Uncovering JAPA

JAPA Looks at Planning from International Perspectives

What role do international topics have in the Journal of the American Planning Association?

It turns out quite a substantial one and, in a globalizing world, this is likely to increase. In this blog post, I reflect on how JAPA already engages in international issues and how such work can make it into JAPA in the future.

JAPA's Global Planning Perspectives

JAPA publishes on international topics as they relate to scholarly debates happening in the journal.

Recent work has looked at post-suburbia in Jakarta, Indonesia; analyzed Airbnb in Sydney, Australia; used the work of Lynch to understand urban dance in Beijing, China; assessed collaborative planning in a situation of ethnic conflict in Israel; and examined post-disaster resettlement in Chuestsu, Japan.

These articles help develop new theories and concepts in planning, providing lessons for U.S. planners and others. I would like to continue and expand this international coverage.

JAPA's Editorial Board and reviewer pool is international, including those working outside the U.S., those working in the U.S. but trained abroad, and those from the U.S. with international expertise.

I was born and initially trained in Australia, for example. One of my important roles as editor is to use that pool of Editorial Board members and reviewers to help all articles contribute to international scholarly debates. This is of course easier with some pieces than others but the idea is that JAPA is not merely focused inward.

A reason for wanting international coverage is its relevance for U.S. planning practice and APA.

Planning ideas have long moved back and forth between those in the U.S. and elsewhere — think of the international garden city movement of a century or more ago. U.S. planners practice in multiple locations. U.S. educational institutions prepare international students for work around the world. Such linkages provide an important context for JAPA.

For international authors proposing to publish in JAPA, I recommend reading earlier blogs.

My posts on "What Makes a Good JAPA Article" and "How JAPA Articles Get Published" explain the journal's evaluation criteria and publication process. JAPA's instructions for authors are also very detailed. As noted in those blogs, Urban Studies has helpful and rather similar information in multiple languages.

Top image: "The Privatization of Metropolitan Jakarta's (Jabodetabek) Urban Fringes," in JAPA Vol. 83, No. 1, looked at post-suburbanization in Indonesia. Here, is an elevated road in Jakarta. Wikimedia image (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Headshot of Ann Forsyth.

Ann Forsyth

Ann Forsyth is editor of the Journal of the American Planning Association and the Ruth and Frank Stanton Professor of Urban Planning at Harvard University.

July 11, 2019

By Ann Forsyth