Many have been arguing that density means success, that there is a strong correlation between building at higher densities and good economic outcomes. In fact, a recent press release from one of the leading proponents of this thinking said:

Over the past 40 years research has shown that low-density, unconnected, development is more costly to the public sector than compact, urban development.

Correlation does not equal causation, yet there are many out there pushing the density = success mantra as if it were written on stone tablets. In reality, the math being used to justify this logic uses the same techniques deployed to justify low density development, just with a different set of priorities. After all, you can say that transportation investments = success if you just assert different values for what you measure.

Given our conversations here of late, I might need to do a broader set of posts on why this is a dangerous oversimplification, but for lack of time I'll just pass on this Google scene from Ontario shared with my by Gracen Johnson.

Click on the image to explore in Google.

Click on the image to explore in Google.

There's your density. It even has green space and the stroad has decorative lighting; obviously a lovable place that will endure for generations. And since we're interested in applying the density thinking to build a better greenfield development, this kind of thing is certain to hit all the peripheral metrics as well.

Hey Chuck, at least it's not another subdivision of single family homes.

Great. #smartgrowth

As fiscal becomes the new sustainable, let's make sure we actually #dothemath.