Urban density: Difference between revisions

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'''Urban density''' is a term used in [[urban planning]] and [[urban design]] to refer to the number of people inhabiting a given [[urbanized area]]. As such it is to be distinguished from other measures of [[population density]]. Urban density is considered an important factor in understanding how cities function. Research related to urban density occurs across diverse areas, including economics, health, innovation, psychology and geography as well as [[sustainability]].
 
A 2019 meta-analysis of 180 studies on a vast number of economic outcomes of urban density concluded that urban density had net positive effects but had some regressive distributional effects, which is to say, a negative impact on lower-income residents.<ref name=":0">{{Cite web|url=https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0094119019300282journal|title=The economic effects of density: A synthesis|last=|first=|date=2019|websitejournal=Journal of Urban Economics|volume=111|pages=93–107|doi=10.1016/j.jue.2019.04.006|archive-urllast1=Ahlfeldt|archive-datefirst1=Gabriel M.|dead-urllast2=Pietrostefani|access-datefirst2=2019-05-04Elisabetta}}</ref>
== Sustainability ==
 
It is commonly asserted that higher density cities are more sustainable than low density cities. Much urban [[Urban planning|planning theory]], particularly in North America, the UK, Australia and New Zealand has been developed premised on raising urban densities, such as [[New Urbanism]], [[transit-oriented development]], and [[smart growth]]. This assertion, however, remains a contested or challenged one.<ref>Williams, Katie, Elizabeth Burton, and Mike Jenks. "Achieving the compact city through intensification: An acceptable option." The compact city: A sustainable urban form (1996): 83-96.</ref>
 
The link between urban density and aspects of [[sustainability]] remains a contested area of planning theory.<ref>{{Cite journal|title =Spatial Distribution of U.S. Household Carbon Footprints Reveals Suburbanization Undermines Greenhouse Gas Benefits of Urban Population Density|last = Jones|first = Christopher|year=2014 |volume=48 |issue=2 |pages=895–902 |journal = Environmental Science and Technology |doi = 10.1021/es4034364 |pmid = 24328208}}</ref> [[Jan Gehl]], prominent Urban Designer and expert on [[sustainable urbanism]], argues that low-density, dispersed cities are unsustainable as they are [[Automobile dependency|automobile dependent]]. NASA, for example, has established a direct correlation between urban density and air pollution.<ref>{{Cite webjournal|url=https://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/nasa-scientists-relate-urban-population-to-air-pollution/|title=NASA scientists relate urban population to air pollution|last=|first=|date=2013|website=NASA's Earth Science News Team|doi=10.1016/j.jul.2019.08.006|archive-url=|archive-date=|dead-url=|access-date=2019-07-09|doi-broken-date=2019-07-29}}</ref>
 
Others, such as Randy O'Toole of the [[Libertarianism|Libertarian]] [[Cato Institute]], point to how raising densities results in more expensive real estate, greater road congestion and more localized air pollution. At a broader level, there is evidence to indicate a strong negative correlation between the total energy consumption of a city and its overall urban density, i.e. the lower the density, the more energy consumed.<ref>