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Methods and Means

Historical Street

Cities that have high densities tend to be more walkable and have greater transportation options and when successful, always implement mixed use regulations that create the type of urban fabric that is built for human users rather than prioritizing cars.

It is important to understand what are the key principles that lead to livability and subsequently sustainability. Urban density is a number of people that live in each specific urban area.  It is believed that cities operate more efficiently when residents live in denser urban surroundings. Cities that have high densities tend to be more walkable and have greater transportation options and when successful, always implement mixed use regulations that create the type of urban fabric that is built for human users rather than prioritizing cars. This high density, mixed use approach to is leading the way towards sustainability by offer greener, less wasteful and high energy efficient way of life. For a city to be able to provide efficient transport it must have high demand, this demand, of course, comes from high density. In order to maximize public transportation and encourage walking and bicycling culture, the city must reduce travel time between live/work/shop/play. Dense cities hold creative environments of innovation and productivity (see The Space). Also, a compact city begs for great gathering places that serve as community nodes where people gather to connect. 


Urban density when not handled with care can be catastrophic not only for the cities inhabitants but for the environment. However, growing urbanization needs cannot be ignored and allowed to spiral out of control. Since WW2 growing cities have been struggling with their rate of growth desperately trying to find solutions to their housing crisis. One specific typology increases units without the significant reduction in quality of life seen in sprawls.  low-rise, high-density, a community centric approach with an emphasis on “livable scale” or "human scale". (see "Mixed Family Dwellings.") Density is essential to achieve sustainable urbanism. the compact city ensures a certain proximity to home-work-services in a mixed-use approach to urban planning which lends itself for walkability. Edward McMahon from the Urban Land Institute says that density is better achieved "without high-rises."

Well planned density gives cities the opportunity for improved infrastructure (see green infrastructure) leading to cleaner and more energy efficient environment. A more concentrated density also lessens the possibility of human invasion of natural habitats. For a city to be livable however, population and functions must be dispersed at lower densities.” (Dessì , V. (n.d.) (2015)). This interplay between livability and density reduces per capita environmental demands while making infrastructure, and economic development much more effective, more cost-effective, and better connected! 


principals  for quality of life

"3P's" Public, Private


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It is not a question about can urbanism be sustainable, instead since urbanism is inevitable the question becomes “what needs to change to make urbanism sustainable.”


cities that give back

Permaculture zones in the city... from 0 to hero. Home to Agroforestry.

little parks everywhere

Pocket parks, inlets, connected green corridors, 

Low Rise, Walkable Cities

Neglecting the human factor in city planning is obvious in the lack of public spaces where citizens can enjoy the city. This is also apparent in the lack of pedestrian-friendly streets and sidewalks, as well as building design. 


how does nature do it?

Mother nature. The great mother. Need I say more?

Storm Water Management

Storm water gardens and other soft edges....

From the inside out

A true grassroots movement begins at the mind/body level and reflects 1st at home. 

Image by Boxed Water Is Better
Narrow Street

The quality of life factor consists of increasing the feeling of psychological well-being of the public through urban design principles. A perceived sense of belonging helps preserve community ties which in turn aid in reducing crime. This is achieved through walkability keeping architecture at eye level engaging by changing at the rate of 5 miles per hour, the average rate of walking. No blank walls along the street! Also, plenty of ample green spaces to bring the community together and offer a safe space for human connection and relieve the feeling of crowdedness. When the psychological needs of the people are satisfied their sense of civic pride enhances and they will become more active in policymaking because people naturally tend to protect what they like. An efficient use of land and space and many forms of transportation (not just automobile) are a must for this.

•              Curbing the negative impacts of sprawl

•              Mitigating climate change

•              Dramatically decreasing energy costs

•              Making walking, biking and transit more inviting

•              Improving public health, diversity, creativity, safety, and vibrancy

•              reduced congestion and vehicle emissions

•              smaller ecological footprints

•              long-term economic sustainability with mixed-used buildings

•              Incorporate multiple price points to housing multiple tenant types

•              Public engagement


The benefits of incorporating such principals are seemingly universal.

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