A planning policy or an urban design problem? Assessing the relationship between income diversity and the urban form in New York City

Research article under review…

There is an ongoing debate between urban planning and the urban design regarding social sustainability in cities. While planners argue that prescriptive urban form policies are motivating gentrification and displacement, urban designers claim that high densities and different housing typologies catalyze socially diverse environments. This project evaluated the urban form characteristics of the most socially diverse census tracts in New York City, and relate their location to the areas where policies of public housing, inclusionary zoning and historic preservation have been enforced. Results show that urban form characteristics such as Floor to Area Ratios may have a limited influence on income diversity, while policies regarding social housing and historical preservation are more powerful to incentivize or deter income diversity. However, more important is examining the cases where planning and design policies align to encourage income diversity. Example of this are the areas where piecemeal densification is encouraged on transit corridors.



Role: Principal Researcher

Software: Stata; ArcGIS; SketchUP; MS Office


About juanyunda

Architect, M.Sc. Urban Studies. Interest: Urban Renewal Projects in Colombia, Austria, Germany, China and the U.S.

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