This research paper accompanies the 2017 update of the Location of Development analysis. It describes how large and compact settlement patterns support economic productivity, promote sustainable mobility, improves public health and can encourage continued physical activity, economic participation and social interaction for an ageing population.
The RTPI has published a literature review on the relationship between settlement patterns, urban form and sustainability. This describes how:
- Large and compact settlement patterns support economic productivity by reducing the distances between homes and jobs and making efficient use of infrastructure networks.
- Settlement patterns and urban forms that promote sustainable mobility play a critical role in reducing transport emissions, with larger settlements, higher densities and mixed land uses reducing the need to travel by car.
- Larger settlements with higher densities and mixed land use improves public health by increasing physical activity, which helps to address the prevalence, severity and cost of chronic lifestyle-related diseases.
- Compact, medium density, mixed use and public-transport friendly settlements can encourage continued physical activity, economic participation and social interaction for an ageing population.