The Emotional Element of Urban Densification
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionLocal Environment : the International Journal of Justice and Sustainability. 2022, 27 (2), 251-263. https://doi.org/10.1080/13549839.2022.2034769
In this paper, we will delve into a somewhat unexplored element of urban densification – namely, people’s emotional responses to physically and socially densified neighbourhoods. Undoubtedly, there is a vast amount of scholarship on the advantages of dense and compact environments over urban sprawl. While scholars tend to highlight the environmental benefits, few studies scrutinise how people living in areas marked for intense urban development respond emotionally to densification strategies. Interviews with residents from urban neighbourhoods in Oslo demonstrate that densification can evoke emotions like insecurity, fear, anger and sadness over lost homes or altered place identity. This gap in scholarship calls for stronger academic and political engagement with people’s feelings about their urban surroundings, also when discussing the social dimension of sustainability.