Director of Urban Expansion, Solly Angel, gave a lecture, “The Anatomy of Density,” as part of UN-Habitat’s Global Urban Lectures, a video series of 15-minute lectures by experts in urban sustainability. Angel aims to increase density literacy among both public officials and the general public. A key takeaway:
We can decompose urban density into measurable factors that allow us to explore its anatomy. They allow us to understand how different cities acquire their density and to see that they acquire it in different ways, something we could not see by simply looking at variations in urban density. Decomposing urban density into its factors also allows us to design comprehensive urban densification strategies that look at all the possible ways to increase urban density in a systematic way. The anatomy of density thus provides urban planners and policymakers with a tool that allows them both to implement complex densification plans and to measure how increases in each of the factors contribute to progress in densification, now a key goal in our global urban agenda.