Analysis on residential density dynamics in USA-a case study in southeast Wisconsin

Lingzhi Wang, Ye Wei, Hichem Omrani, Bryan Pijanowski, Jarrod Doucett, Ke Li, Yang Wu

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Residential development was a dynamic and complex process along with urbanization. Suitable residential density has become the core content of urban densification, which promote local prosperity and the sustainability of the urban landscape. Much recent research has examined residential expansion, but less attention has been paid to dynamics among different residential densities, which was a significant indicator of urban densification and greatly related to the city’s livability. This paper focused on the residential density dynamics and its driving forces in southeastern Wisconsin. Our results revealed that low density was the main residential pattern, and that increasing suburban density was a very common characteristic among all counties from 1990 to 2010. The significant drivers of residential densities included the perfection degree of urban function, water supply service, access to existing urban and residential areas, and the elevation. The significant drivers varied from the distance to historical center and among counties. The results highlighted the importance of perfection degree of urban function as an essential factor to explain the residential density dynamics. Accordingly, the regulation of urban function and carrying capacity also become a powerful tool for controlling suitable residential density, which was essential for the urban planning and real estate industry.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101866
JournalSustainable Cities and Society
Early online date30 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Residential density dynamics
  • Livability of city
  • Binary logistic regression
  • Stepwise linear regression
  • Southeastern Wisconsin

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