This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book investigates the theories of spatial planning, strategic planning, smart growth and environmental planning. It argues that the revival of spatial planning in the 2000s was a belated response to the growing realization that place matters, coinciding with and informed by relational concepts of space and communicative and normative aspects of spatial planning processes. The book explores the competitive tension that underlays the set of planning practices. It presents a brief history of growth management theories, paying special attention to smart growth, which has dominated North American urban planning approaches in recent years. The book focuses on how urban and regional planners might address humanity's cumulating ecological predicament. It overviews the participatory and dialogical democratic practice called communicative planning. The book considers the historical rise of neoliberal planning and its eventual spread around the globe.