Density and Sustainability - paradigms in practice and the results of research

Meta Berghauser Pont, Victoria Alstäde, Axel Heyman, Per Berg (SLU), Per Haupt (BTH)

A research project on density and sustainability has been funded by the Research Council Formas. The research project "Density and Sustainability - paradigms in practice and the results of research", is a collaboration between Chalmers, BTH, SLU and Boverket. The aim of the research project is to provide, (1) a systematic review of positive and negative effects of densification as described in scientific publications and; (2) to identify in which ways claimed density effects are used in planning practice to underpin sustainable urban development policies; (3) a synthesis of matches and mismatches between (1) and (2) such as the over- or underestimation of density benefits. The project will be led by Meta Berghauser Pont, associate professor at Chalmers. Co-applicants are Professor Per Berg at SLU, Adjunct Professor Per Haupt at BTH and Patrik Faming, urban planner and coordinator at Boverket.


Formas funded an additional project to develop a web-application to transfer the knowledge on density trade-offs to practice. This will allow the decision-making processes in urban planning and design to become more transparent and effective in supporting defined sustainability goals. The application will give municipalities an equal access to up-to-date information and knowledge on density, which is especially important for small municipalities with fewer resources. 


The application will be tested and developed in collaboration with the municipality of Norrköping.

Image credits: Berghauser Pont, 2006

Image credits: Berghauser Pont, 2006


Project timeframe: 2018 –  2021

Funding: Formas