WIT Press

Environmental Sustainability And Urban Densification


Free (open access)





Page Range

217 - 228




786 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


S. Fatone, E. Conticelli & S. Tondelli


Densification is generally proposed as the solution to the excessive soil consumption that has characterized the urban development of European cities in the recent decades. Even if the \“compact city” can generally be regarded as a preferred urban form over the \“dispersed city”, the strategy of densification is not applicable to any context, leaving aside the local conditions. Densification operations should consider the state of the environmental and urban context and assess threats and opportunities offered by the specific site. Thus, this paper describes a method for the environmental sustainability analysis of the built urban fabric. It proposes a set of sustainability objectives and pre-conditions to be evaluated in order to estimate the possibility to increase the urban density without compromising the environment, and it defines implementation measures, declined for the various environmental aspects which are considered to be affected by the densification interventions (water, soil, energy, electromagnetism, seismic, public facilities, waste, mobility, noise, air). The implementation measures are considered as guidelines for the inclusion of new volumes or for the completion of existing ones into the built areas, to be codified in the municipal building rules in order to guarantee the sustainability of the densification. The theme is explored both at the building scale and the urban scale, considering both the environmental aspects dealing with the building, such as the energy and seismic improvement, the urban morphology and the infrastructures capacity at urban scale, such as transport and green networks, water and road traffic flows. Keywords: urban density, densification, environmental sustainability, compact city, building rules.


urban density, densification, environmental sustainability, compact city, building rules.