I think this catchy acronym encapsulates a lot of the ideas we talk about here.
https://theconversation.com/what-makes- ... -dma-67227
What makes a city tick? Designing the ‘urban DMA’
November 1, 2016 3.06pm EDT
Great cities and neighbourhoods always have a particular kind of urban intensity - what we might call the “character”, “buzz” or “atmosphere” that emerges over time. While unique in many ways, great cities also have certain things in common. One way to understand these properties is to think about a city’s “urban DMA” - its density, mix and access.
When we talk about “urban DMA”, we’re talking about the density of a city’s buildings, the way people and activities are mixed together, and the access, or transport networks that we use to navigate through them.
Like biological DNA, urban DMA doesn’t determine outcomes, but establishes what is possible. A low density, largely mono-functional cul-de-sac (such as a shopping mall or a gated enclave) is an anti-urban form. Minimum levels of concentration, co-functioning and connectivity are necessary for any kind of urban life.