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The compact city or city of short distances is an
urban planning Urban planning, also known as regional planning, town planning, city planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design A design is a plan or specification for the construction o ...
and
urban design While many assume urban design is about the process of designing and shaping the physical features of cities A city is a large human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a comm ...
concept, which promotes relatively high residential density with mixed land uses. It is based on an efficient public transport system and has an urban layout which – according to its advocates – encourages walking and cycling, low energy consumption and reduced pollution. A large resident population provides opportunities for social interaction as well as a feeling of safety in numbers and "eyes on the street".
The Death and Life of Great American Cities ''The Death and Life of Great American Cities'' is a 1961 book by writer and activist Jane Jacobs Jane Jacobs (''née'' Butzner; May 4, 1916 – April 25, 2006) was an American-Canadian journalist, author, theorist, and activist who influe ...
'' (1961) New York: Random House.
It is also arguably a more sustainable urban settlement type than
urban sprawl Urban sprawl (also known as suburban sprawl or urban encroachment) is the unrestricted growth in many urban area An urban area, or built-up area, is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. ...
because it is less dependent on the car, requiring less (and cheaper per capita) infrastructure provision (Williams 2000, cited in Dempsey 2010). Achieving a compact city does not just mean increasing
urban density Urban density is a term used in urban planning Urban planning, also known as regional planning, town planning, city planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design A design is ...
''per se'' or across all parts of the city. It means good planning to achieve an ''overall'' more compact urban form: The compact city model, ideally, creates benefits that are attractive to modern urbanites. The desired benefits include shorter commute times, reduced environmental impact of the community, and reduced consumption of fossil fuels and energy. However, research on compact cities from around the globe suggests that these outcomes are not guaranteed. To make matters worse, the design of the cities is limiting residents’ access to green space and reasonable views. For the compact city model to gain in popularity, it is necessary to review both their pros and cons.


Origins

The term ''compact city'' was first coined in 1973 by
George Dantzig George Bernard Dantzig (; November 8, 1914 – May 13, 2005) was an American mathematical scientist who made contributions to industrial engineering Industrial Engineering is an engineering profession that is concerned with the optimization ...
and
Thomas L. Saaty
Thomas L. Saaty
, two mathematicians whose utopian vision was largely driven by a desire to see more efficient use of resources. The concept, as it has influenced
urban planning Urban planning, also known as regional planning, town planning, city planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design A design is a plan or specification for the construction o ...
, is often attributed to
Jane Jacobs Jane Jacobs (''née'' Butzner; May 4, 1916 – April 25, 2006) was an American-Canadian journalist, author, theorist, and activist who influenced urban studies, sociology, and economics. Her book, ''The Death and Life of Great American Cities ...

Jane Jacobs
and her book ''
The Death and Life of Great American Cities ''The Death and Life of Great American Cities'' is a 1961 book by writer and activist Jane Jacobs Jane Jacobs (''née'' Butzner; May 4, 1916 – April 25, 2006) was an American-Canadian journalist, author, theorist, and activist who influe ...
'' (1961), a critique of
modernist Modernism is both a philosophical movement A philosophical movement refers to the phenomenon defined by a group of philosophers A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and ...

modernist
planning policies claimed by Jacobs to be destroying many existing
inner-city The term ''inner city'' has been used, especially in the United States, as a euphemism A euphemism () is an innocuous word or expression used in place of one that is deemed offensive or suggests something unpleasant. Some euphemisms are inte ...
communities. Among other criticisms of the conventional planning and transport planning of the time, Jacobs' work attacked the tendency, inherited from the
garden city movement The garden city movement is a method of urban planning Urban planning, also known as regional planning, town planning, city planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design ...
, towards reducing the density of dwellings in urban areas. Four conditions were necessary to enable the diversity essential for
urban renewal Urban renewal (also called urban regeneration in the United Kingdom and urban redevelopment in the United States) is a program of land redevelopment often used to address urban decay in cities. Urban renewal is the clearing out of blighted area ...
: mixed uses, small walkable blocks, mingling of building ages and types, and "a sufficiently dense concentration of people". The 'sufficient' density would vary according to local circumstances but, in general, a hundred dwellings per acre (247 per hectare – high by American standards, but quite common in European and Asian cities) could be considered a minimum.


Important terms

To understand a discussion about compact cities several key terms need to be defined. The first term is urban density. Urban density refers to how many people live in a square mile of land. It is used as a variable in evaluating how livable a city design is. The optimal urban density for compact cities is high enough to keep residents close to community amenities but low enough to allow residents access to green spaces, reasonable privacy, and acceptable views. Another term associated with the discussion about the compact city commuter is self-sustaining. Self-sustaining means that the city has everything that a person needs within the community. This includes stores, employers, a post office, service providers, energy generation, waste disposal and processing, and small-scale agricultural production (community gardens and/or vertical gardening). Since the objective of the compact city is to make the community as accessible as possible to residents, the term pedestrian design also needs to be defined. Pedestrian design means that the compact city's layout and features support pedestrian traffic. This is an important part of a compact city design because it facilitates the flow of foot and bike traffic through the community. While a pedestrian design will primarily focus on hardscape elements, such as pathways and sidewalks, green space also is important to consider. Green space, defined as the areas of nature found in the landscaping of a community, includes grassy patches, flowerbeds, trees, rock gardens, and water features. Green space is important in compact city designs because they enhance the aesthetics of the community. It also helps to control storm runoff, and they help to remove CO2 and other toxins from the air. Proximity is the final term that needs to be defined. It refers to how close a community's amenities are to where people live. Ideally, compact cities will keep key amenities within walking distance of people's homes. The acceptability of proximity to different amenities is calculated based on travel time and distance.


The compact city and related concepts

Although the concept of 'compact city' was coined by American writers, it has been used more in recent years by European and particularly British planners and academics. See, for example, the writings of Michael Jenks. In North America the term '
smart growth Smart growth is an urban planning Planning is the process A process is a series or set of Action (philosophy), activities that interact to produce a result; it may occur once-only or be recurrent or periodic. Things called a process include: B ...
' has become increasingly common linked to the concept of '
smart city A smart city is a technologically modern urban area An urban area, or built-up area, is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. Urban areas are created through urbanization and are categoriz ...
'. The concept of 'smart growth' is very similar to 'compact city', although 'smart growth' carries more strongly normative connotations, implicitly accepting the emphasis in current mainstream debates that growth is necessary and good. The term is often used loosely to accommodate these debates Cognate concepts include 'sustainable urban development' with no presumption that development equals growth. Another alternative concept is 'green urbanism'.
Steffen Lehmann Steffen Lehmann is a German-born architect and urban designer, born 19 June 1963 in Stuttgart of the Old Castle (Stuttgart), Old Castle Stuttgart (; Swabian German, Swabian: ; ) is the capital city, capital and list of cities in Germany, ...
has extensively written about the compact city and green urbanism. His work presents a series of international case studies and outlines 15 core principles for the design of compact, sustainable cities.


The compact city and proximity

Compact cities are intended to provide all one needs to live in one community, including work opportunities. Someone who works in a compact city can walk or bike a short distance to work instead of driving. This reduces fossil fuel consumption and emissions and pollutants, as well as traffic density. This is a main selling point of a compact city. However, not everyone finds work in the city, and consequently many people commute to neighboring cities for work. This has two drawbacks: commuting time and the impact of commuting. A study by Boussauw et al. found that commute times depend on urban density and the diversity of structures found in the community. The findings show that shorter commutes correlate with high values for density, diversity, and job accessibility. Thus proximity to work within a compact city needs the city to include structures that are appropriate for businesses in different industries; it also depends on the city's density of development. The more developed the city is, therefore, the more employers can be located there, and the fewer employees will need to commute long distances. Proximity also affects residents' access to green spaces. This is related because the more green space a community has the lower the development's urban density, thus increasing average commuting distance. In a study by Wolsink, participants viewed community proximity to green spaces as important, because green spaces provided recreational and educational opportunities, enhanced mental health, made the city more attractive. These benefits made additional time in commutes acceptable to residents. However, to remain acceptable, the proximity range needed to remain reasonable.


Compact cities and sustainability

Another selling point of compact cities is that they are supposed to be sustainable developments. However, recent studies suggest that these developments are not as green as promised. For example, in the study by Rérat, the author discussed three criticisms of the compact city model. The first criticism was that supply and demand alignments are not feasible in some cases. What this means is that there are limits to how many people can fit into a space because of resource and design limitations. Additionally, while a high-density may be achievable, it likely will counter the demands and expectations of residents who want more privacy and more personal space. The second criticism of the compact city is that to produce highly desirable living conditions and a high quality of life, the cost of living needs to increase. Consequently, integrating desirable traits into compact cities makes the living spaces expensive, pricing out lower-income families and pushing them to the outskirts of town. This stimulates urban sprawl and places the burden of longer commutes on low-income workers, further expanding disparities in wealth and quality of life. The third criticism of the compact city is that its environmental impacts are significant. Dense populations mean waste and pollution are also dense. This concentrates the impact of communities and necessitates expensive control mechanism. Rérat is not the only researcher showing evidence that compact cities are not as sustainable as promised. The work by Westernick et al. also show that there are sustainability trade-offs found within compact city designs. Westernick et al. compared compact cities to dispersed cities to see where sustainability factors differed. The findings showed that compact cities excelled in efficient
land consumption Land consumption as part of human resource consumptionResource consumption is about the consumption of non-renewable A non-renewable resource (also called a finite resource) is a natural resource that cannot be readily replaced by natural means ...
, more flexible land use patterns, cost efficiency of development and maintenance, and reduced reliance on fossil fuels and motor vehicles. In contrast, however, the sustainability disadvantages included higher vulnerability to disaster impacts, less personal space, less green space where people live, and higher environmental impact because of density. These drawbacks make compact cities less sustainable and justify the need for design improvements.


The compact city, urban sprawl and automobile dependency

Whether the compact city (or '
smart growth Smart growth is an urban planning Planning is the process A process is a series or set of Action (philosophy), activities that interact to produce a result; it may occur once-only or be recurrent or periodic. Things called a process include: B ...
') does or can reduce problems of
automobile dependency Automobile dependency or car dependency is the concept that some city layouts cause automobiles A car (or automobile) is a wheeled motor vehicle A motor vehicle, also known as motorized vehicle or automotive vehicle, is a self-propelle ...
associated with
urban sprawl Urban sprawl (also known as suburban sprawl or urban encroachment) is the unrestricted growth in many urban area An urban area, or built-up area, is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. ...
has been fiercely contested over several decades. An influential study in 1989 by Peter Newman and Jeff Kenworthy compared 32 cities across North America, Australia, Europe and Asia. The study's methodology has been criticised but the main finding that denser cities, particularly in Asia, have lower car use than sprawling cities, particularly in North America, has been largely accepted – although the relationship is clearer at the extremes across continents than it is within countries where conditions are more similar. Within cities, studies from across many countries (mainly in the developed world) have shown that denser urban areas with greater mixture of land use and better public transport tend to have lower car use than less dense
suburb A suburb (or suburban area or suburbia) is a commercial Commercial may refer to: * a dose of advertising conveyed through media (such as - for example - radio or television) ** Radio advertisement ** Television advertisement * (adjective ...
an and
exurb An exurb (alternately: exurban area) is an area outside the typically denser inner suburban area File:Husby Kista.jpg, The Swedish suburbs of Husby/Kista/Akalla are built according to the typical city planning of the Million Programme. A s ...
an residential areas. This usually holds true even after controlling for socio-economic factors such as differences in household composition and income. This does not necessarily imply that suburban sprawl causes high car use, however. One confounding factor, which has been the subject of many studies, is residential self-selection: people who prefer to drive tend to move towards low density suburbs, whereas people who prefer to walk, cycle or use transit tend to move towards higher density urban areas, better served by public transport. Some studies have found that, when self-selection is controlled for, the built environment has no significant effect on travel behaviour. More recent studies using more sophisticated methodologies have generally refuted these findings: density, land use and public transport accessibility can influence travel behaviour, although social and economic factors, particularly household income, usually exert a stronger influence.


The paradox of intensification

Reviewing the evidence on urban intensification, smart growth and their effects on travel behaviour, Melia ''et al.'' (2011) found support for the arguments of both supporters and opponents of the compact city. Planning policies which increase population densities in urban areas do tend to reduce car use, but the effect is a weak one, so doubling the population density of a particular area will not halve the frequency or distance of car use. For example,
Portland, Oregon Portland (, ) is the list of cities in Oregon, largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Oregon, and the county seat, seat of Multnomah County, Oregon, Multnomah County. It is a major port in the Willamette Valley region of the Pacif ...

Portland, Oregon
, a U.S. city which has pursued
smart growth Smart growth is an urban planning Planning is the process A process is a series or set of Action (philosophy), activities that interact to produce a result; it may occur once-only or be recurrent or periodic. Things called a process include: B ...
policies, substantially increased its population density between 1990 and 2000 when other US cities of a similar size were reducing in density. As predicted by the paradox, traffic volumes and congestion both increased more rapidly than in the other cities, despite a substantial increase in transit use. These findings led them to propose the paradox of intensification, which states: At the citywide level it may be possible, through a range of positive measures, to counteract the increases in traffic and congestion which would otherwise result from increasing population densities:
Freiburg im Breisgau Freiburg im Breisgau (; abbreviated as Freiburg i. Br. or Freiburg i. B.), commonly referred to as Freiburg, is an independent city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. With a population of about 230,000 (as of December 31, 2018), Freiburg is the Lis ...
in Germany is one example of a city which has been more successful in this respect. This study also reviewed evidence on the local effects of building at higher densities. At the level of the neighbourhood or individual development, positive measures (e.g. improvements to public transport) will usually be insufficient to counteract the traffic effect of increasing population density. This leaves policy-makers with four choices: intensify and accept the local consequences, sprawl and accept the wider consequences, a compromise with some element of both, or intensify accompanied by more radical measures such as parking restrictions, closing roads to traffic and
carfree zone Pedestrian zones (also known as auto-free zones and car-free zones, as pedestrian precincts in British English, and as pedestrian malls in the United States and Australia) are areas of a city or town reserved for pedestrian-only use and in whi ...
s. Building on self-reports of a sample of 336 residents who have often experienced a shift from low to high density living in Tehran, Ziafati Bafarasat (2017) tests a hypothesis suggesting that, in the context of attempts to escape and restore from chronic noise, contact load, and the sense of encapsulation, a compact city might increase discretionary car travel. Findings support the hypothesis as these density stressors increased the car travel time of 30–48% of respondents by at least 7–24% for escape and restoration. This appears to offset the trip-reduction benefit of higher density living. If a 5% reduction is assumed in car travel distance in the sample districts in the context of density, and, under the optimistic scenario, that the time-distance ratio is 1 in high density areas, this finding feeds into the conclusion that high density might have had no positive effect on, or even increased to a limited degree, the overall time of car travel.


Case studies

Around the globe, countries experiment with compact city models. To understand the outcomes of these model cities, the following discussion explores two case studies. The first case study comes from Australia and the second comes from Belgium. The Australian case of compact cities derives from a study by Bunker. It provides a commentary on urban development strategies used in Australia. To begin with, Australia has very low population density because of its extensive availability of space and its relatively low population. However, beginning in 2000, Australia adopted the compact city model for all its urban planning. Planners adopted this development philosophy because projections showed that the growth in Australia's largest cities was expected to be high over the next decade. In adopting the compact city model, Australian planners set their development objectives to limit urban sprawl; to promote infill, renewal, and redevelopment; to increase dwelling type diversity; to diversify economic activity in communities; to motivate development to remain close to the economic diversity; to encourage residents to use public transportation; and to inspire residents to walk or cycle instead of driving cars (13). Since 2000, Australia's growth patterns have followed these objectives with positive outcomes. Not only are fossil fuel reduction objectives being met, but compact community members are adopting more active lifestyles, enhancing public health. This suggests that by planning to make urban communities self-sustaining, compact city planners can meet their objectives. The Belgium case came from an article by Boussauw et al. This article compared two different development models used in Belgium. The models were the New Urbanism model and the Compact City model. Both models promote dense populations with lots of open green spaces and proximity to shopping and work options. The findings showed that the closer the proximity is within a community, the more likely people are to walk or cycle instead of driving. This shows that compact city models can produce environmental and public health benefits if proximity is optimized and if planners integrate pedestrian designs into the compact city layout. However, what the study did not address were the other factors that impact the environment's health, such as waste production and management, pollution density, and human impact on the environment.


Improvements to be made

The compact city model is arguably a good one, but it needs improvements. Some ideas for possible improvements include vertical green spaces, living walls and roofs, and the development of sustainable systems. To understand why these suggestions are a good idea, the following descriptions provide a quick overview of each. Vertical gardens are planting installations placed on the exterior walls of buildings. This innovation is highly cost-effective and offers multiple benefits to community members. For example, these installations not only add greenery to urban landscapes, but they also provide insulation to the building, can act as natural air conditioners, and remove CO2 from the air. Living roofs are like vertical gardens in that they are greenscapes added to the exterior of a building. However, where they differ is that living roofs utilize the horizontal space on the roof for gardens. These rooftop gardens provide insulation on the roof, help to manage runoff, and help to scrub CO2 from the air. An added benefit of this innovation is that it can produce healthy food for the building's residents. Another innovation compact cities need to adopt are sustainable systems. Sustainable systems create the infrastructure to naturally process sewage waste, grey water, and storm runoff on-site.Marcotullio, Peter J. ''Towards sustainable cities: East Asian, North American and European perspectives on managing urban regions''. New York: Routledge, 2017. These systems channel the waste products through a filtration system that not only prevents flooding on the community's hardscape, but that also utilizes wastewater to fertilize and water gardens. As the plants filter the waste water, they remove solid particles, cleaning it before it joins ground or surface water.


Influence in Europe

The
European Commission The European Commission (EC) is the executive branch The executive is the branch of government exercising authority in and holding Moral responsibility, responsibility for the governance of a State (polity), state. The executive executes a ...

European Commission
published the
Green Paper In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to ...
''Towards a new culture for urban mobility'' on 27 September 2007. Several institutions reacted to the Green Paper among them the European Parliament. Based on the preparatory work of its Committee on Transport and Tourism, the
European Parliament The European Parliament (EP) is one of three Legislature, legislative branches of the European Union and one of its seven Institutions of the European Union, institutions. Together with the Council of the European Union, it adopts European legi ...

European Parliament
in its Resolution of 9 July 2008 called among other things for “drawing up customised sustainable mobility plans and supporting measures for regional and urban planning ('city of short distances'), a process in which all parties concerned should be involved from an early stage”. They referred among others to the EU strategy to combat climate change and other environmental problems.


Influence in the Netherlands

The Netherlands' urban planning is highly influenced by the 'compacte stad'. In the 1960s cities expanded in large, top-down planned neighbourhoods using the scarce space available to use as efficiently as possible. Later, cities were not allowed to expand anyhow, giving way for completely new towns on moderate distances from the main city, in order to keep the new towns influenced mainly by their 'capital', however, giving the towns also some own air. Public transport between the main city and its towns in the rural areas connected them. This policy (''groeikernenbeleid'') resulted in typical commuter towns. Afterwards, in the 1980s, governments decided people need and want to live in this capital city itself and the groeikernenbeleid was rejected. New urban neighbourhoods had to be around a city, as a skin, encircling skins of older neighbourhoods. The new neighbourhoods were cleverly designed, relatively dense and with very good connections to get downtown by public transport or bicycle. This history results in a lack of urban sprawl, or at least of new urban sprawl. As new neighbourhoods need to be built as an outer skin around existing settlements and as other policies prohibited establishing new settlements outside other towns or villages, no new linear villages could be founded without governmental intervention any more. This in order to keep the rural landscape 'clean' and cities dense and compact. As a result, all neighbourhoods in Dutch towns are close to city centres, enabling inhabitants to get around quickly and cheaply by bike. Getting out of town doesn't involve driving through ever-ongoing sprawled suburbs, making it easy and popular to visit rural areas. By all these regulations, for instance the
Groene Hart The Groene Hart (; English: Green Heart) is a relatively thinly populated area of the Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_ma ...
(Green Heart amid the
Randstad The Randstad (; "Rim City") is a conurbation A conurbation is a region comprising a number of metropolis in the background A metropolis () is a large city or conurbation which is a significant economic, political, and cultural center fo ...

Randstad
) is kept green, while buffers around cities like
Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities of the Netherlands, most populous city of the Netherlands with a population of 872,680 within the city proper, 1,558,755 in the City Region of Amsterdam, urban ar ...

Amsterdam
,
Utrecht Utrecht ( , ) is the List of cities in the Netherlands by province, fourth-largest city and a List of municipalities of the Netherlands, municipality of the Netherlands, capital and most populous city of the Provinces of the Netherlands, provin ...

Utrecht
and
Delft Delft () is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. ...

Delft
avoids getting the cities grown together entirely.


Influence in the United Kingdom

The compact city had a particularly strong influence on planning policy in the UK during the Labour Governments of 1997–2010. The first Labour Government in 1998 set up the Urban Taskforce under , which produced the report Towards an Urban Renaissance. Influenced by this report, the UK Government issued
PPG 3 In the United Kingdom, Planning Policy Guidance Notes (PPG) were statements of the Government's national policy and principles towards certain aspects of the Town and Country Planning in the United Kingdom, town planning framework. These national ...
Planning Policy Guidance on Housing which introduced a 60%
brownfield In urban planning, brownfield land is any previously developed land that is not currently in use that may be potentially contaminated. The term is also used to describe real property, land previously used for industrial or commercial purposes w ...
target, a minimum net residential density guideline of 30 dwellings per hectare, a sequential hierarchy beginning with urban
brownfield land In urban planning Urban planning, also known as regional planning, town planning, city planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design A design is a plan or specification ...
, maximum parking guidelines replacing the previous minima, and a policy of intensification around public transport nodes. Over the succeeding years, these targets were substantially exceeded, with the brownfield proportion reaching 80% by 2009, and average densities 43 dwellings per hectare.Land Use Change Statistics (England) 2009 – provisional estimates (July 2010
Department of Communities and Local Government


In Russia and other ex-Soviet countries

Most cities in
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

Russia
such as regional capitals
Yaroslavl Yaroslavl ( rus, Ярослáвль, p=jɪrɐˈsɫavlʲ) is a types of inhabited localities in Russia, city and the administrative center of Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia, located northeast of Moscow. The historic part of the city, a World Heritag ...

Yaroslavl
,
Krasnodar Krasnodar (; rus, Краснода́р, p=krəsnɐˈdar), formerly Yekaterinodar (until 1920), is the largest city and the administrative centre of Krasnodar Krai, Russia. The city stands on the Kuban River in southern Russia, with a population ...
,
Novosibirsk Novosibirsk (, also ; rus, Новосиби́рск, p=nəvəsʲɪˈbʲirsk, a=ru-Новосибирск.ogg) is the largest city and administrative centre of Novosibirsk Oblast and Siberian Federal District in Russia. It has a population of&n ...
, etc., as well as cities and towns in other ex
Eastern Bloc The Eastern Bloc, also known as the Communist Bloc, the Socialist Bloc and the Soviet Bloc, was the group of socialist state A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' ...
countries, such as Trencin or
Zvolen Zvolen (; hu, Zólyom; german: Altsohl) is a town in central Slovakia Slovakia (; sk, Slovensko ), officially the Slovak Republic ( sk, Slovenská republika, links=no ), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by P ...

Zvolen
in
Slovakia Slovakia (; sk, Slovensko ), officially the Slovak Republic ( sk, Slovenská republika, links=no ), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to th ...

Slovakia
, can be qualified as compact cities, where most people live in residential areas made up of big apartment blocks between 3 and 8 floors, in parks full of trees, flowers, playgrounds, benches, etc. with small shops and cafés on the ground level or in clusters around the main paths. Residents have thus much space to socialize. Cars typically have only limited access to the “inner garden ” that surrounds the apartment blocks and are limited to the main boulevards. The high population density means people have to walk smaller distances to get to the supermarket, school, kindergarten, pub, restaurant, grocery, library, gym, or access the public transportation system – a mix of public buses and tramway and private minibuses. Most people in those cities do not own a car and if they do, they use it only in the summer to drive to their
dacha A dacha ( rus, дача, p=ˈdatɕə, a=ru-dacha.ogg) is a seasonal or year-round second home, often located in the exurbs of Russian language, Russian-speaking and other former Soviet Union, post-Soviet countries. A cottage (, ') or shack serving ...

dacha
. Living in apartments also means fewer losses of energy spent on heating, each apartment block having one central heating system in the basement that can be either publicly or privately run.


Conclusion

Compact cities are designed to keep residents in close proximity to everything they need for daily living, including shopping, education, housing, and work. The rationale of this urban development model is to reduce the amount of time people spend commuting, as well as to reduce fossil fuel usage and to increase the sustainability of developments. While compact cities promise short commutes and sustainable designs, these benefits are not guaranteed. The problems preventing the desired outcomes include failure to consider the concentrated impact of dense populations on the environment and lack of planning for green space and pollution control. If planning addresses these issues and innovates to solve problems, everything promised by compact cities can be delivered.


See also

*
15 minute city The 15-minute city is a residential urban concept in which all city residents are able to meet most of their needs within a short walk or bicycle ride from their homes. The concept was popularized by Mayor Anne Hidalgo Ana María "Anne" Hidalgo ...
*
Circles of Sustainability Circles of Sustainability is a method for understanding and assessing sustainability Sustainability is the capacity to endure in a relatively ongoing way across various domains of life. In the 21st century, it refers generally to the ca ...
* Community Preservation Act * Fused grid *
Healthy city Healthy city is a term used in public health Public health has been defined as "the science and art of preventing disease", prolonging life and improving quality of life Quality of life (QOL) is defined by the World Health Organization ...
*
New Urbanism New Urbanism is an urban design While many assume urban design is about the process of designing and shaping the physical features of cities A city is a large human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, lo ...

New Urbanism
*
Planned community A planned community, planned city, or planned town is any community that was carefully planned from its inception and is typically constructed on previously undeveloped land. This contrasts with settlements that evolve in a more ''ad hoc'' ...
*
Principles of Intelligent Urbanism A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified ...
* Slow architecture *
Traditional Neighborhood Development Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) refers to the development of a complete neighborhood or town using traditional town planning principles. TND may occur in infill settings and involve adaptive reuse of existing buildings, but often involve ...
*
Transit-oriented development In urban planning Urban planning, also known as regional planning, town planning, city planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design A design is a plan or specification ...
*
Urban density Urban density is a term used in urban planning Urban planning, also known as regional planning, town planning, city planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design A design is ...
*
Urban sprawl Urban sprawl (also known as suburban sprawl or urban encroachment) is the unrestricted growth in many urban area An urban area, or built-up area, is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. ...
*
Ville Radieuse Ville radieuse (, ''Radiant City'') was an unrealised urban design project designed by the French-Swiss architect Le Corbusier in 1930. It constitutes one of the most influential and controversial urban design doctrines of European modernism. Alt ...


References


External links


Compact City Performance Based Building
{{Urban Planning New Urbanism Urban planning