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Australian urban planning is struggling to deal with a number of challenges. These include a range of internal impasses that have confronted the planning profession as well as an increasingly hostile external political context. One sign of the many dilemmas facing Australian planning is that there is now little popular appreciation of the need for spatial regulation in Australian cities. There is also evidence that elements of the planning profession itself exhibit little consciousness about the nature and purpose of their own role in the urban land economy. This text seeks to address this broad policy dilemma by presenting a case for planning that draws upon a close appreciation of the Australian policy context, and upon the many new critical perspectives that have emerged to challenge traditional planning practice. The authors explain the historical purpose of planning in Australia, the nature of the changes which have re-shaped and threatened this rationale, and the outline for a revitalized governance of Australian cities.