Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Planning Theory

DOI of Published Version



In earlier publications I have argued that planning can be thought of as a form of persuasive and constitutive storytelling about the future. In this paper I tell a story about the transformation of Louisville, Kentucky, a city of approximately 700,000 people located in the middle of the United States. The story begins in the early 1950s with a youth named Cassius Marcellus Clay, moves through space and time, weaves together a series of locally-grounded common urban narratives, and ends at a new Center in Louisville named after Muhammad Ali. By weaving these tales together, I seek to demonstrate how narrative might be used to generate a more capacious approach to planning, but also to indicate how the physical design of the city-region has to be changed to make space for diverse common urban narratives. I end by suggesting that such an approach might help increase the sustainability of Louisville and other city-regions.



Journal Article Version

Author's Original

Published Article/Book Citation

Planning Theory 6:3 (2007), pp. 237-262.


Copyright © James Throgmorton, 2007. Posted by permission.