The variety and contexts of regional planning have been so many and the history so long that no easy judgement of its effectiveness is possible. Some categorisation of the varieties is necessary for even a tentative evaluation. But judgement must be qualified because of the twists and turns of political contexts, differences of kind even within a basic categorisation, and the impossibility of sufficient knowledge being gathered on each case. But because protagonists are commonly sweeping in their dismissal or approval of regional planning, some answer must be attempted to the question of whether it can be successful, in what circumstances, and of what kinds? This requires us to consider the origins and variety of the UK's regional initiatives, the form of their shortcomings, and the circumstances in which even their successes may have been under-regarded.