With TDR, municipalities are encouraged to design receiving areas at development densities above those normally present. Developing with higher density permits the receiving area to accommodate a maximum amount of sending area credits while reserving a minimal land area for development. In addition to providing for credit accommodation, denser development provides numerous other environmental, fiscal and social benefits.

Why Promote Denser Development?

Compact development can:

  • Create the traditional neighborhoods and sense of community lost in so many sprawling municipalities.
  • Minimize impervious surfaces, thereby reducing stormwater runoff and aiding in filtration and groundwater recharge.
  • Direct growth away from farmland, thereby reducing conflicts with adjacent development.
  • Save the open spaces that create recreation opportunities and prevent fragmentation of wildlife habitat.
  • Reduce need for provision of costly road, parking and other development infrastructure.
  • Increase feasibility of transportation alternatives such as walking, bicycling and mass transit.
  • Provide for mixed use communities that support pedestrian-accessible neighborhood businesses.
  • Provide a variety of housing types so that residents can “age in place” and afford housing at every stage of their life.
  • Fiscally benefit municipalities by generating residential housing types that result in less school-aged children.

Density Links

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Smart Growth website contains information about the many benefits of density and smart growth, including protecting water resources.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

The “Demystifying Density” section of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Design Advisor website helps explain the value of high-density housing and address some of the misconceptions people have about compact development.

Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy's "Visualizing Density"   resource provides a variety of tools for understanding residential density and the role design plays on perceptions of density.

The Institute has also published a Visualizing Density Working Paper that contains an aerial image catalog of developments at a variety of densities.

Urban Land Institute

This publication, “High-Density Development: Myth and Fact,"  from the Urban Land Institute addresses the common misperceptions and myths surrounding compact development.

American Farmland Trust

This American Farmland Trust study examines the net public costs municipalities incur as a result of residential development. A fiscal impact comparison between compact development and sprawl development is presented.

Center for Urban Policy Research, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

This publication, "Who lives in New Jersey Housing? A Quick Guide to Residential Demographic Multipliers," provides updated demographic information and examines the average household size and number of school children generated by different categories of housing in New Jersey. The study can be used as a guide to examine alternative development density scenarios and their affect on demand for public services and public expenditure.

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