Perceptions About Density

Discussing density can be controversial because there are many established perceptions of accompanying attributes of dense neighborhoods. These perceptions can be positive (environmentally friendly, culturally rich, increased economic competitiveness), or negative (crime, pollution, income disparities). The following websites and resources provide information that can help drive discussions of design and technology as they relate to density.

  • Cultural Preferences

    Each culture has different preferences and values related to density. Countries where multiple family generations live in close proximity may be more comfortable with higher densities than countries that stress independence.

    The Sierra Club's 'Huddled Masses' Vision
  • Crowding

    Crowding can be a positive or negative attribute. Crowded parties are typically positive and crowded trains are typically negative.
  • Crime

    Dense areas sometimes have a reputation for high crime rates. Is this true? What are other indicators for crime?
  • Health

    Dense areas sometimes are thought of as unhealthy areas to live. Pollution from traffic can contribute to asthma, however, walkable neighborhoods can help decrease obesity rates.
  • Housing Affordability + Ownership

    How is density related to housing prices? Are multi family homes a good investment for home owners? Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey
    CNT Housing and Affordability Index
  • Environment, Nature, Sustainability

    Density is often thought of as a sustainable factor in city design. The following resources explore this topic.

    Energy use
    Habitat / green space preservation
  • Millennials + Next Generation

    Housing and transportation preferences change with generations. Where will the millennials and the next generation want to live? Urban living prefereneces