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City planning is a continuous, public process that guides how complex issues such as the provision of infrastructure and the maintenance of an affordable housing stock are balanced with limited community resources. It is the means of creating and maintaining a desirable environment that promotes the health, safety, and well-being of community residents. Using professional planners as guides, communities identify a common vision and collective set of goals for their future. Citizens, with the assistance of planners, decide how their community can be improved today and in the future. Once a community's vision and goals have been determined, city planning provides overall guidance and direction for growth, development, and redevelopment, frequently over a 20-year time period.

American cities have always had some form of planning, dating ...

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