Office of State Planning Coordination >> Delaware By Design

Designing with Density in Delaware

A look into town and neighborhood design using compact, sustainable planning practices that maximize community and minimize sprawl.
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Introduction to Designing with Density

When we buy a house, we compare the amenities:  the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the square footage, the design of the kitchen, and so on. How often do we think about our communities in this same analytical fashion? What features and amenities do we want for our families? Do we want a supermarket close by? Is there a public park within walking distance? Is it close to work? These are important questions that many people take into consideration when deciding where and how to live.

As America grows, these questions will become increasingly important. The purpose of the publication is to get people thinking about how we want to live, what works, and what does not work.  By 2030 almost half of the buildings that Americans work, live, and shop in will be built after 2000. There will need to be an estimated 427 billion square feet to meet demand from population projections, of which 131 billion square feet will be new construction built after 2000 (Katz, 2005). As the American landscape has changed, so have housing preferences. Visual preference surveys conclude almost universal positive reactions to traditional communities that include mixes of densities and uses (Urban Land Institute, 2005). The American dream of the 1950s is very different from the American dream of the 2000s. Condos and luxury apartments are two of the fastest growing sectors of real estate. Young people and baby boomers want more than just a suburban lifestyle; they want options and amenities. So the question remains – how do we want to live?

Last Updated: Friday, 07-Nov-2014 09:38:35 EST
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