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Old 12-28-2011, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Californicating Midland, TX since 2017
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It seems most cities around the world are built with residential zones being of lower density than the commercial or industrial areas (where the jobs/businesses are.)

Are there any examples of cities around the world where the residential zones are of higher density than the commercial areas?

It seems public transit will be easier to provide for when the vast majority of people are living in only a few select areas..

What sort of "dysfunction" would such a city experience?
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:44 PM
 
Location: The City
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Well many older cities have incured to a great extent with the spread and sprawl of jobs to the burbs and finges.
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Old 12-28-2011, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
Well many older cities have incured to a great extent with the spread and sprawl of jobs to the burbs and finges.
Yup.

While Toronto's downtown has a very high density of jobs (I think the financial district is around 150,000 jobs in 1/6 square mile), the downtown area has only about 450,000 jobs out of about 2,500,000 across the metropolitan area. Of those other 2 million jobs, some are at relatively high densities, but much of them are in low density light manufacturing areas, strip malls and office parks. Meanwhile, the average resident of the urban area lives at a density of 14,000 ppsm, which I'm pretty sure is denser than much of the employment outside of downtown.

I would also say that homes are a greater trip generator than employment. It's not just about getting to work, but also to shopping, the dentist, school, soccer practice, etc. I think ideally, for providing public transit you should look at "trip generation density", so how many trips start/end at a certain point, and I'm guessing that number is higher in residential areas of equal density to employment areas (although I could be wrong).

Typical light manufacturing density, these take up a huge chunk of Greater Toronto's land area:
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=6166+K...W8Beq3FA86kbmA

Suburban retail employment:
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Fairbu...223.65,,0,8.21

Suburban-style offices, despite the tall buildings, the job density is no higher than the residential density of a typical Toronto subdivision because of all the parking lots and the 1-2 storey buildings mixed in:
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Consum...9.85,,0,-13.82

Typical inner city industrial district near the railroads, these are often run-down with some abandonned buildings, so I'm not sure if the density is all that high either:
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Dundas...,282.01,,0,1.3

Relatively typical retail street in the inner city, these might have a job density higher than the typical residential area (maybe?), but still much lower than the financial district:
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=1419+G...,243.97,,0,4.4

Financial District, it's mostly just the 450,000 jobs downtown and maybe a few other centers along the Yonge Subway that are of somewhat comparable employment density, for a total of maybe 500,000 jobs:
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Pearl+...4.11,,0,-16.82

Last edited by memph; 12-28-2011 at 02:32 PM..
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Old 01-08-2012, 07:43 PM
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Location: Western Massachusetts
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LA might be a good example. Residential density is moderately high, but jobs and commerce are scattered throughout the metro area.

The core of Vancouver doesn't have a high density of office buildings, but it has a high density of residential high rises.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:10 PM
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Location: Western Massachusetts
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Looking at this paper, the author calculates the density an average resident lives in and the average job density.

http://www.lrrb.org/pdf/200124.pdf

Residential density is on page 18 (perceived residential density)
Job density is on page 20 (job perceived density from location)

Besides NYC, Chicago and DC rank very high. San Francisco ranks almost as high as DC but it has a higher residential density than DC. So DC has an exceptionally high job concentration relative to its residential concentration. Pittsburgh stands out, too. Its residents are rather spread out, but its jobs aren't, with the 5th highest job concentration, only less than much bigger and denser cities.

Relative to their residential densities, LA (#3 in residential density), Phoenix and San Diego have low job densities.

These numbers are all 1990 numbers. I'm guessing job concentration changed much more than residential densities in the last 20 years.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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This isn't a high density office buildings?

Vancouver, BC, Canada - Google Maps

It might even be a higher job density than the residential density of the surrounding neighbourhoods. You have to consider that offices have more jobs per floor space than condos have residents, and that offices typically have larger floorplates and can potentially have higher FSIs despite being the same height.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:16 PM
 
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What do you mean by "density"? Typically, I think of population density, and technically, a single-family home has a higher population density than an office building, at least at night when the building is closed.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:20 PM
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Location: Western Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
What do you mean by "density"? Typically, I think of population density, and technically, a single-family home has a higher population density than an office building, at least at night when the building is closed.
I was thinking you could measure jobs the same way as population. Maybe jobs/ square mile. I'd need to read more on their methodology.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:21 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Western Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
This isn't a high density office buildings?

Vancouver, BC, Canada - Google Maps
Never mind.

From what I remember it seemed like a large amount of the core was used for residential rather than commercial, but perhaps I'm wrong.
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Never mind.

From what I remember it seemed like a large amount of the core was used for residential rather than commercial, but perhaps I'm wrong.
Depends on what you call the core. The CBD is where most of the office buildings are, and it's mostly commercial, like most other CBDs of American cities its size.

However, if you consider the core to be the "downtown peninsula" or "the area with highrises", then yeah, most of the land is residential uses (although I think the number of jobs is still higher than residents).
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