It is only a hundred years ago since planning was established as an academic subject and a discipline at the Department of Civic Design at the University of Liverpool. The Town Planning Review journal was founded in 1910 at the same institution and was based on the idea of presenting theory and good practice. A third event at the same time was the start of a planning course at Harvard University. The author has followed the development of theory and practice in planning for 50 years. He has been a professional planner, a researcher and university lecturer. He argues that we have witnessed a change in making many examples of good practice into objective science. We are longing for facts, but the crucial issues are what we do with the facts and what types of action do these facts trigger. But what do planners really do? They listen, read, speak and write when working on theoretical issues in a university, at a municipal planning office or as a private consultant. They all work with language in different and very practical ways. They approach their profession by bridging the gap between theory and practice. This brings us to the title of the book; The Art of Planning. This does not mean art like a painting in a gallery or art as a work in an auction. Rather art as performance, the good and meaningful use of language, art as understanding the context of time and place, and art as creative and innovative action. So just like the art of engineering or the art of downhill skiing, this book is about skill and excellence.