History of Planning Timeline

Timeline of American Planning History

Source: http://www.txplanning.org/media/files/page/Planning_History_1785_to_2000.pdf

Source: http://www.planning.org/pathways/default.htm

Please see the first source listed for numerous links that provide specifics about the entries. Please also cite them as the source, not this site, seeing as they put it all together and obviously put a lot of time into making the timeline.


1785 Ordinance of 1785. Provided for the rectangular land survey of the Old Northwest. The rectangular survey has been called “the largest single act of national planning in our history and … the most significant in terms of continuing impact on the body politic” (Daniel Elazar).

1791 In his Report on Manufactures, Alexander Hamilton argues for protective tariffs for manufacturing industry as a means of promoting industrial development in the young republic.

1818 In a speech before Congress, Henry Clay proposes a plan (called the American System) to allocate federal funds to promote the development of the national economy by combining tariffs with internal improvements, such as roads, canals and other waterways.

1825 Erie Canal completed. This artificial waterway connected the northeastern states with the newly settled areas of what was then the West, facilitating the economic development of both regions.

1839 The National Road terminates in Vandalia, Illinois. Begun in 1811 in Cumberland, Maryland, it helps open the Ohio Valley to settlers.

1855 First “model tenement” built in Manhattan.

1862 Homestead Act opened the lands of the Public Domain to settlers for a nominal fee and five years residence.

1862 Morrill Act. Congress authorizes land grants from the Public Domain to the states. Proceeds from the sale were to be used to found colleges offering instruction in agriculture, engineering, and other practical arts.

1864 New York Council of Hygiene of the Citizens Association mounts a campaign.

1868 Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux begin the planning of Riverside Illinois, a planned suburban community stressing rural as opposed to urban amenities.

1869 The Union Pacific and the Central Pacific railroads meet at Promontory Point, Utah, on May 10 to complete the first transcontinental railroad.

1878 John Wesley Powell’s Report on the Lands of the Arid Region of the United States is published. Includes a proposed regional plan that would both foster settlement of the arid west and conserve scarce water resources.

1879 Progress and Poverty published. In this influential book Henry George presents an argument for diminishing extremes of national wealth and poverty by means of a single tax (on land) that would capture the “unearned increment” of national development for public uses.

1879 Debut of the “Dumbbell Tenement,” so called because of its shape. A form of multifamily housing widely built in New York until the end of the century and notorious for the poor living conditions it imposed on its denizens (lack of light, air, space).

1879 Establishment of U.S. Geological Survey to survey and classify all Public Domain lands.

1880-84 Building of Pullman, Illinois, model industrial town by George Pullman.

1890 How the Other Half Lives, by Jacob Riis, is published; a powerful stimulus to housing and neighborhood reform.

1891 General Land Law Revision Act gave President power to create forest preserves by proclamation.

1892 Sierra Club founded to promote the protection and preservation of the natural environment. John Muir, Scottish-American naturalist, and a major figure in the history of American environmentalism, was the leading founder.

1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago commemorating the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the New World. A source of the City Beautiful Movement and of the urban planning profession.

1896 United States v. Gettysburg Electric Railway Co. The first significant legal case concerning historic preservation. The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the acquisition of the national battlefield at Gettysburg served a valid public purpose.

1897 Forest Management Act. Authorized some control by the Secretary of the Interior over the use and occupancy of the forest preserves.

1898 Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform, by Ebenezer Howard, a source of the Garden City Movement. Reissued in 1902 as Garden Cities of Tomorrow.

1898 Gifford Pinchot becomes Chief Forester of the United States in the Department of Agriculture. From this position he publicizes the cause of forest conservation.


1901 New York State Tenement House Law. The legislative basis for the revision of city codes that outlawed tenements such as the “Dumbbell Tenement.” Lawrence Veiller was the leading reformer.

1902 U.S. Reclamation Act. Created fund from sale of public land in the arid states to supply water there through the construction of water storage and irrigation works.

1903 Letchworth constructed. First English Garden City and a stimulus to New Town movement in America (Greenbelt Towns, Columbia, etc.).

1903 President Theodore Roosevelt appoints a Public Lands Commission to propose rules for orderly land development and management.

1906 Antiquities Act of 1906: First law to institute federal protection for preserving archaeological sites. Provided for designation as National Monuments areas already in the public domain that contained “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and objects of historic or scientific interest.”

1907 Founding of New York Committee on the Congestion of Population. Fostered movement, led by its secretary, Benjamin Marsh, to decentralize New York’s dense population.

1907 President Roosevelt establishes an Inland Waterway Commission to encourage multipurpose planning in waterway development: navigation, power, irrigation, flood control, water supply.

1908 White House Conservation Conference. State governors, federal officials, and leading scientists assemble to deliberate about the conservation of natural resources.

1909 First National Conference on City Planning in Washington, D.C.

1909 Daniel Burnham’s Plan of Chicago published. First metropolitan plan in the United States. (Key figures: Frederick A. Delano, Charles Wacker, Charles Dyer Norton.)

1909 Possibly the first course in city planning in this country is inaugurated in Harvard College’s Landscape Architecture Department. Taught by James Sturgis Pray.

1911 Frederick Winslow Taylor publishes The Principles of Scientific Management, fountainhead of the efficiency movements in this country, including efficiency in city government.

1912 Walter D. Moody’s “Wacker’s Manual of the Plan of Chicago” is adopted as an eigth-grade textbook on City Planning by the Chicago Board of Education. Possibly the first formal instruction in city planning below the college level.

1913 A chair in Civic Design, first of its kind in the U.S., is created in the University of Illinois’s Department of Horticulture for Charles Mulford Robinson, one of the principal promoters of the World’s Columbian Exposition.

1914 Flavel Shurtleff writes Carrying Out the City Plan, the first major textbook on city planning.

1914 Panama Canal completed and opened to world commerce.

1914 Harland Bartholomew, eventually the country’s best known planning consultant, becomes the first full-time employee in Newark, New Jersey, of a city planning commission.

1915 Patrick Geddes, “Father of Regional Planning” and mentor of Lewis Mumford, publishes Cities in Evolution.

1916 Nelson P. Lewis published Planning of the Modern City.

1916 Nation’s first comprehensive zoning resolution adopted by New York City Board of Estimates under the leadership of George McAneny and Edward Bassett, known as the “Father of Zoning.”

1916 National Park Service established with sole responsibility for conserving and preserving resources of special value.

1917 Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. becomes first president of newly founded American City Planning Institute, forerunner of American Institute of Planners and American Institute of Certified Planners.

1918 U.S. Housing Corporation and Emergency Fleet Corporation established. Influenced later endeavors in public housing. Operated at major shipping centers to provide housing for World War I workers.

1919 Three early unifunctional regional authorities–the Metropolitan Sewerage Commission, the Metropolitan Water Board and the Metropolitan Park Commission–combined to form the Boston Metropolitan District Commission.


1921 New Orleans designates the Vieux Carre Commission, the first historic preservation commission in the U.S.

1922 Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission created. First of its kind in the United States. (Hugh Pomeroy, head of staff.)

1922 Inauguration of Regional Plan of New York under Thomas Adams.

1923 Ground broken for construction of Mariemont, Ohio, in suburban Cincinnati. Mary Emery was its founder and benefactor; John Nolen, the planner. Some of its features (short blocks, mixture of rental and owner-occupied housing) foreshadow the contemporary New Urbanism movement.

1922 Pennsylvania Coal Co. v. Mahon. The first decision to hold that a land use restriction constituted a taking. The U.S. Supreme Court (Justice Brandeis dissenting) noted “property may be regulated to a certain extent, [but] if regulation goes too far it will be recognized as a taking,” thus acknowledging the principle of a “regulatory taking.”

1924 U.S. Department of Commerce under Secretary Herbert Hoover issues a Standard State Zoning Enabling Act.

1924-28 Sunnyside Gardens, a planned neighborhood designed by Clarence Stein and Henry Wright, is built by City Housing Corporation under Alexander Bing in Queens, New York.

1925 Publication of “Regional Plan” issue of Survey Graphic, influential essays on regional planning by Lewis Mumford and other members of the Regional Planning Association of America (e.g., Catherine Bauer).

1925 Cincinnati, Ohio, becomes first major American city officially to endorse a comprehensive plan. (Alfred Bettman, Ladislas Segoe).

1925 Ernest Burgess’s “Concentric Zone” model of urban structure and land use is published.

1925 In April, The American City Planning Institute and The National Conference on City Planning publish Vol. 1, No. 1 of City Planning, ancestor of present-day Journal of the American Planning Association.

1926 Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty. Constitutionality of zoning upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. (Case argued by Alfred Bettman.)

1928 U.S. Department of Commerce under Secretary Herbert Hoover issues a Standard City Planning Enabling Act.

1928 Robert Murray Haig’s monograph “Major Economic Factors in Metropolitan Growth and Arrangement” is published in Volume I of The Regional Survey of New York and Its Environs. Viewed land use as a function of accessibility.

1928 Construction of Radburn, New Jersey, begun. Planned community inspired by Howard’s Garden City concept and designed by Stein and Wright. A forerunner of the New Deal’s Greenbelt towns.

1929 Clarence Perry’s monograph on the Neighborhood Unit is published in Volume VII of The Regional Survey of New York and Its Environs.

1929 Wisconsin law, first instance of rural zoning, authorized county boards “to regulate, restrict and determine the areas within which agriculture, forestry and recreation may be conducted.”

1929 Stock market crash in October ushers in Great Depression and fosters ideas of public planning on a national scale.

1931 National Land Utilization Conference convened in Chicago. Three hundred agricultural experts deliberate on rural recovery programs and natural resource conservation.

1932 Federal Home Loan Bank System established to shore up shaky home financing institutions.

1932 Reconstruction Finance Corporation established at the outset of the Great Depression to revive economic activity by extending financial aid to failing financial, industrial, and agricultural institutions.

1933 FDR inaugurated. New Deal begins with a spate of counter-depression measures.

1933 Home Owners Loan Corporation established to save homeowners facing loss through foreclosure.

1933 The National Planning Board established in the Interior Department to assist in the preparation of a comprehensive plan for public works under the direction of Frederick Delano, Charles Merriam, Wesley Mitchell. Its last successor agency, the National Resources Planning Board, was abolished in 1943.

1933 Civilian Conservation Corps established to provide work for unemployed youth and to conserve nation’s natural resources.

1933 Federal Emergency Relief Administration set up under Harry Hopkins to organize relief work in urban and rural areas.

1933 Tennessee Valley Authority created to provide for unified and multipurpose rehabilitation and redevelopment of the Tennessee Valley, America’s most famous experiment in river-basin planning. Senator George Norris of Nebraska fathered idea, and David Lilienthal was its most effective implementer.

1933 The Agricultural Adjustment Act is passed to regulate agricultural trade practices, production, prices, supply areas (and therefore land use) as a recovery measure.

1934 American Society of Planning Officials founded, an organization for planners, planning commissioners and planning-related public officials.

1934 National Housing Act. Established FSLIC for insuring savings deposits and the FHA for insuring individual home mortgages.

1934 Taylor Grazing Act is passed, its purpose to regulate the use of the range in the West for conservation purposes.

1934 “Final Report” by the National Planning Board on its first year of existence. Includes a section entitled “A Plan for Planning” and an account of the “Historical Development of Planning in the United States.” The latter views American planning history in the context of U.S. political and economic history.

1935 Resettlement Administration established under Rexford Tugwell, Roosevelt “braintruster,” to carry out experiments in land reform and population resettlement. This agency built the three Greenbelt towns (Greenbelt, Maryland; Greendale, Wisconsin; Greenhills, Ohio) forerunners of present day New Towns: Columbia, Maryland; Reston, Virginia; etc.)

1935 Publication date of Regional Factors in National Planning by the National Resources Committee, a landmark in regional planning literature.

1935 Soil Conservation Act. Congress moves to make prevention of soil erosion a national responsibility.

1935 The Historic Sites, Buildings and Antiquities Act, a predecessor of the National Historic Preservation Act, passed. Requires the Secretary of the Interior to identify, acquire, and restore qualifying historic sites and properties and calls upon federal agencies to consider preservation needs in their programs and plans.

1935 Social Security Act passed to create a safety net for elderly. Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor and first woman cabinet member, was a principal promoter.

1935 Congress authorizes construction of the Grande Coulee Dam in Central Washington State. Finished in 1941, it is the largest concrete structure in the U.S. and the heart of the Columbia Basin Project, a regional plan comparable in its scope to TVA. The project’s purposes are irrigation, electric power generation and flood control in the Pacific Northwest.

1936 Hoover Dam on the Colorado River completed. Creates and sustains population growth and industrial development in Nevada, California, and Arizona.

1937 Our Cities: Their Role in the National Economy. A landmark report by the Urbanism Committee of the National Resources Committee. (Ladislas Segoe headed research staff.)

1937 U.S. Housing Act (Wagner-Steagall). Set the stage for future government aid by appropriating $500 million in loans for low-cost housing. Tied slum clearance to public housing.

1937 Farm Security Administration established, successor to the Resettlement Administration and administrator of many programs to aid the rural poor.

1938 The American Institute of Planners, the planning field’s professional organization, states as its purpose: “… the planning of the unified developoment of urban communities and their environs, and of states, regions and the nation, as expressed through determination of the comprehensive arrangement of land uses and land occupancy and the regulation thereof.”

1939 Homer Hoyt’s influential “sector theory” of urban growth appears in his monograph, The Structure and Growth of Residential Neighborhoods in American Cities.


1941 Local Planning Administration, by Ladislas Segoe, first of “Green Book” series, appears.

1941 Robert Walker’s Planning Function in Urban Government published.

1944 Bretton Woods (New Hampshire) Agreement. The U.S. and allies meet to establish the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank).

1944 Serviceman’s Readjustment Act (“G.I. Bill”). Guaranteed loans for homes to veterans under favorable terms, thereby accelerating the growth of suburbs.

1947 Housing and Home Financing Agency (predecessor of HUD) created to coordinate federal government’s various housing programs.

1947 Construction of Park Forest, Illinois, and Levittown, New York, begun.

1947 Secretary George C. Marshall uses his Harvard College commencement address to propose the Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of postwar Europe.

1949 Housing Act (Wagner-Ellender-Taft Bill). First U.S. comprehensive housing legislation. Aimed to construct about 800,000 units. Inaugurated urban redevelopment program.

1949 The National Trust for Historic Preservation is created and chartered by Congress.

1954 In Berman v. Parker, U.S. Supreme Court upholds right of Washington, D.C. Redevelopment Land Agency to condemn properties that are unsightly, though non-deteriorated, if required to achieve objectives of duly established area redevelopment plan.

1954 In Brown v. Board of Education (Topeka, Kansas), Supreme Court upholds school integration.

1954 Housing Act of 1954. Stressed slum prevention and urban renewal rather than slum clearance and urban redevelopment as in the 1949 act. Also stimulated general planning for cities under 25,000 population by providing funds under Section 701 of the act. “701 funding” later extended by legislative amendments to foster statewide, interstate, and substate regional planning.

1954 The Council of Government movement (COGS) begins in the Detroit area with the formation of a Supervisors’ Inter-County Committee composed of the representatives of each county in southeastern Michigan for the purpose of confronting areawide problems. It soon spreads nationwide.

1956 Congress passes multibillion dollar Federal Aid Highway Act to create interstate highway system linking all state capitals and most cities of 50,000 population or more.

1957 F. Stuart Chapin publishes Urban Land Use Planning.

1957 Education for Planning. A seminal, book-length inquiry by Harvey S. Perloff into the “appropriate intellectual, practical and ‘philosophical’ basis for the education of city and regional planners …”

1959 A “Multiple Land Use Classification System” (A. Guttenberg) published in Journal of American Institute of Planners. The first approach to the definition of land-use classifications in multidimensional terms.

1959 Congress establishes the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR), with members from various branches of government. Serves primarily as a research agency and think tank in area of intergovernmental relations.

1959 The American Collegiate Schools of Planning (ASCP) is born when a few department heads of planning schools get together at the annual ASIP conference to confer on common problems and interests regarding the education of planners.

1959 The St. Lawrence Seaway is completed. This joint U.S.-Canada project created, in effect, a fourth North American seacoast, opening the American heartland to sea-going vessels.


1960 Image of the City by Kevin Lynch defines basic elements of city’s “imageability” (paths, edges, nodes, etc.).

1961 The Death and Life of Great American Cities, by Jane Jacobs, includes a critique of planning and planners.

1961 Richard Hedman and Fred Bair publish And On the Eighth Day, a hilarious book of cartoons poking fun at the planning profession by two of our own.

1961 Hawaii becomes first state to institute statewide zoning.

1961 A Delaware River Basin Commission representing the states of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania is created to foster joint management of the river’s water resources.

1962 The urban growth simulation model emerges in the Penn-Jersey Transportation Study.

1962 “A Choice Theory of Planning,” seminal article in AIP Journal by Paul Davidoff and Thomas Reiner, lays basis for advocacy planning concept.

1962 Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring is published and wakes the nation to the deleterious effects of pesticides on animal, plant and human life.

1962 The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors establishes Virginia’s first residential planned community zone, clearing the way for the creation of Reston, a full-scale, self-contained New Town 18 miles from Washington, D.C.

1963 Columbia, Maryland, a new town situated about halfway between Washington and Baltimore, featuring some class integration and the neighborhood principle.

1964 T.J. Kent publishes The Urban General Plan.

1964 Civil Rights Act outlaws discrimination based on race, creed, and national origin in places of public accommodation.

1964 The Federal Bulldozer by Martin Anderson indicts then-current urban renewal program as counterproductive to its professed aims of increased low- and middle-income housing supply. With Herbert Gans’s The Urban Villagers (1962), a study of the consequences for community life in a Boston West End Italian-American community, contributes to a change in urban policy.

1964 In a commencement speech at the University of Michigan, President Lyndon Johnson declares war on poverty and urges congressional authorization of many remedial programs, plus the establishment of a cabinet-level Department of Housing and Community Development.

1965 A White House Conference on Natural Beauty in America is convened on May 24 and 25, owing much to the interest and advocacy of the First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson.

1965 Housing and urban policy achieve cabinet status when the Housing and Home Finance Agency is succeeded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Robert Weaver becomes HUD’s first Secretary and nation’s first African-American cabinet member.

1965 Congress passes the Water Resources Management Act authorizing Federal-Multistate river basin commissions.

1965 The Public Work and Economic Development Act passes Congress. This act establishes the Economic Development Administration to extend coordinated, multifaceted aid to lagging regions and foster their redevelopment.

1965 The Appalachian Regional Planning Act establishes a region comprising all of West Virginia and parts of 12 other states, plus a planning commission with the power to frame plans and allocate resources.

1965 John Reps publishes The Making of Urban America, the first comprehensive history of American urban planning beginning with colonial times.

1966 The Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act launched the “model cities” program, an interdisciplinary attack on urban blight and poverty. A centerpiece of President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” program.

1966 With Heritage So Rich, a seminal historic preservation book, is published.

1966 National Historic Preservation Act passed. Establishes the National Register of Historic Places and provides, through its Section 106, for the protection of preservation-worthy sites and properties threatened by federal activities. This act also creates the national Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and directs that each state appoint a State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO).

1966 Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act provides protection to parkland, wildlife refuges, and other preservation-worthy resources in building national roads. Unlike parkland and wildlife refuges, however, privately owned historic sites as well as those in public ownership are protected by Section 4(f).

1967 The planning profession reaches its 50th anniversary with a celebratory conference in Washington, D.C. Many of the earliest practitioners and founders of the profession attend together with eminent leaders of other professions.

1967 The “(Louis B.) Wetmore Amendment” drops the final phrase in the 1938 AIP declaration of purpose which tied it to the comprehensive arrangement and regulation of land use. The effect is to broaden the scope and membership of the profession by including “social planners” as well as “physical planners.”

1968 To implement Intergovernmental Relations Act of 1968 the Office of Management and Budget issues Circular A-95 requiring state and substate regional clearinghouses to review and comment on federally assisted projects to facilitate coordination among the three levels of government.

1969 Ian McHarg publishes Design with Nature, tying planning to the natural environment.

1969 National Environmental Policy Act requires an “environmental impact statement” for every federal or federally aided state or local major action that might significantly harm the environment.

1969 Mel Scott publishes American City Planning Since 1890. Reissued in 1995 by the American Planning Association.

1970 First “Earth Day,” January 1.

1970 Federal Environment Protection Agency established to administer main provisions of the Clean Air Act (1970).

1970 The Miami Valley (Ohio) Regional Planning Commission Housing Plan is adopted, the first such plan in the nation to allocate low- and moderate-income housing on a “fair share” basis.

1971 AIP adopts a Code of Ethics for professional planners.

1972 Coastal Zone Management Act adopted.

1972 General revenue sharing inaugurated under the U.S. State and Local Fiscal Assistance Act.

1972 In Golden v. Planning Board of Ramapo, New York high court allows the use of performance criteria as a means of slowing community growth.

1972 Demolition of St. Louis’s notorious Pruitt-Igoe Project symbolizes a nationwide move away from massive, isolating, high-rise structures to a more humane form of public housing architecture: low-rise, less isolated, dispersed.

1973 Endangered Species Act. Authorized Federal assistance to state and local jurisdictions to establish conservation programs for endangers plant and animal species.

1974 The Housing and Community Development Act replaces the categorical grant with the block grant as the principal form of federal aid for local community development.

1975 Cleveland Policy Plan Report shifts emphasis from traditional land-use planning to advocacy planning.

1976 Historic Preservation Fund established.

1977 First exam for AIP membership conducted.

1978 Penn Central Transportation Co. v. City of New York, 438 U.S. 104 (1978): U.S. Supreme Court upholds New York City’s Landmark Preservation Law as applied to Grand Central Terminal. In this landmark decision, the Court found that barring some development of air rights was not a taking when the interior of the property could be put to lucrative use.

1978 American Institute of Planners (AIP) and American Society of Planning Officials (ASPO) merge to become American Planning Association (APA).

1980 “Reagan Revolution” begins. Planning profession challenged to adapt to a new (counter-New Deal) policy environment: reduced federal domestic spending, privatization, deregulation, etc. Phase-out of some earlier aids to planning (e.g., sewer grants) and planning programs (e.g., “Title V Regions”).

1980 Superfund Bill passed by Congress (Comprehensive Response, Compensation and Liability Act). Creates liability for persons discharging hazardous waste into the environment. Taxes polluting industries to establish a trust fund for the cleanup of polluted sites in cases where individual responsibility is not ascertainable.

1980 The Associated Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) is established to represent the academic branch of the planning profession.

1981 ACSP issues Volume 1, Number 1 of The Journal of Education and Planning Research.

1983 In a case focusing on Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, the New Jersey Supreme Court rules that all 567 municipalities in the state must build their “fair share” of affordable housing. A precedent-setting blow against racial segregation.

1984 Construction begins on Seaside, Florida, one of the earliest examples of the New Urbanism. (Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk). Unlike most earlier planned communities, the New Urbanism emphasizes urban features — compactness, walkability, mixed use — and promotes a nostalgic architectural style reminiscent of the traditional urban neighborhood. The movement has links to the anti-sprawl, smart growth movement.

1986 The First National Conference on American Planning History is convened in Columbus, Ohio and leads to the founding of the Society 0f American City and Regional Planning History (SACRPH) the following year.

1987 In First English Evangelical Lutheran Church v. County of Los Angeles, U.S. Supreme Court finds that even a temporary taking requires compensation. In Nollan v. California Coastal Commission, it finds that land-use restrictions, to be valid, must be tied directly to a specific public purpose.

1989 The Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) is recognized by the Washington-based Council on Post Secondary Education to be the sole accrediting agency in the field of professional planning education.

1991 Passage of Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) includes provisions for a National Scenic Byways Program and for transportation enhancements, each of which includes a historic preservation component.

1992 In Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council, the U.S. Supreme Court limits local and state governments’ ability to restrict private property without compensation.

1993 Enterprise Zone/Empowerment Community (EZ/EC) proposal signed into law. Aims tax incentives, wage tax credits, special deductions, and low-interest financing to a limited number of impoverished urban and rural communities to jumpstart their economic and social recovery.

1994 In Dolan v. City of Tigard, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that a jurisdiction must show that there is a “rough proportionality ” between the adverse impacts of a proposed development and the exactions it wishes to impose on the developer.

1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) among U.S., Canada and Mexico begins on January 1, its purpose to foster trade and investment among the three nations by removing or lowering non-tariff as well as tariff barriers.

1999 American Institute of Certified Planners inaugurates a College of Fellows to recognize distinguished individual contributions by longer term AICP members.

2000  President Clinton Creates 8 new national monuments in 5 western states: Canyons of the Ancients (Colorado); Cascade-Siskiyou (Oregon); Hanford Reach (Washington); Ironwood Forest, Grand Canyon-Parashant, Agua Fria (Arizona); Grand Sequoia, California Coastal (California). He also expanded one existing national monument in California (Pinnacles).