The Environmental Planning Handbook for Sustainable Communities and Regions

Second Edition

By Thomas Daniels

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Environmental protection is a global issue. But most of the action is happening at the local level. How can communities — even regions — keep their air clean, their water pure, and their people and property safe from climate and environmental hazards?

Newly updated, The Environmental Planning Handbook gives local governments, nonprofits, and citizens the guidance they need to take on the job. Author Tom Daniels tells step by step how to create an action plan for a better environment. He clarifies complex environmental issues, looks at current efforts to boost sustainability, and shows local governments how they can make environmental quality part of their planning.

Since the first edition of this essential guide came out in 2003, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, Superstorm Sandy ravaged New York and New Jersey, and drought hit two-thirds of the continental United States. Local communities can’t wait for a global response. They need to take action now. With The Environmental Planning Handbook, they have a place to start.

Instructors may request exam or desk copies here.


Read the the Preface, Introduction, and Chapter 4 (pdf)

About the Author

Tom DanielsTom Daniels is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where he directs the concentration in land use and environmental planning. He also serves as a consultant to state and local governments, land trusts, and environmental groups. His past publications include The Small Town Planning Handbook and The Planners Guide to CommunityViz from APA Planners Press.

Product Details

Page Count
Date Published
Aug. 1, 2014
APA Planners Press

Table of Contents

List of Tables
List of Figures
List of Photos
List of Acronyms
Introduction: Guarding the Future: Sustainable Environmental Planning and Development 


Chapter 1.0: Taking Stock of the Environment and Creating Environmental Plans

1.1: Adding Environmental Planning to the Comprehensive Planning Process
1.2: The Environmental Planning Process
1.3: A Further Look at Functional and Area Environmental Plans
1.4: Day-to-Day Planning Decisions: Review of Development Proposals

Chapter 2.0: The Legal, Economic, Ethical, and Ecological Foundations of Environmental Planning

2.1: Legal Issues in Environmental Planning
2.2: Economic Reasons for Environmental Planning
2.3: Ethical Reasons for Environmental Planning
2.4: Ecology and Environmental Planning


Chapter 3.0: Planning for Sustainable Air Quality

3.1: Air-Quality Problems
3.2: Federal Responses to Air-Quality Problems
3.3: The Role of the States in Planning for Air Quality
3.4: Local Planning for Air Quality
3.5: Case Study: The Land Use, Air Quality, and Transportation Study in Portland, Oregon

Chapter 4.0: Planning for Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaptation

4.1: Climate Change: Threats and Responses
4.2 Federal Actions to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Mitigation)
4.3: International Actions to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
4.4: Regional Planning to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
4.5: State Planning to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
4.6: Local Planning to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
4.7: Case Study: Portland's Climate Action Planning

Chapter 5.0: Planning for a Sustainable Water Supply

5.1: Water Supplies and Uses
5.2: Hydrology
5.3: The Need for Water Supply Planning
5.4: The Federal Role in Water Supply Planning
5.5: The Safe Drinking Water Act
5.6: State Water Supply Planning
5.7: County and Regional Water Supply Planning
5.8: Local Water Supply Planning
5.9: Case Study: New York City's Water Supply Protection Program

Chapter 6.0: Planning for Sustainable Water Quality

6.1: Water-Quality Problems
6.2: Federal Water-Quality Standards and Pollution Control
6.3: State Water-Quality Protection and Cleanup
6.4: Local Planning for Water Quality
6.5: Case Study: The Chesapeake Bay TMDL Program

Chapter 7.0: Planning for Solid Waste and Recycling

7.1: The Challenge of Managing Solid Waste
7.2: Solid Waste: The Federal Response
7.3: State Solid Waste Planning and Programs
7.4: Local and Regional Planning and Programs for Solid Waste, Reuse, and Recycling

Chapter 8.0: Toxic Substances and Hazardous Waste

8.1: The Challenge of Toxic Substances and Hazardous Waste
8.2: Federal Action on Toxic Substances
8.3: Local Planning for Toxic Substances and Hazardous Waste


Chapter 9.0: Protecting the Nation's Landscape Treasures

9.1: The Challenge of Landscape Protection
9.2: Federal Planning for Protecting the Nation's Landscape Treasures
9.3: State Programs to Protect Landscape Treasures
9.4: Local and Regional Acquisition of Open Space
9.5: Local Planning for Landscape Treasures
9.6: Case Study: Antietam Battlefield Protection

Chapter 10.0: Planning for Wildlife Habitat

10.1: Pressures on Wildlife Habitat
10.2: Federal Efforts to Protect Wildlife and Wildlife Habitat
10.3: State Planning for Wildlife and Wildlife Habitat
10.4: Nonprofit Organizations and Wildlife Habitat Protection
10.5: Local Planning for Plant and Wildlife Habitat
10.6: Case Study: Species Conservation in San Diego County

Chapter 11.0: Planning and Managing Wetlands

11.1: Pressures on Wetlands
11.2: Federal Wetland Protection Efforts
11.3: State Wetlands Management
11.4: Local Planning for Wetlands

Chapter 12.0: Coastal Zone Management

12.1: The Challenge of Coastal Zone Management
12.2: Federal Planning and Management of Coastal Resources
12.3: State and Regional Coastal Protection Programs
12.4: Local Planning for Coastal Resources
12.5: Case Study: The California Coastal Commission and the California State Coastal Conservancy

Chapter 13.0:  Planning for Natural Hazards and Natural Disasters

13.1: The Challenge of Planning for Disaster-Resistant Communities
13.2: Federal Planning for Natural Disasters and Hazard Mitigation
13.3: State Planning for Natural Disasters and Hazard Mitigation
13.4: Local Planning for Natural Disasters and Hazard Mitigation
13.5: Case Study: Hurricane Katrina


Chapter 14.0: Planning for Sustainable Working Landscapes: Farmland and Ranchland

14.1: Challenges to Maintaining Working Agricultural Landscapes
14.2: Federal Planning for Farmland Protection
14.3: State Farmland Protection Programs
14.4: Local Planning for Farmland Protection
14.5: Environmentally Responsible Farming Operations
14.6: Case Study: Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)

Chapter 15.0:  Planning for Sustainable Working Landscapes: Forestry

15.1: Forest Types
15.2: Pressures on Forests
15.3: Federal Forestland Programs
15.4: State Forestland Programs
15.5: Land Trusts and the Protection of Forestland
15.6: Local Planning for Forestlands
15.7: Case Studies: The Northern Forest Initiative and Forests and Carbon Sequestration

Chapter 16.0: Planning for Mining

16.1: Environmental Impacts of Mineral and Aggregate Mining
16.2: Federal Mining Regulations
16.3: State Mining Regulations
16.4: Local Planning for Mineral and Aggregate Resources
16.5: Case Study: Mountaintop Removal


Chapter 17.0: Planning for Energy

17.1: America's Energy Challenges: Production, Consumption, Efficiency, and Conservation
17.2: America's Energy Sources
17.3: Federal Energy Planning
17.4: State Energy Planning
17.5: Local Energy Planning

Chapter 18.0: Transportation Planning and the Environment

18.1: Transportation Planning Challenges
18.2: Federal Transportation Planning
18.3: Regional Approaches to Transportation Planning
18.4: Local Planning for Transportation
18.5: Case Study: Transportation Planning in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina

Chapter 19.0: Making Green Cities, Suburbs, and Metro Regions

19.1: The Challenges of Building and Managing Green Cities, Suburbs, and Metro Regions
19.2: Making Cities, Suburbs, and Metro Regions Into Sustainable Green Communities
19.3: The Importance of Good Design in Greening Cities and Suburbs
19.4: Federal Efforts Toward Creating Green Cities, Suburbs, and Metro Regions
19.5: State Efforts to Revitalize Cities and Older Suburbs
19.6: Local Planning for Green Cities, Suburbs, and Metro Regions
19.7: Case Study: Chattanooga, Tennessee: From Worst to First

Chapter 20.0: Greenfield Development and Site Design

20.1: The Challenge of Sprawl and Greenfield Development
20.2: Federal Programs to Manage Greenfield Development
20.3: State Programs to Manage Greenfield Development
20.4: Regional and Local Management of Greenfield Development
20.5: Local Planning for Greenfield Development
20.6 Case Study: Prairie Crossing, Illinois, and Tracking Greenfield Development vs. Urban Development


Chapter 21.0: Positive Trends and Urgent Needs for Sustainable Environmental Planning

21.1: Positive Environmental Trends
21.2: Environmental Planning Needs and Challenges
21.3: International Environmental Planning Needs
21.4: A Final Note on Sustainable Environmental Planning

Further Reading
About the Author


"The Environmental Planning Handbook for Sustainable Communities and Regions is the most current and comprehensive resource for those looking for guidance on critical environmental planning topics... Daniels's second edition is a compelling and important book for planners, elected officials, conservation groups, developers, and the public."
– Professor Philip Berke, Texas A&M University–College Station; full review in the Journal of the American Planning Association, Winter 2015

"It is hard to imagine that the preeminent text in the field could get better, but it has, through timely additions and judicious changes."
—Professor Mark Lapping, University of Southern Maine

"Thanks to the (updated) second edition, this book will continue to be indispensable to my environmental planning course. Compelling and readable, with a new emphasis on climate change planning, energy and green cities, it remains the most current and comprehensive text in the field.
—Professor Sarah Gardner, Williams College

"Updated and expanded to cover climate change mitigation and adaptation, the revised Environmental Planning Handbook remains the gold standard for students and professionals everywhere. Eminently readable, comprehensive, and insightful, the book is brimming with practical ideas to protect and enhance our environment at the local, state, and federal levels."
—Tom Hylton, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Save Our Land, Save Our Towns