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Space per person in the UK: A review of densities, trends, experiences and optimum levels

Williams, Katie

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Authors

Katie Williams Katie4.Williams@uwe.ac.uk
Professor and Research Centre Director



Abstract

This paper reviews the issue of 'space per person' in the UK. It uses relevant literature and data to identify various means of measuring living space. In particular, it sets out differences in measures of density such as 'population', 'residential' and 'household'. It then establishes the current UK experience of space per person, measured using these various concepts, and offers a spatial analysis by country and region. It finds that the UK is inhabited at 257 people/km2, and is one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. The paper then reviews trends in personal space over time, assessing whether the UK is getting more or less 'crowded'. It finds that although new homes are smaller and built at higher densities than the existing stock, the population is living less intensively than previously, occupying more space per person on average. This is due to decreasing average household sizes. The paper then sets out some social, economic and policy drivers that have affected these trends, and looks at how people perceive space. The issue of 'optimum space' is explored, in relation to population and to dwelling densities and sizes. The paper concludes with some thoughts on how and why amounts of space per person may change in the future. © 2009 Queen's Printer and Controller of HMSO.

Citation

Williams, K. (2009). Space per person in the UK: A review of densities, trends, experiences and optimum levels. Land Use Policy, 26(SUPPL. 1), 83-92. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2009.08.024

Journal Article Type Review
Publication Date Dec 1, 2009
Deposit Date Jan 17, 2011
Publicly Available Date Oct 19, 2016
Journal Land Use Policy
Print ISSN 0264-8377
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue SUPPL. 1
Pages 83-92
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2009.08.024
Keywords space per person, density, crowding, space standards, optimum space
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/1006387
Publisher URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2009.08.024

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