First Advisor

James Strathman

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Studies


Urban Studies




City planning -- United States -- Management, City planning -- United States -- Evaluation, Benchmarking (Management)



Physical Description

1 online resource (xi, 183 p.) : illustrations


New public management practices in the U.S. call for governmental accountability, performance measures and benchmarks. Community benchmarks research provides a basis for current information and further research for planners and educators in the urban planning profession. A benchmark is simply a standard for performance or targeted level of service delivery aspired to by the city. Community benchmarks, as defined by the researcher, are tied to an adopted community plan. Community plans take many shapes including the General or Comprehensive Plan, the city's budget document, or a variety of strategic planning documents.

The intent of the study was to complete research and survey mid-size cities to determine common performance practices for urban planning. management. The sample population was 381 cities selected from the National League of Cities and a database was created. The intent was to create a composite of key quantitative variables strongly related to the benchmark cities program. Additional terminal research was conducted from 2000 to 2004 to supplement survey results. Case studies of several select cities were conducted in order to determine the application of community benchmarks.


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