During the 1980s, John Kalbermatten and his colleagues at the World Bank revolutionised urban sanitation planning. During the last 30 years urban sanitation planning theory has evolved from an engineering focus to a more participatory, multi-disciplinary and user-focused future, informed largely by the work of John Kalbermatten. This paper looks at a number of the most important urban sanitation planning approaches that have emerged post-Kalbermatten and seeks to trace the influence of Kalbermatten's work on their theoretical underpinnings and characteristics. The extent to which other ideas, such as the sanitation value chain, have increasingly been incorporated into planning approaches is discussed and some of the challenges affecting successful urban sanitation which lie outside of planning are considered. Final comments centre on common themes occurring in practice, the future exploration of which offers potential to inform successful sanitation delivery in the future.

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