Visualizing Density

Description: Sprawl is bad. Density is good. Americans need to stop spreading out and live closer together. Well, that is the theory, anyway. But, as anyone who has tried to build compact development recently will tell you, if there’s one thing Americans hate more than sprawl, it’s density. This is evident in the public planning process as regulations are written and projects are reviewed. Across the country, efforts to increase density have met with stiff resistance. One reason people reject density is that they do not know much about it-what it looks like, how to build it, or whether it’s something they can call home. We have very rational ways of measuring density, but our perception of it is anything but rational.

This website includes a variety of resources including quizzes, games and an image gallery that explore residential density. Based on the 2007 book, Visualizing Density, by Julie Campoli and Alex MacLean. Visualizing Density includes an essay on the density challenge facing the United States, an illustrated manual on planning and designing for “good” density, and a catalog of more than 250 diverse neighborhoods across the country, noting density in housing units per acre for each site. Four photographs of each location are included—close-up, context, neighborhood, and plan views—to provide an impartial and comparative view of the many ways to design neighborhoods.

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Source: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
Date: 2007
Format: Website

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