Is Density Your Destiny?

It’s often better to play to your strengths, after all.Likely, when you think of a city that has population density, you think of the city, New York City..Let me tell you, you’re not wrong.New York City is the Michael Jordan of population density..Together, the city’s five boroughs have a population density of 27,000 people per square mile — about 1,000 square feet for every person — and that’s an average figure..Take a look: any dot represents a part of the city where density exceeds 10,000 people per square mile, and any orange colored dot on the map below represents density over 20,000 people per square mile.It’s fair to argue that parts of New York are too dense — good fences make good neighbors, after all..To find cities that have enough density, I’ve arbitrarily selected 10,000 people per square mile as my baseline..with more than 10,000 people per square mile, density from sea-to-shining-sea:Fitting 10,000 people into a square mile isn’t that hard — it leaves almost 3,000 square feet, or the area of a fairly large house, for each individual person..I looked at every one to discover some patterns in these places; generally, these communities fall into four buckets:Major Cities like New York, New YorkSecondary Cities like New Orleans, LouisianaOld Cities like Erie, Pennsylvaniaand College Towns like Ann Arbor, MichiganLet’s explore these cities, these dense cities with bright destinies.Major CitiesI was surprised to discover density in the nation’s second-largest city, the ultimate icon of sprawling development, of the suburban lifestyle, and of the hellish highway commute..Presenting: dense Los Angeles.In the above map (and all following), every dot marks an area where population density exceeds 10,000 people per square mile..and Baltimore.A few other major cities in the South come up short on density: Dallas, Houston, and Atlanta — these cities only have a handful of Census tracts that cross the 10,000 person per square mile threshold..Some larger, older cities, like Denver, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland have more density than you might imagine, too.Pittsburgh — dense like steelTogether, these secondary cities — a list that also includes Cincinnati, Columbus, Nashville, Memphis, Tampa, Sacramento, Kansas City, Grand Rapids, and others — represent the leading edge of development and growth in American cities today..These cities balance some of the density, culture, and attractions of larger cities like New York with more opportunities for growth, development, and community..These cities present great opportunities for people seeking even smaller, tighter communities with even more affordable options for housing.In the West — specifically, in California’s Central Valley, the Breadbasket of the Nation — I found a string of towns along California State Route 99, from Sacramento down to Bakersfield, which each have small pockets of density..It is shocking to see just how many of those cities beyond Boston and New York have great clusters of population density.. More details

Leave a Reply