Planning research is an applied investigation that uses empirical observations in the development and assessment of plans or planning inquiry. It is an “applied research” strategy in that the planner investigates everyday situations that are commonly faced by local residents. The main purpose for research in planning is to expand on the breadth, depth, and applicability of what the planner knows about a particular topic to either serve as a foundation or improve the suitability and success of his or her developed plans.

Accessing multiple data sets and organizing research projects around a mixed-method investigative strategy is generally standard practice in planning research. This is due to the multifaceted nature of the problems addressed that requires the planner to access different qualitative and quantitative data sets ...

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