Neighborhood Character Might Not Be What We Think

How Urban Geometry Creates Neighborhood Identity

When we talk about preserving "Neighborhood Character" in Eugene, we are frequently referring to protecting detached, single family homes.  This article from Strong Towns discusses how our perceptions of what types of housing a neighborhood is made up of may differ from the reality of where residents live.

But basic rules of geometry mean that if there are equal numbers of people in higher-density and lower-density housing types in the same neighborhood, the people in the lower-density housing will take up much more space—and, maybe, have an advantage in defining the identity of their neighborhood. (You’ve certainly noticed a similar dynamic with maps of the presidential race by county: a sea of low-density counties in red visually swamps the fewer, but much higher-density, counties in blue.)
— Daniel Kay Hertz, Strong Towns