"Magic numbers" and user "wish lists" have traditionally been used to determine space needs in health care institutions. Today, however, combining functional and space planning to yield a space program that integrates with the facility's long-range strategic plan can be accomplished through a user needs approach. These three approaches are discussed in light of their positive and negative aspects and their contributions to the planning process. In particular, a methodology for examining a department's potential "space generators" is provided. Along with this methodology is the reasoning behind beginning the detailed analysis early in the planning process.