U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 10-26-2012, 01:18 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,988 posts, read 102,540,351 times
Reputation: 33050

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaymondChandlerLives View Post
Comparisons using standard density work if the populations match. No method is perfect.
This is most certainly true!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-26-2012, 02:01 PM
 
2,145 posts, read 1,587,856 times
Reputation: 1057
http://popupcity.net/wp-content/uplo...ng-Outside.jpg
http://popupcity.net/wp-content/uplo...ng-Outside.jpg
I don't feel people are meant to live like this.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-26-2012, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
9,832 posts, read 7,672,514 times
Reputation: 6288
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Agreed none is perfect, but standard density rather easily gets thrown off if there's an area that's undeveloped or lightly populated. You could draw boundaries with care, but that's always a bit arbitary; weighted density deals with that naturally by weighting less populated sections less.

But, if you're interested in the amount of space / urban area takes up (say, for land consumption) weighted density is useless and standard density can be ok (as long as you don't count things like mountain ranges). The main benefit I keep mentioning of weighted density (numbers aren't thrown off by large lot areas that take up a lot of area but don't hold many people) makes it meaningless for land use / person. I think density of the neighborhoods of where people live is the more interesting number, but others might not.
I like census tracts as well, but even it has its flaws, as the land area isn't always contigous.

Weighted density is almost always calculated by UA, which is too big an area IMO--it inevitably becomes weighted towards the suburbs in most cases. Then you have NYC, which has the greatest contrast (by far) between city and suburbs as far as density goes. The city is amazingly dense, but when someone says the average resident in the New York metropolitan area lives at 30k ppsm, that seems misleading to me. Your typical NYC resident lives at a much higher density, but your typical Tri-state resident outside those city limits lives at a much lower density. 30k is skewed depending at what you're looking at, simply because NYC is so off the charts dense by U.S. standards. It is an enormous outlier.

I've seen weighted density using city limits. Even that doesn't really work for comparisons sake, simply because of the size differences of our cities. The larger the land area a city consumes, the more suburbs are taken in, which drops the density. Occasionally you'll run into cities that are similar in size and density (SF, Boston, DC). The comparisons work much better there because they're smaller cities, similar in size, but problems arise you throw a Los Angeles or a Chicago into the mix. The density for the city of Los Angeles was calculated at 17k ppsm, but that's for 3.8 million people, living in 470 sq miles. That's pretty much an urbanized area onto itself, a large one. It would be better to see how Central Los Angeles (58 sq miles) compares to Boston. Or the Northside of Chicago. Or City Center and environs in Philly, or the inner loop in Houston.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-26-2012, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,759,792 times
Reputation: 1616
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaymondChandlerLives View Post
I like census tracts as well, but even it has its flaws, as the land area isn't always contigous.

Weighted density is almost always calculated by UA, which is too big an area IMO--it inevitably becomes weighted towards the suburbs in most cases. Then you have NYC, which has the greatest contrast (by far) between city and suburbs as far as density goes. The city is amazingly dense, but when someone says the average resident in the New York metropolitan area lives at 30k ppsm, that seems misleading to me. Your typical NYC resident lives at a much higher density, but your typical Tri-state resident outside those city limits lives at a much lower density. 30k is skewed depending at what you're looking at, simply because NYC is so off the charts dense by U.S. standards. It is an enormous outlier.

I've seen weighted density using city limits. Even that doesn't really work for comparisons sake, simply because of the size differences of our cities. The larger the land area a city consumes, the more suburbs are taken in, which drops the density. Occasionally you'll run into cities that are similar in size and density (SF, Boston, DC). The comparisons work much better there because they're smaller cities, similar in size, but problems arise you throw a Los Angeles or a Chicago into the mix. The density for the city of Los Angeles was calculated at 17k ppsm, but that's for 3.8 million people, living in 470 sq miles. That's pretty much an urbanized area onto itself, a large one. It would be better to see how Central Los Angeles (58 sq miles) compares to Boston. Or the Northside of Chicago. Or City Center and environs in Philly, or the inner loop in Houston.
Yeah, just NYC had a weighted density of over 60k, while the suburbs were I think under 10k (Nei has the exact numbers). That's why the density gradient can be helpful though, it helps show how much the density varies throughout the urban area.

Still, it's interesting to see how the central area of an MSA differs from the UA or MSA weighted density, that's what I started looking at for Canadian cities: Urban Density Comparisons
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-26-2012, 07:56 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,985 posts, read 41,929,314 times
Reputation: 14804
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaymondChandlerLives View Post
Weighted density is almost always calculated by UA, which is too big an area IMO--it inevitably becomes weighted towards the suburbs in most cases. Then you have NYC, which has the greatest contrast (by far) between city and suburbs as far as density goes. The city is amazingly dense, but when someone says the average resident in the New York metropolitan area lives at 30k ppsm, that seems misleading to me. Your typical NYC resident lives at a much higher density, but your typical Tri-state resident outside those city limits lives at a much lower density. 30k is skewed depending at what you're looking at, simply because NYC is so off the charts dense by U.S. standards. It is an enormous outlier.
The differences in density between parts of the NYC urban area is vast, census tracts vary from 1000/ sq mile to 200,000k/sq mile. Any average can't really characterize what most of the place is like, weighted or unweighted. Having both standard and weighted density tells something: the large difference (6x) between the two implies that the population distribution within the urban area is very uneven. Not that it isn't obvious, but it does quantify. I calculated weighted density of NYC boroughs and Long Island (subdivided by township) here:

http://www.city-data.com/forum/23014248-post78.html

The Bronx has a lower standard density than Brooklyn but higher weighted density; Brooklyn has a similar housing stock throughout (much of 3-4 story rowhouses) while the Bronx has very dense apartment blocks in the western half and some undeveloped land and lower density housing in the rest. Urban area outside of the city has a weighted density of 7900 / sq mile, but one NJ county (Hudson) has a weighted density of 33k / sq mile, another (Essex) 15k, the rest are more like Long Island.

Quote:
I've seen weighted density using city limits. Even that doesn't really work for comparisons sake, simply because of the size differences of our cities. The larger the land area a city consumes, the more suburbs are taken in, which drops the density. Occasionally you'll run into cities that are similar in size and density (SF, Boston, DC). The comparisons work much better there because they're smaller cities, similar in size, but problems arise you throw a Los Angeles or a Chicago into the mix. The density for the city of Los Angeles was calculated at 17k ppsm, but that's for 3.8 million people, living in 470 sq miles. That's pretty much an urbanized area onto itself, a large one. It would be better to see how Central Los Angeles (58 sq miles) compares to Boston. Or the Northside of Chicago. Or City Center and environs in Philly, or the inner loop in Houston.
Another way would be to be measure how many people would a city have if its area was 47 square miles (and its boundaries drawn to cover the most people). Favors larger cities more.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-26-2012, 09:41 PM
 
Location: Michigan
4,571 posts, read 7,030,520 times
Reputation: 3599
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFi View Post
Though we can't exactly sustain ourselves like this...

http://cdn.lightgalleries.net/4bd5eb...S2654_16-2.jpg
http://www.welovedc.com/wp-content/u...a-USA-2009.jpg

Where is the happy medium?!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-27-2012, 07:36 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,985 posts, read 41,929,314 times
Reputation: 14804
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFi View Post
The most dense cities were probably all in the soviet union, they packed em like sardines in those government assigned high-rise flats. 5 square meters per person was the standard. A model of efficiency
I don't think this is true. Hong Kong must be denser than any Soviet city. Both New York City and some European cities (Paris, Barcelona) have some sections denser than anywhere in Moscow. Overall Barcelona is probably denser than Moscow. But Moscow has little low density development so it doesn't sprawl much, but neither does Barcelona. The uniqueness of communist cities are that they have the densest development not in the center, but on the city outskirts:

The economics of redevelopment and the shape of socialist cities | Market Urbanism

Look at Paris vs Moscow! NYC follows the same pattern as Paris, but its density profile stays relatively flat for a longer distance distance from the core and then takes a sharp dive. The Soviet housing blocks pack a lot of people but they leave space in between examples.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-27-2012, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
9,832 posts, read 7,672,514 times
Reputation: 6288
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
The differences in density between parts of the NYC urban area is vast, census tracts vary from 1000/ sq mile to 200,000k/sq mile. Any average can't really characterize what most of the place is like, weighted or unweighted. Having both standard and weighted density tells something: the large difference (6x) between the two implies that the population distribution within the urban area is very uneven. Not that it isn't obvious, but it does quantify. I calculated weighted density of NYC boroughs and Long Island (subdivided by township) here:

http://www.city-data.com/forum/23014248-post78.html

The Bronx has a lower standard density than Brooklyn but higher weighted density; Brooklyn has a similar housing stock throughout (much of 3-4 story rowhouses) while the Bronx has very dense apartment blocks in the western half and some undeveloped land and lower density housing in the rest. Urban area outside of the city has a weighted density of 7900 / sq mile, but one NJ county (Hudson) has a weighted density of 33k / sq mile, another (Essex) 15k, the rest are more like Long Island.



Another way would be to be measure how many people would a city have if its area was 47 square miles (and its boundaries drawn to cover the most people). Favors larger cities more.
Makes sense. The South Bronx felt astonishly dense to me, even more than several parts of Manhattan, or anywhere in Brooklyn. It's arguably the single most "urban" neighborhood in America, though not very urbane obviously.

Still, in defense of Brooklyn, it has 1.1 million more residents thans the Bronx--that might factor into its lower weighted density. Then again, Brooklyn is consistently dense and urban all over, so a comparison between an area of land in BK that houses 1.4 million residents, in comparison to the Bronx (also 1.4 million) probably won't yield different results.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-27-2012, 03:43 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,985 posts, read 41,929,314 times
Reputation: 14804
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaymondChandlerLives View Post
Makes sense. The South Bronx felt astonishly dense to me, even more than several parts of Manhattan, or anywhere in Brooklyn. It's arguably the single most "urban" neighborhood in America, though not very urbane obviously.
You visited the South Bronx? I'm surprised someone from LA would visit there, it's not exactly a tourist spot, except for Yankee Stadium. I haven't been there myself other than driving through, but I've seen neighborhoods with similar housing stock in Upper Manhattan and NW Bronx. Upper Manhattan actually is somewhat denser than South Bronx. The South Bronx has had severe population loss due to part of its housing stock destroyed by arson, though it's been gaining population at a good pace, not yet back to former levels. The most intact, dense sections of the Bronx look to be north of I-95 and west of the Bronx Zoo / Garden.

A neighborhood with similar housing stock to a dense Bronx neighborhood in the well off sections of Manhattan would record lower densities due to less overcrowding. Many Manhattan neighborhoods are both structurally and population-wise denser than the densest sections of the Bronx, as well as more urbane.

Quote:
Still, in defense of Brooklyn, it has 1.1 million more residents thans the Bronx--that might factor into its lower weighted density. Then again, Brooklyn is consistently dense and urban all over, so a comparison between an area of land in BK that houses 1.4 million residents, in comparison to the Bronx (also 1.4 million) probably won't yield different results.
I have checked. Brooklyn has only a few pockets at the density of the densest Bronx neighborhoods (wonder why that happened). Taking a similar size of Brooklyn to the Bronx will always give a lower weighted density for Brooklyn . Th densest Bronx neighborhoods tend to more contiguous than Brooklyn's as well. This might help, but you'd have to adjust for the population of each borough.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-27-2012, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
9,832 posts, read 7,672,514 times
Reputation: 6288
Nice graphs. Yeah, I walked around the South Bronx briefly, during my first visit to NYC back in 2000. If I remember correctly, I overshot my exit and then thought "why not?". The "Bronx is Burning" era is so fascinating, I had to take a look. What struck me most was the grittiness of the place, and the giant streetwalls in certain sections. For comparison, I stayed with a friend in Harlem during my last visit (127th and Park Avenue) and the surrounding area felt less "dense" or tall. Same with most of the downtown neighborhoods.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top