the state, regional, and urban level.
  •        Combine quantitative and qualitative methods to address policy dilemmas and urban planning problems.



  • Nine methods chapters with chapter summaries, glossaries and in-text chapter exercises to enhance student-learning (ex. p. iii)
  • Seven applied policy case chapters derived from real-world examples promote application of course concepts (ex. p. v)
  • Quantitative and qualitative approaches in a step-by-step process are integrated throughout the text (ex. p. 43)
  • Extensive discussion of professional ethics in policy analysis and planning introduces students to the ethical implications involved (ex. p. 27)
  • Analytical graphics are provided throughout the methods chapters for visual examples (ex. p. 39)
  • Research guidance on web-based data tools and data sources is provided to students to assist analysis and planning (ex. p. 81)
  • Comprehensive Instructors Manual available for download at

New to this Edition

  • A new emphasis on web-based training tools for gathering policy research, acquiring publicly-available data, and utilizing on-line analysis interfaces has been added to give students the most current methods available for research. (ex. p. 81)
  • Discussions have been expanded to include new methods¿ in the field including quick tools for spatial analysis, on-line mapping, and gathering data for spatial analysis applications. (ex. p. 116)
  • Pedagogical figures and boxes have been updated to provide current and engaging visual examples of theories and concepts discussed in the text. (ex. p. ix)
  • Updated case information had been included to reflect changes in the real-world policy environment such as new legislation, increased public interest in sustainability and environmental impacts and regional planning. Students are able to analyze Public Policy in the context of real-world current events and issues. (ex. p. 191)
  • Exercises have been revised and updated to offer students opportunities to practice and apply the methods of policy analysis and planning they learn in a classroom setting. (ex. p. 58)

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: The Need for Simple Methods of Policy Analysis and Planning

Chapter 2: The Policy Analysis Process

Chapter 3: Crosscutting Methods

Chapter 4: Verifying, Defining, and Detailing the Problem

Chapter 5: Establishing Evaluation Criteria

Chapter 6: Identifying Alternatives

Chapter 7: Evaluating Alternative Policies

Chapter 8: Displaying Alternatives and Distinguishing among Them

Chapter 9: Monitoring and Evaluating Implemented Policies



Chapter 10: Downtown Development

Chapter 11: Defending against Accusations of Discriminatory Housing Practices

Chapter 12: Municipal Garbage: Solid-Waste Collection Methods

Chapter 13: University On Campus Parking Policies

Chapter 14: Emergency Aid for Home Heating Fuel: Developing an Allocation


Chapter 15: A State Tax on Plastic Shopping Bags

Chapter 16: Public-Private Redevelopment Projects: The Case of Underground




Carl V. Patton, President Emeritus and Professor of Public Management and Policy at Georgia State University, has taught and conducted research across the U.S. and in Greece, Indonesia and China. He holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley. His other book topics include quick answers to quantitative problems, infrastructure deterioration, self-built housing, and early retirement options.


David S. Sawicki, Professor Emeritus of City and Regional Planning and Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology, has published over eighty articles in refereed journals in policy and planning. He holds a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University. He has chaired planning programs at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as well as Georgia Tech, been Senior Advisor for Data and Policy Analysis at The Carter Center's Atlanta Project, and recently edited the Journal of the American Planning Association of six years.


Jennifer J. Clark, Associate Professor of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology, teaches courses in urban and regional economic development theory, analysis, and practice as well as research design and methods. She holds a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University. Her research and publications address the subject of national and regional development policies related to manufacturing and innovation systems.



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