Theses Master's

The Changing Values of Learning: Comprehensive Planning in White Plains and Westchester County, NY

Engle, Benjamin Samuel

Municipalities create comprehensive plans to provide a long‐term vision for growth and development and to determine the strengths and opportunities that will assist them in instituting ordinances and make future planning decisions. The New York Department of State indicates that comprehensive planning at the municipal level should provide a variety of goals and objectives that include both the intermediate and long­‐range time period. Scholars believed that comprehensive planning “would have little effect on American cities unless their goal premises can be established in sufficiently compelling fashion (both politically and intellectually) to make politicians take notice” (1965). New York State law requires local zoning to be “in accordance with comprehensive plans” but does not mandate their implementation. The State legislature’s encouragement to prepare and adopt comprehensive plans has been effective; 70% of municipalities with planning board in New York State have adopted a plan. County governments and non-­for-­profits are also developing comprehensive regional plans that are designed to guide decisions at both the municipal and regional levels. With so many plans and policies guiding an area, do the values of a local municipality match those at the county and regional levels? The methodology for approaching this question is a qualitative review of comprehensive plans created during the second half of the twentieth century. The City of White Plains provides an opportunity to evaluate how the values of a small suburban city that has undertaken multiple comprehensive plan initiatives relate to the planning values of Westchester County. Through an investigation of the past three comprehensive plans by the City of White Plains and the Westchester County Planning Board, this thesis will determine how values and initiatives are represented between the corresponding plans and whether comprehensive planning successfully addresses perennial planning initiatives and concerns.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
King, David Andrew
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
July 3, 2014