My big idea for cities in 2012: Applying “doubling factor’ to Urban Planning

Upper West Side from Central Park
Creative Commons License photo credit: Ray_from_LA

My big idea. Work the doubling factor (Ortiz, et al) into law, engineering and architecture. Stop cities in their tracks and offer unlimited density and therby guarantee an unfragmented wilderness, or at least the potential for restoring one.

Take any annual percentage rate and divide it into 70 to get a rough estimate of the “doubling-time factor”. It is an easy way to question the presumed benefits “growth rate” figures. For example, a 7% growth rate of a population would double the population every ten years – thus require double bottom line questions about who (or how) would we pay for the doubling of the number of schools, the efficiency of all forms of environmental facilities, and so on.

*The doubling time factor is the period of time required for a quantity to double in size or value.

What is your one big idea for cities in 2012? Submit a blog post to along with a bio & Pic.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • Share/Bookmark

About the Author

Rex Curry Rex Curry has combined a career in urban planning and community development with teaching and public service. From 1980-2004 he served as the Associate Director of the Pratt Institute Center for Community Development. Most recently, he completed an extensive planning report on Washington Heights and Inwood (CD12) in Manhattan NY, and the first phases of a Strategic Plan for the City College Architecture Center (CUNY). He developed the national Association for Community Design as its president for over ten years. Beginning in 2005 to the present, he has served as the Chairman of the Planning and Urban Design Committee of the American Planning Institute New York Chapter. He has served as an advisor to the Society for the Preservation of Weeksville and Bedford-Stuyvesant History and as a member of its Board of Directors. Curry served as Adjunct Professor of Urban Planning at Pratt Institute, where he has taught several planning courses. He was a fellow of the Centre for Housing Studies of Glasgow University’s Adam Smith School of Economics where he participated in lectures, workshops, and presentations on community development practices. He has organized and taught community development practices, urban design, planning, and architecture. He recently authored an extensive research report for the Institute for Urban Design on public service planning and urban design practices at thirty major universities in the United States offering graduate degrees in Urban Design. He was also a major contributor to a Princeton University Press publication, Good Deeds, Good Design and to an recent article published by McGraw-Hill’s “Time Saver” urban design standards series on creating community design centers as an alternative strategic planning and architecture practice.