Experiencing Density

Life in London’s New High-Density Housing

Experiencing Density is a joint project between LSE Cities and LSE London exploring how residents experience life in different forms of high-density housing in London.

‘Experiencing Density’ is a project jointly led by LSE Cities and LSE London that explores resident experiences of life in London’s high-density housing. Following on from a 2004 project by LSE Cities on high-density housing as an emergent trend, this interdisciplinary study explores who lives in high-density developments, how different residents experience life in high-density accommodation, and what spatial, design and demographic factors make them work well (or not).

In many other global cities such as Hong Kong, New York City and Singapore, high-density living is the norm. However, residential building at this scale is a relatively new phenomenon in London, which has historically been characterised as a low-rise city of terraced houses and private gardens. If the capital is to accommodate a growing population without impinging on the Green Belt, as Mayor Sadiq Khan has promised, then new developments across the capital will inevitably increasingly take high-density forms.

This research seeks to understand the experience of residents in different types of high-density housing so as to provoke discussion and inform best practice for London’s future development. The project is qualitative in nature, and focuses on fourteen case studies across London that demonstrate high-density housing across a range of built forms, levels of density, and tenure types


Project Team 

Research directors
Kath Scanlon, Distinguished Policy Fellow, LSE London and Deputy Director, LSE London
Philipp Rode, Associate Professorial Research Fellow, LSE and Executive Director, LSE Cities
Ricky Burdett, Professor of Urban Studies, LSE and Director, LSE Cities
Tony Travers, Associate Dean of the School of Public Policy, LSE and Director, LSE London

Fanny Blanc, Policy Officer, LSE London
Tim White, Researcher, LSE Cities
Julia King, Research Fellow, LSE Cities
Mel Nowicki, Researcher, LSE Cities
Meghna Mohandas, Researcher, LSE Cities




Research directors
Kath Scanlon, Philipp Rode, Ricky Burdett, Tony Travers
Fanny Blanc, Tim White, Julia King, Meghna Mohandas, Mel Nowicki
Project partner
LSE London
Research strand
Cities, Space and Society
2016 - 2019
Short Film: High Density Living in London Short Film: High Density Living in London
Short Film: High Density Living in London