Density is not equal to the leadership required because it is an imperfect and unreliable measurement of intensity. It must be replaced with a yardstick that can more accurately measure cause and predict effect.
- Balance the natural / artificial equation.
- Action: Evaluate the geographic areas, atmospheric content and fundamental resources that must be preserved to sustain all species of life on Earth.
- Reason: To identify the land remaining for the activities of our built environment
- Balance the urban / rural equation.
- Action: Evaluate the agricultural potential of land within the built environment
- Reason: To balance food supply and shelter supply within the limits of this environment
- Balance the intensity / open space equation
- Action: Evaluate the urban intensity and quality of life options implied by rural land allocation options within a limited built environment area
- Reason: Development capacity is a function of intensity, and excessive intensity produces an inferior quality of life. Intensity is a function of the relationship between building mass, development cover and project open space; and inversely proportional to the amount of open space provided. At one end of the intensity spectrum is a home on hundreds of acres. At the other is a high-rise tenement crowded among others and filled with disease, despair, and insecurity. We have found that simply adding open space does not solve the problem, but have yet to define the physical relationships that reflect social and economic stability within this artificial world.
- Balance the land use / economic stability equation
- Action: Evaluate the public income potential from land use activity and intensity
- Reason: Land use allocation areas produce economic yield based on the activities and intensities involved. A successful allocation plan that includes intensity objectives will produce an average yield and accumulated reserve that meets expense and permits capital improvement over time.
- Balance the ownership / planning equation
See also, "Replacing the Floor Area Ratio"
Author Note: Portions of this article were excerpted and edited from the second edition of my book, Land Development Calculations, and its attached forecasting software, Development Capacity Evaluation, v2.0 published by The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2010. The book can be found on Amazon.com.