Gnarly Planning

Tools for local and global action

The book “Gnarly Planning” was published by FOCUS in hard copy and as an e-book. It is now being revised with two additional chapters, for launch in 2023.

View the presentation

Ghanian book launch


Here are some of the reviews of the original publication.

“What it does not remind me of is a traditional planning book and yet there is more information here on theory, on techniques and, above all, on the essence of planning, than in a shelf load of those conventional planning books whose authors we are taught to revere….
Jane acknowledges that it was the 2006 World Urban Forum in Vancouver which gave her the stimulus to write this book and, in particular, the focus on re-inventing planning – a movement in which CAP played such a pivotal role. This is the sort of planning that Jane Stanley amongst others had been doing since her graduation and Gnarly Planning could be seen as one of the ‘manuals’ of the new approach.”
Kelvin MacDonald, Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP)
“ ‘Gnarly Planning’ is a terrific primer for planners, planning students and citizens who share a passion for serving the needs of communities. Jane uses her personal experience to extract a variety of practical lessons. As globalization touches us all, her experience with a variety of cultures and settings from West Africa to the Philippines to Australia provide valuable insights. Understanding local politics, gathering and using information, gaining support for implementation Dr. Stanley never looses her focus on the fact that planning is first and foremost about people and relationships. Beyond the mechanics of formulas, fads and codes, Jane Stanley’s book captures the excitement and vision of being a planner. It’s sure to fire your enthusiasm while providing useful advice distilled from a very productive and diverse career.”
Jeff Soule, American Planners Association
“I just wish that this book had been written before I started branching out into community planning. This should make things so much easier for future planners working across cultures, and it’s an exciting story to read.”
Mangala Khadpekar, Australian planner hailing from India
“A very timely book which will equip beginners to appreciate the length, breadth and depth of planning in the twenty first century. It also provides a framework for experienced planners to examine their individual contributions to planning practice. Anecdotes of Ghana were interesting and made me homesick.”
Dr Samuel Boamah, Australian planner hailing from Ghana
“Books on planning especially in the Ghanaian context like this one are quite rare. I started recommending it to students even before it was launched. The book presents planning theory and practice in a historical context with interesting examples from several cultures: African, European, Asian and Australian. The book is sure to top the list of directed readings for our research students at the Masters and PhD levels for some time.”
Dr. Imoro Braimah, Department of Planning, KNUST Ghana
“Dr Jane Stanley is a planner, scholar and cultural activist making a difference touching the hearts of so many communities across the world. There are very few planners that have worked so tirelessly across cultures and practised the difficult art of locating culture as the fourth pillar of sustainable development. This volume is exceptional in the way it communicates concepts and approaches in a practical and lucid manner. It will be invaluable for all those interested in integrated local area planning.”
Dr Amareswar Galla, Professor of Museum Studies, The University of Queensland, Director, Pacific Asia Observatory for Cultural Diversity in Human Development (UNESCO) and Vice President, International Council of Museums, Paris.
“Obi-wan it is done.”