Realizing Density: Strategies for Compact Suburban Development

Realizing Density: Strategies for Compact Suburban Development

Product No.: 05009
Date Published: 12/2004

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As a means to help implement policies advocated in the DVRPC long-range land use and transportation plan, this study takes a critical look at what is meant by residential density, including what low, medium, and high densities mean to different suburbs in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. How is density measured and how is it perceived? Why is there frequently a negative perception of density? What has been the rationale for low-density development? What are the benefits and impacts of higher density? How has the region grown over the last ten years and what density trends are apparent? Beyond defining and measuring density in the region, the study also looks at the market for higher densities in the Delaware Valley region, as well as nationally. What demographic groups do higher density developments appeal to? Lastly, the study addresses the critical importance of good design as it relates to density, and recommends policies and guidelines that achieve better community design.

Geographic Area Covered: Nine-county Delaware Valley region with discussion of individual counties and municipalities.

Key Words: population density, housing unit density, dwelling units per acre, gross density, net density, floor area ratio, cluster zoning, lot averaging, design, neighborhood types, building types, streets, parking, streetscape, form-based codes, Smart Code, the Transect, design guidelines

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