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Urban Densification and Its Social Sustainability

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The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Futures

Introduction

Since the Brundtland Report (WCED 1987), urban densification has been almost universally considered one of the most sustainable ways to develop contemporary cities. Generally speaking, urban densification refers to a set of measures that “constrain the expansion of urban areas, restrain development in rural areas and maintain the separation of settlements, thereby preventing urban sprawl and focusing resources on the re/development of existing towns and cities” (Bibby et al. 2020, p. 2). Such measures aim to (i) increase proximity among people and urban functions; (ii) create an efficient transportation system, which encourages walkability and the use of bikes and public transport (reducing car-related travels and associated emissions); (iii) create mixed-use urban areas; and (iv) save farmland and natural areas (OECD 2012). Land take (i.e., the loss of undeveloped land) is one of the most worrying trends for climate change (European Commission 2016), and countries and...

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Cavicchia, R., Cucca, R. (2022). Urban Densification and Its Social Sustainability. In: The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Futures. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-51812-7_156-1

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