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Density and Decision-Making: Findings from an Online Survey

Author

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  • Christopher T. Boyko

    () (Imagination Lancaster, B29 LICA Building, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YW, UK)

  • Rachel Cooper

    () (Imagination Lancaster, B29 LICA Building, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YW, UK)

Abstract

In many countries, policymakers have used urban densification strategies in an effort to create more sustainable cities. However, spatial density as a concept remains unclear and complex. Little information exists about how density is considered by decision makers, including the different kinds of density and the wider political and economic context in which decisions are made: who makes density decisions, when they make those decisions and what they use to make decisions. To that end, the authors created an online survey to investigate the above issues. One hundred and twenty-nine respondents from the fields of architecture, planning, urban design and engineering answered a 26-item survey over a 3-month period. Findings suggest that decision makers consider more than just population and dwelling density and that city design, planning and policy need to address these other kinds of density. Moreover, the professions making many of the density decisions are not, necessarily, the ones that should be making the decisions; nor are they making decisions early enough. Policymakers also need to be more cognisant of the multi-scalar dimensions of density when creating policy. Finally, more needs to be done in universities to ensure that built environment students receive a broader skillset, particularly in terms of engaging with communities.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher T. Boyko & Rachel Cooper, 2013. "Density and Decision-Making: Findings from an Online Survey," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(10), pages 1-21, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:5:y:2013:i:10:p:4502-4522:d:29819
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. P Healey, 1998. "Building institutional capacity through collaborative approaches to urban planning," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 30(9), pages 1531-1546, September.
    2. Randall G. Holcombe & DeEdgra W. Williams, 2008. "The Impact of Population Density on Municipal Government Expenditures," Public Finance Review, , vol. 36(3), pages 359-373, May.
    3. Tao Cheng & James Haworth & Jiaqiu Wang, 2012. "Spatio-temporal autocorrelation of road network data," Journal of Geographical Systems, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 389-413, October.
    4. P Healey, 1998. "Building Institutional Capacity through Collaborative Approaches to Urban Planning," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 30(9), pages 1531-1546, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eeva-Sofia Säynäjoki & Jukka Heinonen & Seppo Junnila, 2014. "The Power of Urban Planning on Environmental Sustainability: A Focus Group Study in Finland," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(10), pages 1-22, September.
    2. Lamek Nahayo & Christophe Mupenzi & Alphonse Kayiranga & Fidele Karamage & Felix Ndayisaba & Enan Muhire Nyesheja & Lanhai Li, 2017. "Early alert and community involvement: approach for disaster risk reduction in Rwanda," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 86(2), pages 505-517, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    density; decision-making; sustainability; cities; survey;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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