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Planning: Get started


About this guide


This guide will help students and faculty in the School of Planning navigate the library to meet their learning and research needs by:

  • linking to relevant databases to find articles
  • providing information about books, print and electronic
  • linking to additional resources and collections
  • showcasing tools that support academic goals and objectives


Find articles lists databases for specific topics, such as:

  • climate change
  • urban planners
  • healthy cities
  • planning theory
  • sustainability
  • transportation


A brief overview of databases on:

  • how to navigate
  • what databases contain
  • some of the functions and benefits


Find books provides information on:

  • direct link to search the library catalogue
  • how can I get my books during COVID-19?
  • how can I find my books?
  • library catalogue search function
  • placing holds and recalls
  • not in the catalogue?
  • should we order a copy?
  • on-campus book return bins locations
  • new books
  • core texts for the discipline
  • eReference material
  • eBooks and eBook collections
  • questions? Contact me


More resources links to:

  • library guides
    • essential
    • subject specific
    • topic specific
    • for advanced library users
  • unique collections
    • data; statistics
    • films
    • Geospatial Centre
    • Special Collections & Archives (SC&A)
      • Digital library
      • Special Collections / Rare books
  • publications of selected centres and institutes
    • Heritage Resources Centre
    • Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change (IC3)
    • Southwestern Ontario Research Data Centre (SWORDC)
    • Water Institute
    • Waterloo Institute for Complexity & Innovation (WICI)
    • Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation (WISIR)
    • Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy (WISE)


The Research toolkit provides an overview of the research process and tips to help with:

  • academic writing, essays and research papers
  • help with references, citing your work
  • bibliometric tools
  • more than technical skills, soft skills
  • time management tips
  • the research process
  • saving your search strategy
  • setting up alerts
  • publishing your work?
  • need funding?



Access to the electronic resources requires your WatIAM credentials. You can login before you start your search from the library's homepage using the get access from anywhere link, located on the Library's homepage, or when the system prompts you to enter your credentials. If, for any reason, you encounter any difficulties with this step, please contact me directly or library staff through our Ask Us service to resolve the issue. 



For a limited time we have access to the following databases as a trial:

  • Flipster until October 29, 2021
  • SciFinder-n until January 31, 2022

New to our collection:

  • Indigenous Knowledge Portal

See our database webpage.


Omni: your library catalogue


Current examples of potential research topics:


  • conversion of land from natural habitats to urban land use
  • creation, use, and preservation of natural spaces and parks
  • development of transportation networks and infrastructure
  • water and air quality
  • political theory and policy analysis
  • physical/natural environment
  • community sustainability
  • urban design
  • transportation
  • housing
  • social and demographic dimensions
  • economic development
  • regional planning
  • heritage and preservation
  • health
  • environmental planning includes:
    • biology and ecology
    • water and wetlands
    • watersheds
    • forests and parks
  • planning as a process includes
    • policy-making
    • research
    • decision-making
    • select disciplines in geography, social sciences, and pure and applied sciences
  • planners help:
    • plan and design new communities, and developments within existing communities
    • protect the natural environment as well as heritage buildings and neighbourhoods
    • improve the existing conditions of urban areas
    • create programs and policies that benefit individuals and communities
    • assist in the creation, operation, and development of transportation infrastructure and systems - roads, transit, bikes and pedestrian ways - which allow for freight and people movements
    • advise city governments and private companies on environmental issues

Need help?


You can email me with your question(s), or book a consultation. Email questions are answered within1-2 business days. Consultations can be booked up to a month in advance and could be up to an hour in length.


Why bother?

Good question.

Because I can help you:

  • navigate databases
  • locate items quickly
  • create a research strategy
  • cite your references
  • and more . . .