While reading the Urban Design Compendium produced by English Partnerships, I was impressed with some of the suggestions for alternate density metrics when determining the appropriate scale of development and character of existing communities.106917826_79aec3c27c_m

  • Dwellings Per Hectare
  • Square Meters Per Hectare
  • Floor Area Ratio
  • Bedspaces Per Hectare
  • Children per Hectare
  • Economically Active People per Hectare

The last two are particularly telling when it comes to community cohesion and long term viability. Children are huge economic and social drivers, with so much infrastructure based around the number of children being serviced in an area.


It certainly opened my eyes to the sociology side of planning and determining the character of a neighbourhood to see metrics like this discussed.

Does anyone have other examples of metrics for density, or examples where these have been used?

Published by Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.

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