density. It’s a word that gets tossed around a lot in the world of architecture and urban planning. And for good reason – density is one of the most important factors in creating livable, sustainable cities.
But what exactly is density? And how do you create it?
Density is a measure of how many people or objects are in a given area. When it comes to cities, density is usually measured in terms of people per square mile. That amount is often times dictated by the larger overall General Plan of a city, which includes different and varying degrees of density along planned corridors that are close to planned infrastructure improvements or upgraded to handle the increase in population.
But density is more than just a number. It’s also about the mix of uses in an area – residential, commercial, retail, etc. – and the way those uses are integrated. A well-designed mixed-use development, for example, can be much more dense than a traditional suburban subdivision with single-family homes on large lots. But it can also feel more open, connected, and alive.
Density is also about the design of the buildings themselves. A building with a small footprint that goes up 10 or 20 stories can be much more dense than a sprawling single-family home on a large lot. But density isn’t just about tall buildings. It can also be achieved through lower-rise, mid-rise, or even single-story buildings that are designed in a more efficient way.
Ultimately, density is about creating places that are lively, sustainable, and attractive to people. And that’s something we’re passionate about at DOT-Arc.
In my time as a planning commissioner for Salt Lake City, Utah, I’ve heard & seen the benefits of density, and the many voices of opposition against it. I am here to speak in defense of density, and to show how it can be done right.
Density doesn’t have to mean crowded, congested, and soulless. When done right, density can create vibrant, livable places that people are drawn to. So let’s talk about how to do density right.
density can create vibrant, livable places that people are drawn to. So let’s talk about how to do density right.
When done right, density can provide many benefits, such as:
– More housing choices and opportunities for people of all income levels
– A smaller environmental footprint per person
– A more efficient use of land and infrastructure
– A more lively and vibrant streetscape
– More opportunities for walking, biking, and public transit
Density can also be a tool for creating social equity. By providing more housing choices and opportunities, density can help to create mixed-income neighborhoods that are accessible to people of all incomes.
And density doesn’t have to mean tall buildings. There are many ways to achieve density, such as:
– Building smaller single-family homes on smaller lots
– Building townhomes, row houses, or other attached housing
– Creating mixed-use developments with residential, commercial, and retail uses all integrated together
– Building taller mid-rise or high-rise buildings
Each of these approaches has its own benefits and challenges, and the best density solution for a particular site will depend on a variety of factors, such as the location, the existing infrastructure, the mix of uses, and the overall goals for the project.
At DOT-Arc, we believe that density can be a powerful & positive term. It does not have to be emotionally charged on one side or the other.
We specialize in creating density. We understand the challenges and the benefits, and we know how to create density in a way that achieves multiple goals. We always start by listening to the project-adjacent community to understand their needs & wants. From there, we work with our real-estate developer clients to find creative solutions that balance the community’s needs with the project’s requirements.
The density of a city can have a big impact on its livability. Higher density means more people living in close proximity, which can lead to more interaction and a greater sense of community. It can also mean more amenities and better public transportation, since there are more people to support them.
Creating density is not always easy, however. It requires careful planning and a delicate balance of different factors. But when done right, it can make a big difference in the livability of a city.
If you’re interested in learning more about density and how to create it, DOT-Arc can help. We specialize in density planning and creating livable, sustainable cities. Contact us today to learn more, or if you have a project that you would like us to take a look at, we would love to hear from you.