Lewis D. Hopkins
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,Emeritus Professor
Lewis D. Hopkins, FAICP
111 Temple Buell Hall
611 E Lorado Taft Dr
Champaign, IL 61820
Personal Website:

Current Affiliation:


  • PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 1975

Ongoing and upcoming research

How can we choose appropriate geographic, functional, organizational, and temporal scopes for plans?

How can we represent the content of plans and index it from the perspective of decisions?

How can computing tools help to make better plans and use them more effectively?

Selected Publications:
  • Lewis D. Hopkins and Marisa A. Zapata, eds 2007. "Engaging the Future: Forecasts, Scenarios, Plans, and Projects," Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
  • Lewis D. Hopkins, 2001. "Urban Development: The Logic of Making Plans.Island Press.
  • Donovan Finn, Lewis D, Hopkins, and Matt Wempe, 2007. “The Information System of Plans Approach: Using and Making Plans for Landscape Protection,” Landscape and Urban Planning, 81:1-2 pp. 132 - 145.
  • Paul F. Hanley and Lewis D. Hopkins, 2007. “Do sewer extension plans affect urban development? A multiagent simulation,” Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 34:1 pp. 6 – 27.
  • Kieran Donaghy and Lewis D. Hopkins, 2006. "Coherentist Theories of Planning are Possible and Useful," Journal of Planning Theory, 5:2 pp. 173 - 202.

Personal profile:
Lew Hopkins investigates how plans are made and used, how these processes could be improved, and how computing tools can enhance these processes. His book, Urban Development: The Logic of Making Plans, (now available in traditional and simplified Chinese, translated by Shih-Kung Lai) discusses how plans work, under what circumstances plans are useful, how the effectiveness of plans can be evaluated, and what the scope of plans should be. In a new book, Engaging the Future: Forecasts, Scenarios, Plans, and Projects, coedited with Marisa A. Zapata, recent ideas about using scenarios and plans are put to work in a wide range of contexts. Lew is currently developing tools for Information Systems of Plans (ISoP), which are web-based systems to access the intents and actions in “networks” of plans of different scopes from different agencies, created at different times. The goal is to operate effectively in a world of many actors who are making plans frequently, rather than focus on getting one plan made and agreed on. Development of ISoPs relies on ethnographic observation of plan making and plan using practices, rapid prototyping of components of planning support systems,and using ISoPs in real settings. Another project is developing Visual Tools for Planners—a library of representations including graphics, numbers, and stories—that will help planners, and the many constituents with whom they work, to think about possible futures and actions that might help shape such futures.

Lew is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners and received the 2007 ACSP Distinguished Educator Award. He was head of the department from 1984 to 1997, chaired the Planning Accreditation Board, and was editor of the Journal of Planning Education and Research. In 1997-98, he was a Fulbright scholar in Nepal. He currently serves on the Urbana Planning Commission.

Lew taught planning theory, planning analysis, and planning workshops.