Just getting started in your research? Have an idea of the topic you want, but not sure about what direction to take or just need more background information?
Encyclopedias and dictionaries can be great sources for getting an overview of your topic and will often include a short bibliography of the definitive and essential writings on the topic. Other sources for overviews can include non-profit and research organizations focused on the topic of your choice, or even online encyclopedias like Wikipedia. When using free web-based sources, remember they are usually not reviewed and edited by an impartial party the way published encyclopedias and dictionaries are. Think about the goals and objectives of the organization responsible for the overview you're reading and how these biases might color information available on the website.
A sampling of dictionaries, encyclopedias and other reference works in Urban Studies and related areas. To find more of these related to your topic, do a keyword search in the library catalog (e.g. transportation handbook, urban planning encyclopedia, environment* dictionary).