At first glance, the concept of density is wonderfully appeal- ing to planners. It is an objective, quantitative, and, by itself, neutral term. However, a second and third glance reveals that it is a very complex concept. Some of the complexity is inher- ent to the nature of the phenomena associated with density, but part of the complexity stems from the different ways in which density is defined and used in different countries and different disciplines. This review of the literature presents this complexity in an attempt to contribute to a better under- standing of the concept and a more careful approach to its use. The review includes both academic and practice literature from the planning, urban studies, and environment-behavior disciplines and selected planning documents from countries around the world.
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