Cool new verb: redensify

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Tue Nov 2 16:22:39 UTC 2010

The term redensification was used by some city planners in India
apparently in the 1970s. Google Books assigns dates in the 1970s to
documents that use redensification, but I have been able to carefully
check the dates and GB dates are not reliable. Also, the term may be
used in a way that differs from the emerging definition of redensify.
Here are two sample raw Google Books hits:

Delhi: capital city
Asok Mitra - 1970 - 129 pages - Snippet view
... the Purana Kila-Jangpura-Nizamuddin areas of New Delhi
counterpointed, with the growing importance of Delhi as a centre of
banking, commerce and administration, by a redensification of the
self-same areas, albeit at a slower pace. ...

[WorldCat agrees with the date of this document]

Urban and rural planning thought: Volume 18
School of Planning and Architecture (New Delhi, India) - 1975 - Snippet view
A part of the York place (at present known as Motilal Place) has been
taken as case study area for demonstrating the approach for
redensification. The larger aims of this study are; (i) minimise the
journey to work, (ii) intensive use ...

{UNC catalog agrees that volume 18 is dated 1975]

On Tue, Nov 2, 2010 at 11:59 AM, Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Cool new verb: redensify
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Nov 2, 2010, at 8:28 AM, Geoff Nathan wrote:
>> I'm involved with a group trying to keep the Detroit Symphony alive, and as part of that effort received the following message this morning:
>> 'New York-based Living Cities , a collaborative of 22 national foundations and financial institutions, plans to invest $22 million in an effort to *redensify* Detroit's Woodward Corridor.'
>> Brief search showed it's not in Urbandictionary or OED. Google finds about 7800 hits, mostly dealing with some kind of face cream (and the usual gripes about 'murdering the English language' dealing with that cream).
>> But there's a hit from 1998 too, that references the concept of bringing a depopulated city back to its previous density (and, we hope, liveliness):
> OED2 does have an entry for "densify", with cites going back to 1820 (though none with reference to making cities denser).
> arnold
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