A people-based density perspective on physical/virtual world spaces in the microcosmic city

David A. Plane, Wangshu Mu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Electronic and cyber-based methods of conducting transactions have reduced the role of propinquity across a large spectrum of civic activities. Simultaneously, however, technological advances affecting many realms of commerce and culture have increased the necessity and desire for face-to-face contact. Ceding substantial portions of our time to the virtual realm has, curiously, enhanced the importance of local-scale, physical world interactions. In this paper we focus on an elemental concept in urban development and planning: population density. Given that individual lives are now carried out within both physical and virtual spaces, we detail the advantages for land use policy of deploying density measures that are “people-based” rather than areal based. Such metrics provide a rich perspective reflecting planning-relevant geographies of spatial interaction. Rather than restricting density calculation to pre-specified areal units, such as municipalities, neighborhoods, census tracts, city blocks, or land parcels, we propose the deployment of “perceived” density surfaces that yield point-specific values for a set of bespoke values operationalizing critically relevant time-distance thresholds. We suggest embedding walking density, cycling density, and auto-travel density into the formulation and evaluation of land use decisions. In addition to being useful for many practical purposes, threshold-based perceived density provides an interesting conceptual framework for examining how individuals experience and interact within a spectrum of surrounding, microcosmic world spaces.

Fingerprint

land use
population density
interaction
urban planning
commerce
urban development
transaction
municipality
Values
census
travel
contact
electronics
geography
planning
evaluation
land policy
experience
walking
time

Keywords

  • Activity patterns
  • Land use policy
  • Physical versus virtual spaces
  • Population density
  • Time geography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

TY - JOUR

T1 - A people-based density perspective on physical/virtual world spaces in the microcosmic city

AU - Plane, David A.

AU - Mu, Wangshu

PY - 2020/1/1

Y1 - 2020/1/1

N2 - Electronic and cyber-based methods of conducting transactions have reduced the role of propinquity across a large spectrum of civic activities. Simultaneously, however, technological advances affecting many realms of commerce and culture have increased the necessity and desire for face-to-face contact. Ceding substantial portions of our time to the virtual realm has, curiously, enhanced the importance of local-scale, physical world interactions. In this paper we focus on an elemental concept in urban development and planning: population density. Given that individual lives are now carried out within both physical and virtual spaces, we detail the advantages for land use policy of deploying density measures that are “people-based” rather than areal based. Such metrics provide a rich perspective reflecting planning-relevant geographies of spatial interaction. Rather than restricting density calculation to pre-specified areal units, such as municipalities, neighborhoods, census tracts, city blocks, or land parcels, we propose the deployment of “perceived” density surfaces that yield point-specific values for a set of bespoke values operationalizing critically relevant time-distance thresholds. We suggest embedding walking density, cycling density, and auto-travel density into the formulation and evaluation of land use decisions. In addition to being useful for many practical purposes, threshold-based perceived density provides an interesting conceptual framework for examining how individuals experience and interact within a spectrum of surrounding, microcosmic world spaces.

AB - Electronic and cyber-based methods of conducting transactions have reduced the role of propinquity across a large spectrum of civic activities. Simultaneously, however, technological advances affecting many realms of commerce and culture have increased the necessity and desire for face-to-face contact. Ceding substantial portions of our time to the virtual realm has, curiously, enhanced the importance of local-scale, physical world interactions. In this paper we focus on an elemental concept in urban development and planning: population density. Given that individual lives are now carried out within both physical and virtual spaces, we detail the advantages for land use policy of deploying density measures that are “people-based” rather than areal based. Such metrics provide a rich perspective reflecting planning-relevant geographies of spatial interaction. Rather than restricting density calculation to pre-specified areal units, such as municipalities, neighborhoods, census tracts, city blocks, or land parcels, we propose the deployment of “perceived” density surfaces that yield point-specific values for a set of bespoke values operationalizing critically relevant time-distance thresholds. We suggest embedding walking density, cycling density, and auto-travel density into the formulation and evaluation of land use decisions. In addition to being useful for many practical purposes, threshold-based perceived density provides an interesting conceptual framework for examining how individuals experience and interact within a spectrum of surrounding, microcosmic world spaces.

KW - Activity patterns

KW - Land use policy

KW - Physical versus virtual spaces

KW - Population density

KW - Time geography

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85077748984&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85077748984&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.landusepol.2020.104462

DO - 10.1016/j.landusepol.2020.104462

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85077748984

JO - Land Use Policy

JF - Land Use Policy

SN - 0264-8377

M1 - 104462

ER -