Making Density a Cornerstone for Successful City-Making

Density is a loaded term that brings with it many negative connotations. But it can help solve "our city's toughest challenges." Brent Toderian discusses lessons from Vancouver on how to turn "the third rail of municipal politics" into an asset.

Although 'Vancouverism' may be hard to promote throughout Canada these days, it still serves as an enviable model of livable density to cities throughout the world. At a recent presentation to the Downtown Seattle Association's State of the Downtown Forum, Brent Toderian, former Chief Planner for the City of Vancouver, discussed how "every city can learn to make the D-Word a cornerstone for successful city-making."

"[W]hat I call "Density Done Well" is critically important for any city to avoid the damaging effects of sprawl, while solving our city's toughest challenges, from mitigating climate change, to supporting urban health, energy resiliency, affordability, economic success, creativity, safety, vibrancy and so on," he argues. "It can make your city much better, in many important ways."

"For these reasons and more, despite the political challenges, smart and successful cities worldwide are now tackling the D-Word head on, and looking to model cities who have learned how to do density well, often with the scars to show for it."

Full Story: Re-defining the D-Word: 'Density Done Well' in Vancouver


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