Planning control and the politics of soft densification

Dunning, Richard ORCID: 0000-0003-0397-679X, Hickman, Hannah and While, Aidan
(2020) Planning control and the politics of soft densification. TOWN PLANNING REVIEW, 91 (3). pp. 305-324.

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Richard Dunning is Lecturer at the University of Liverpool, School of Environmental Sciences-Geography and Planning, Roxby Building, Liverpool L69 3BX; Hannah Hickman is Senior Research Fellow, University of the West of England, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, BS16 1QY; Aidan While is Reader at the University of Sheffield, Urban Studies and Planning, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN; email:;; Increasing the density of existing urban areas can support urban regeneration and environmental sustainability by limiting urban sprawl and linking housing to transport infrastructure. However, making space for 'soft densification'-small-scale incremental densification-poses challenges in managing development with the cumulative aesthetic, social and infrastructural impacts of such change. We highlight tensions between residential interests in maintaining existing housing densities and arguments for greater urban density. The paper demonstrates the importance of active management of soft densification and the challenges of reconciling competing interests, arguing that soft densification needs to be taken more seriously by politicians, planners and urban theorists.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: density, soft densification, urban, politics, planning, England
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2020 15:47
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 00:06
DOI: 10.3828/tpr.2020.17
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