There are social, convenience, economic, and environmental benefits of living in places of higher density - if they are designed to be mixed-use, walkable, and pedestrian scale. Higher density is essential for creating lively places with lots of amenities. It allows for beautiful public spaces, for lots of people walking, low car use, and makes life convenient and enjoyable by providing many amenities within close proximity of each other.
Having a number of good corner stores, deli's, restaurants, cafes, and other personal services within walking distance of most homes delivers a higher quality of life to all residents of a town or city. Increased density greatly reduces driving, traffic congestion, and vast amounts of air pollution that come with it. In America, there is a growing consumer preference for places of higher density providing desired urban amenities.
Nearly every great city, town, and neighborhood around the world are of higher density, and why everyone loves living there, and why so many tourists go there on holiday. Great examples of high-density walkable environments include San Franciscoís Victorian Ďpainted ladiesí, Brooklynís brown-stones, Bostonís Back Bay neighborhood, Washington DCís Georgian townhouses, and much of London, Paris, Italy, and the rest of historic Europe.
Most early American cities built before 1945 were designed with higher densities, and are now the places with the highest property values, and are some of the most sought after places to live. These examples demonstrate a building form of high-density elegance, human scale, and walkable urbanity. A more modern example of higher density is South Beach in Miami, with an average density of around 30 to 35 units per acre in mostly low-rise buildings of only 2-4 stories, with little or no parking on site. People love the place. With everything all together in a human-scale urban setting, more than half the residents donít need to drive a car for a majority of their needs. This level of density makes it possible for many residents to forgo the expense and hassle of owning and maintaining a car, which can cost upwards of $8,000 per year.