New York City / Tuesday Apr 26,2016
12:15 pm - 1:45 pm

Solly Angel: Compact City Agenda

NYU Urban Seminar

Vanderbilt Hall
Room 208
40 Washington Square South

Solly Angel led a discussion titled "Decomposing the Compact City Agenda and Subjecting it to Measurement."

The compactness of cities can be decomposed into a set of seven discrete attributes. These attributes are all subject to powerful forces that give shape to cities, and making cities more compact along each one of these seven attributes has important, and often quite complex, policy implications. These seven attributes can be measured by seven core indices, indices that can now be estimated in a rigorous and comparable manner for all cities using freely available satellite imagery. Arithmetic products of several of these indices form summary indices, such as shape roundness, overall density, and physical compactness that can be used to compare the compactness of cities across the globe. They can also be used to measure global progress towards more compact cities, to test a series of statistical hypotheses focused on the determinants and consequences of the compactness of cities, and to advance our understanding of the relevance of theCompact City Agenda to the global economic development, inclusiveness, and sustainability agendas.  

The NYU Urban Seminar is co-hosted by the Marron Institute and the Furman Center.


Shlomo (Solly) Angel
Shlomo (Solly) Angel
Director / Urban Expansion
Professor of City Planning /

Shlomo (Solly) Angel is a Professor of City Planning at the Marron Institute. He leads the NYU Urban Expansion based at the Marron Institute and the NYU Stern Urbanization Project. Angel is an expert on urban development policy, having advised the United Nations, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). He currently focuses on documenting and planning for urban expansion in the developing world.

In 1973, he started a program in Human Settlements Planning and Development at the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok. He taught at the Institute from 1973 to 1983, while researching housing and urban development in the cities of East, South, and Southeast Asia. From the mid-80s to mid-90s, he worked as a housing and urban development consultant to UN-Habitat, the Asian Development Bank, and the Government of Thailand. In 2000, he published Housing Policy Matters, a comparative study of housing conditions and policies around the world. From 2000 onward, he prepared housing sector assessments of 11 Latin America and Caribbean countries for the IDB and the World Bank.

Angel earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture and a doctorate in city and regional planning at the University of California, Berkeley.