Density in Relation to Patterns of Built-forms (Case Study: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)


Research Scholar, School of Planning and Architecture /SPA/, Department of Urban Planning, New Delhi, India.


Density is a critical typology in determining sustainable urban built-form patterns. Built-form
refers to the assemblage and arrangement of the building masses in a city reflecting the spatial layout of spaces.
The relationship between density and urban character is also based on at certain densities (thresholds). In a wider
sense, sustainable cities are a matter of density. Recent debates about the creation of more sustainable urban form,
compact cities have led to a renewed focus on issues of density. The argument is that high density high-rise with low
ground coverage or compact city form can offer a high quality of life while minimizing crime, possibility to provide
adequate amenities, green and open spaces, accessibility and space consumption. However, the relationships of density
and patterns built-form are not reasonably well developed and integrated into the urban design-planning processes
in developing countries cities like Addis Ababa. On the hand, not many studies have been undertaken with regard to
density in relation to patterns of built-forms.
Therefore, this study aims to explore density in relation to patterns of built-form in the process of planning & design
of urban spaces2. The analysis is based on the primary sources as well as secondary documents collected from the
concerned agencies and related references. The findings illustrate that high density high-rise with low ground coverage
patterns of built-forms can offer better possibilities for installing good spatial quality3 of urban spaces. It concludes
with an overview of emerging thinking/implications where further efforts are required in the future


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