chapter
9 Pages

Achieving Sustainable Urban Form: Conclusions

Compactness, centralisation, concentration and intensification The relationship between urban compactness and travel patterns is central to the sustainable urban form debate. It has been commonly accepted that a degree of compactness, in any of several forms, reduces demand for car travel. Most of the authors who addressed this issue agreed, to varying extents, with the assumption that compaction leads to fewer car journeys. However, they also deconstructed the simple causal relationship between high-density development and reductions in travel demand and added more detailed information about specific savings for different compaction scenarios, journey types and modes. For example, Newton found distinct benefits in urban compaction in terms of fuel efficiency, but these benefits were not confined to the 'compact city' form, they were also achievable through compact zones throughout the city, such as in corridors or on the edge of the city. Likewise, Buxton found that substantial transport energy savings could be realised through traditional neighbourhood developments, built at higher densities than usual suburban developments, and supported by other environmentally beneficial measures. Newman and Kenworthy asserted the influence of density on reducing car dependence and, in an argument similar to Newton's, indicated certain areas where development should be located for maximum gains. Masnavi found that compactness had an influence on some trips (such as non-work), but less so on others (commuting).