People want to be close to shops and services, for excitement and convenience. And they want to be away from services, for quiet and green. The exact balance of these two desires varies from person to person, but in the aggregate it is the balance of these two desires which determines the gradient of housing densities in a neighbourhood.


Once the nucleus of a community is clearly placed—define rings of decreasing local housing density around this nucleus. If you cannot avoid it, choose the densities from the foregoing table. But, much better, if you can possibly manage it, play the density rings game, to obtain these densities, from the intuitions of the very people who are going to live in the community.

… in Eccentric Nucleus (28) we have given a general form for the configuration of density “peaks” and “valleys”, with respect to the Mosaic of Subcultures (8) and Subculture Boundary (13). Suppose now that the center of commercial activity in a Community of 7000 (12) is placed according to the overall density within the region. We then face the problem of establishing local densities, for house clusters and work communities, at different distances around this peak. This pattern gives a rule for working out the gradient density of these local densities. Most concretely, this gradient of density can be specified, by drawing rings at different distances from the main center of activity and then assigning different densities to each ring, so that the densities in the succeeding rings create the gradient of density. The gradient will vary from community to community — both according to the cultural background of the people.

Within the rings of density, encourage housing to take the form of housing clusters — self-governing cooperatives of 8 to 15 households, their physical size varying according to the density — House Cluster (37). According to the densities in the different rings, build these houses as free-standing houses — House Cluster (37), Row Houses (38), or higher density clusters of housing — Housing Hill (39). Keep public spaces — Promenade (31), Small Public Squares (61) — to those areas which have a high enough density around them to keep them alive — Pedestrian Density (123).

Reference for full-text of Pattern: p. 156medium-confidence