Visualizing Density


Julie Campoli and aerial photographer Alex S. MacLean joined forces with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy to create a full-color, richly illustrated book to help planners, designers, public officials, and citizens better understand, and better communicate to others, the concept of density as it applies to the residential environment.

Visualizing Density includes an essay on the density challenge facing the United States, an illustrated manual on planning and designing for “good” density, and a catalog of more than 250 diverse neighborhoods across the country, noting density in housing units per acre for each site. Four photographs of each location are included—close-up, context, neighborhood, and plan views—to provide an impartial and comparative view of the many ways to design neighborhoods.

Buy the book or download Chapter 1



Check out the Visualizing Density web site, authored by Julie Campoli and hosted by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy with photographs by Alex S. MacLean.

Named one of the top 100 "Best Books on City-making Ever Written" and a top ten book of 2008 by PLANetizen online journal: “This vivid and visual book is one of the essential guides to understanding the concept of density.It provides aerial photos and street pattern maps for the entire range of housing density in America – from 0.2 units per acre in Beverly Hills to nearly 300 units per acre in New York City. In this book version of the 2007 Planetizen Top Website Visualizing Density, Campoli presents accurate descriptions of density and land use patterns in the United States, and offers the stepping stones to planning and designing for a society of greater density. MacLean’s beautiful and varied aerial photography gives an impressive view of hundreds of parts of the country and, at the same time, a disturbing look at the wasteful development pattern that has persevered in the U.S. for decades.”

Also named an Outstanding Academic Title of 2007 by Choice magazine. This prestigious designation includes 646 books and electronic resources chosen by the Choice editorial staff from among more than 7,000 titles reviewed that year by the magazine, the official publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association. In making the selection of titles, the magazine’s editors consider overall excellence in presentation and scholarship; importance relative to other literature in the field; distinction as a first treatment of a subject; originality; and value to undergraduates and undergraduate library collections.