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Planning methodologies in the United States have continually evolved and adapted to address the myriad of environmental and social issues faced by contemporary culture (e.g., Thompson and Steiner, 1997; Calthorpe, 1993), but few have provided the framework to successfully address these subjects simultaneously and comprehensively, and fewer effectively meet the evolving demands society places on human and ecological systems, especially in urbanizing areas, where ecological fragmentation and land use conflict predominates.

Currently, most spatial planning frameworks assess ecological-based and social-based systems as separate entities (Weber et al., 2006; Daniels, 2009), and our understanding of the interrelationships between these systems is incomplete (Wu, 2006). In the United States’s continually transmuting landscapes, planning practices must modify and expand (Armitage et al., 2009) to support an integrated approach to solve modern society’s complex temporal and sociospatial problems (Berkes et al., 2003; Waltner-Toews et al., 2003). In 2009, Termorshuizen and colleagues indicated the absence of such an integrated planning methodology, and to date (2013) this has not been accomplished. A crucial first step in contributing to such an approach is the initiation of a clear and consistent conceptual planning framework. This paper will provide such a framework.



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