critical planning call for papers

After 20 years in existence, Critical Planning, the graduate student-run journal of the UCLA Urban Planning Department, has updated its mission statement. The journal began in 1993 as a forum for the urban studies and planning communities to debate current issues, showcase emerging research, and propose new ideas concerning cities and regions. But, as cities and planning have continued to evolve, so has the mission of the journal. In recognition of this, we have created the following mission statement:

The core mission of Critical Planning is to promote criticality and social justice. We are committed to doing this through:

· Advancing imaginative, nontraditional analyses and interpretations of contemporary issues.

· Encouraging scholars and practitioners to remain self-reflexive and critical of the status quo

· Seeking out works that elevate the voices of the underrepresented and explore new methods of empowering communities

· Connecting different groups and individuals to the larger global movement for social justice.

In pursuit of these ends, Critical Planning also seeks out new forms of knowledge and modes of representation. The journal is thus not only a space for planning scholars and practitioners, but also activists, artists, organizers and others who take “the city,” however defined, as their object of inquiry.

We believe that in order to improve cities–make them more livable, environmentally sustainable, and equitable–we must first create a forum for all voices to contribute their perspective and way of knowing. Through the publication of a variety of formats, including photo essays, fictional narratives, visual art, op-eds, as well as original academic research, we hope to depart from the traditional hierarchy of academic journals, and collapse the hapless divide between the University and the public.

For our 21st volume, we invite submissions that align with the goals and values outlined above. As stated, we welcome submissions of all types and from all academic disciplines. We encourage submissions that incorporate cross-disciplinary, multi-scalar, multi-sited, transnational, or mixed-method approaches. Authors will be selected based on the level of criticality in their work, and/or its advancement of social justice.

The 2013 Edward W. Soja Prize for Critical Thinking in Urban and Regional Research will be awarded to the best work published in the 20th volume of Critical Planning. The prize celebrates the lifetime achievements of this critical thinker whose work continues to open new research directions for the theoretical and practical understanding of contemporary cities and regions. Preference will be given to authors speaking to critical issues outside the research agendas of traditional funding agencies and institutional donors. A cash prize of $1,000 will be awarded to the author of the winning article.

Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis, and we highly encourage early submissions. Feel free to contact us by email to discuss your ideas. All academic submissions should be written according to the standards of the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition. Please follow the journal’s additional style guidelines for submissions. Manuscripts should be submitted by February 15, 2014 as .doc attachments via email to We look forward to reviewing your submissions!