Building cities: density

Recent research that I’ve done with my colleague Professor Rachel Cooper suggests that the people currently making decisions about density, and the things that density affects, are often the wrong people. From a survey of built environment professionals, for example architects, urban designers, town planners, engineers, we found that developers are perceived to be the ones who make many of the density-based decisions in cities, followed by local authority planners and designers. When asked who should be making those decisions, they nominated local authorities, designers, councillors and residents. People also seemed to be making decisions too late in the urban design and planning process, with much decision making occurring during detailed design, rather than earlier, at the conceptual design and development stage.

So, where does that leave us? Perhaps cities with good densities are not necessarily high-density or low-density, but are ones in which more people with a vested interest in the welfare of the urban fabric and urban experience have the opportunity to make or influence decisions.

– Chris Boyko, Misunderstanding density: why we are building the wrong sort of cities, The Guardian

Read the complete article on The Guardian here.


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