[h/t Kaid and Irwin Dawid/Planetizen for the video of Dan Zack’s density game]
Of course housing density is something that we must properly understand, and it’s a necessary (but insufficient) precondition for so much of what makes a great city — particularly the sustainability of services like retail and transit. However, there’s a danger in making it an end rather than a mean. So many other factors, like unit size, household size, parking ratios, landscaping, and occupancy rates (a high percentage of high-rise units are second homes) can have a huge effect on how density “lives” once it’s built.
For instance, the Cabrini-Green building shown is being replaced with three-story walkups that might have:
– the same DUA density
– higher occupancy rates
– higher impervious surface cover
– more living space per capita
– lower population density (much smaller households)
– higher income density (much higher household incomes)
Lower population density might mean lower transit ridership, but higher incomes mean that more retail space is needed.
What is DUA?
I’m upset about the higher impervious surface cover. :(
Dwelling Units per Acre.