The variations in political systems in American cities have long been debated by students of urban affairs. The forms or patterns taken by political systems in different cities can probably be ranged along a continuum ac­ cording to manifest differences in distribution of power, political culture, and the level of output from the system. I t seems likely that in some cities influence is concen­ trated while in others i t is more dispersed. Even within the pluralist group, differences exist in the sources of strength on which coalitions are built, the prevailing ethos of the city, the frequency of nonelite participation in decision-making, and the ability of the particular city to act. Accordingly, we may ask what are the manifest characteristics of political systems in which effective planning has occurred according to such a classificatory scheme?