Not strictly *about* Philly, but relevant
Anyway, was made to think of these issues while reading this Harvard news article, which reports that experts think that density is critical to urban vitality.
If not enough people want to shop or eat out, there won't be many good stores or restaurants. If the audience for music, theater, or art is small, these activities will not flourish. If the tax base is scanty, schools and municipal services will be substandard. Even parks need people to use them, and if the parks are deserted, they will not receive the upkeep they need to remain attractive.Thinking like that should certainly give pause to anybody who wishes that everything downtown were office space, or who wails against the first highrise housing to challenge the skyline. Interesting stuff.
Density is also considered good for the environment because it is easier and cheaper to provide heating, electricity, sewerage, and other services to people living in concentrated groups than to those in single-family homes in suburban areas. As a result, the impact of dense populations on the surrounding environment is less harmful.