Some Facts To Counter The Myths About Higher Density


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A 2005 report “Some Facts To Counter The Myths About Higher Density,” authored by theAi??Urban Land Institute along with the National Multi Housing Council, Sierra Club and the American Institute of Architects, has been added to the Resource Center best practices database.

The authors of the report explain: “The purpose of this publication is to dispel the many myths surrounding higher-density development and to create a new understanding of density that goes beyond simplistic negative connotations that overestimate its impact and underAi??estimate its value.”

The report takes on these myths:

  1. Higher-density development overburdens public schools and other public services and requires more infrastructure support systems.

  2. Higher-density developments lower property values in surrounding areas.

  3. Higher-density development creates more regional traffic congestion and parking problems than low-density development.

  4. Higher-density development leads to higher crime rates.

  5. Higher-density development is environmentally more destructive than lower-density development.

  6. Higher-density development is unattractive and does not fit in a low-density community.

  7. No one in suburban areas wants higher-density development.

  8. Higher-density housing is only for lower-income households



9 Responses to “Some Facts To Counter The Myths About Higher Density”
  1. Evil Eye says:

    Dead right. Vancouver’s quest for higher densities is nothing more than developers wanting to make windfall profits by increasing densities on urban housing. The Canada Line had nothing to do with providing good transit, but it had everything to do about land development.

  2. rico says:

    Evil eye perhaps you should read the report by following the links….general ghist of the report is density is good.

  3. Jim says:

    How does suburban development not cause more damage to the environment though? Much more land is used for sprawling suburbia, and suburbs are not designed for walkability, they’re designed for the car. Abbotsford is supposed to be “the city in the country”, but it’s just a big suburb, and every year they pave over more land and build townhouses and single family homes on land that was supposed to be farmland, or was forest previously. Shouldn’t we be building with walkability and transit oriented development in mind? I’m not saying their method of developing skytrain is not flawed, but building out paves over an aweful lot of land. I apologize for not reading the full report before commenting.

  4. zweisystem says:

    I didn’t post about density at all, but a transit expert did. Our preoccupation with density is becoming an international joke!

  5. zweisystem says:

    What we see in Abbotsford and the rest of the Fraser Valley is nothing more than piss poor planning (P-3) based solely to enrich developers, who happen to be good friends of politic ans. Too much density is a bad thing and counters healthy living. To many politicians and academics are making big money off the density issue and much of what they say or claim is nothing more than stuff and nonsense. We will (or should I say our children will) pay a big price for the density planning nonsense being promoted today.

  6. Jim says:

    I agree completely about the poor planning.

  7. rico says:

    I will just repeat read the actual article quite a good read it is about ‘facts’ to counter myths about higher density….ie that list in your post is the list of myths about density.

    Zwei replies: Actually the density debate is a Vancouver thing and has puzzled transit planners from elsewhere. That we already have the density for LRT from Vancouver to Hope, is forgotten by the purveyors of the need of higher densities.

    A lot of people are making a lot of money with density, starting with land developers and land owners, municipal planners and engineers (all that red tape for the quest for higher densities costs a lot of money); politicians whose election and reelection coffers are filled with land developers monies; academics who get paid to chortle on and on about density; architect and architectural firms who design new higher density buildings; city governments who reap more tax monies from higher density buildings and so on and so on.

    Let us not forget that the darling of higher densities is the SkyTrain mini-metro system, which can cost more than 10 times more to install than light rail. Cement companies have a financial orgasm when a SkyTrain line is announced!

    With light rail, transit operating costs become cheaper, current densities are maintainable, and larger transit networks are created faster and larger, attracting more and more transit customers and less reliance on the family chariot to get around.

    Simply put, SkyTrain is all about other people getting rich on transit development (which means the taxpayer’s dime) and LRT is all about transit economy.

    What I see with bloggists jumping on the density bandwagon, is that they are merely trying to feather their own nests.

  8. otak_ar says:

    My last comment in this discussion deleted, previous discussion locked down so I can`t reply anymore.

    WOW, you guys are “real democrats” when it comes to discussions.

    Zwei replies: Not deleted at all, I just took the day off!

  9. zweisystem says:

    The comments section are closed on some posts, due to the massive amout of spam coming in. Last week we had over 500 spam commnets in one day! By closing the comments on key posts, we only has 13 spam emails in the past 48 hours.

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