top of page

Famous Urban Planning Quotes


The Fun Ones

Top Ten Urban Planning Quotes

10  A suburb is where they cut all the trees to build houses, then name the streets after trees. --Bill Vaughn

  9  The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit. - Nelson Henderson

  8  Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

  7  Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood. --Daniel H. Burnham, architect

  6  Always plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark. --Richard Cushing

  5  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. --Jesus

  4  By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. --Benjamin Franklin

  3  Where there is no vision, the people perish. --Proverbs 29:18

  2  Begin with the End in mind. --Stephen R. Covey

  1  Today's problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them. --Albert Einstein

Fun Urban Planning Quotes

  • BANANAS! Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything!

  • There's a simple solution to our traffic problems. We'll have business build the roads,
    and government build the cars. --Will Rogers

  • The good thing about small cars is that you can fit twice as many into a traffic jam.

  • Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for. --Will Rogers

  • A plan that everyone dislikes for different reasons is a success. A plan everyone dislikes for the same reason is a failure. A plan that everyone likes for the same reason is an act of God! --Richard Carson

  • Every public action which is not customary, either is wrong or, if it is right, is a dangerous precedent. It follows that nothing should ever be done for the first time. --F.M. Cornford

  • Always plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark. --Richard Cushing

  • Good judgment is the result of experience. Experience is frequently the result of bad judgment. --Robert Lovett

  • The suburb is a place where someone cuts down all the trees to build houses,
    and then names the streets after the trees. --Bill Vaughn

  • Democrats say government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. Republicans say government doesn't work, and then they get elected and prove it. - P.J. O'Rourke

  • Prediction is difficult, especially about the future. - Yogi Berra

  • The future isn’t what it used to be. –Yogi Berra (originally Paul Valery)

  • The home is where part of the family waits until the others are through with the car. - Herbert Prochnow

  • The thing generally raised on city land is taxes. - Charles Dudley Warner

Yogi Berra Quotes - Planning Related

  1. When you come to a fork in the road, take it. 
    (Fork in the road... now there's a traffic calming idea!)

  2. No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded. 
    (Congestion - a sign of success!)

  3. The future ain’t what it used to be. 
    (Travel demand modelers often over-estimate future congestion)

  4. You can observe a lot by just watching. 
    (Slow down, take a walk, create "Places" that are worth seeing!)

  5. It ain’t over till it’s over.   
    (Keep going!  Someday sustainable development will be the norm)

  6. It’s like déjà vu all over again.  
    (Pre-WWII urbanism is coming back, because it was good!)

  7. Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical. 
    (Cities would do well to invest in solid planning, or the physical result will suffer)

  8. ​So I’m ugly. I never saw anyone hit with his face. 
    (Get bang for your buck - avoid gold-plated "ribbon-cutting" projects).

  9. Little League baseball is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets. 
    (Stroads keep all people off the streets - so sad!)

  10. If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be. 
    (Don't over do it: Encourage incremental urbanism, variety, mix of rich and poor, organic growth - real life!)

  11. Slump? I ain’t in no slump… I just ain’t hitting. 
    (Consultants on a losing streak... Stay in the game!)

  12. If you ask me anything I don’t know, I’m not going to answer. 
    (People trust what you say that you know... when you quickly admit what you don't know).

  13. If I didn’t make it in baseball, I won’t have made it workin’. I didn’t like to work. 
    (If you love what you do, you can be great!)

  14. A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.
    (Stroads and "big" killed downtown's nickel arcades and a lot of other cool urban things)

  15. I never said most of the things I said.
    (Don't blame anyone for bad urbanism. They wouldn't admit it anyway.  Just fix it!)


bottom of page