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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The density-crowding relationship : planning implications for high density housing Reynolds, Kenneth Victor Thomas


This study examines planning implications which may result when human crowding considerations are incorporated into high density housing controls. As most current density controls do not reflect the relationship between high density and perceptions of crowding, ensuring liveability has been left largely to chance. The inclusion of human requirements, which can ultimately prevent crowding and ensure greater liveability, may be more systematic if a framework is provided which suggests ways to incorporate technical measures of density with human crowding considerations. To pursue this end, an interdisciplinary study is undertaken which explores the two concepts of density and crowding as well as the planning implications which may result from their interrelationship. Using a heuristic process, a conceptual framework is proposed which organizes current density-crowding knowledge into a format that may allow greater consideration for human needs in high density planning. Components of the study which assist in developing this framework are as follows: 1. A description of the history of density thought which traces the Centrist and Decentrist movements and serves to place research related to high density planning into its context. 2. A description of what "density" means and its classification into a taxonomy of the various measurements of density. 3. A description of what "crowding" means and its organization into a taxonomy of the human crowding considerations which influence the liveability in high density housing. 4. An exploration of the complex interrelationship between density and crowding so that a better understanding of the resultant planning implications is gained. Necessary and sufficient pre-conditions to the human crowding response are identified. 5. The development of a conceptual framework as based on the two taxonomies which explores ways to integrate density measures with crowding considerations; some planning implications for sensitive development controls are identified. The goal of this approach is to encourage the application of current density-crowding knowledge so that the quality of life in high density housing environments is ensured. The proposed framework therefore is the main contribution of this study.

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