Design for Density

Sunday, May 7, 2017 | 2:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
CM | 1.25
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You'll learn about:

  • Common public sensitivities to higher density development as well as potential reasons to promote such development in a community

  • How to recognize the density thresholds needed to support key amenities and frequent transit service and confront the issues of critical mass

  • Key factors that differentiate “good density” from “bad density”

  • Design techniques to shape development density in a way that advances community goals and aspirations

Density has emerged as a critical planning tool as city planners worldwide advance development models to spur economic growth, fund infrastructure enhancements, improve quality of life, and restore environmental integrity. Yet local communities are often (and rightly) wary of development intensification —for many, the very word “density” conveys connotations of “Manhattanization.” 

Listen to the perspectives of a physical planner, an urban designer, and two architects on incorporating advanced design methodologies in everyday practice—and learn specific design techniques and strategies to achieve dense development that advances community goals and aspirations like affordability, livability, health, and community benefit.

You will hear about case studies from the San Francisco Bay area and elsewhere will demonstrate how trends in mixed-use, multi-family, transit-oriented neighborhood development are shaping more sustainable, livable, and inclusive communities. You will gain a better understanding of the key factors that differentiate “good density” from “bad density” as well as thresholds necessary to support amenities and services. And you will discover strategies to focus development conversations on community needs and benefits—and develop means of framing the discussion to build consensus for action.


Nathan Nagai , Heller Manus Architects , San Francisco , CA (see bio)
Amit Price Patel , AICP , SITELAB urban studio , San Francisco , CA (see bio)
Adrianne Steichen , PYATOK architecture + urban design , Oakland , CA
Allison Albericci , AICP , CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO, PLANNING DEPT , San Francisco , CA (see bio)