Originally Posted by BodomReaper
This is exactly one of the thesis ideas I'm kicking around for grad school (though it might have been done already) - designing a regulatory framework that regulates the negative externalities of density rather than density itself. Unless one prescribes to the anti-urban view that population itself is a negative needing to be controlled, I see no reason to impose FSR caps when setbacks, shadowing, parking etc. can all be held to appropriate standards directly and quantitatively.
I've always thought every property should be zoned according to what you can see by walking around at the site from ground level. Set some fixed key zonings around the city to anchor/group different land uses or building heights together, but then let every neighbourhood develop and change one building at a time, and one block at a time.