Should we say, in urban planning, a certain level of compact development, or a certain degree of compact development?

  • 1
    To ask about its use in the field of urban planning, you'll have to ask someone with expertise in the field of urban planning; this is likely to be too narrow to answer here.
    – choster
    Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 0:35
  • @medica I saw that question, but the answer addresses degree in the sense of a unit of measurement, and not as it is used to refer in general to the amount or extent of something. There is “to what extent” vs. “to what level” closed as a duplicate of “to a degree” vs. “to an extent”, but neither has very thorough answers.
    – choster
    Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 1:00
  • 1
    I'd think you'd first describe what "compact development" implies.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Apr 13, 2015 at 12:20

1 Answer 1


The etymology of the word degree is the same as grade, which would imbue certain degree(!) of "synonymousity" upon degree and level.

This is how you would see it if you are a statistician.

Degrees, besides being an alternative to radians as unit of angular distance, are mutually independent dimensions or aspects. Whereas, levels would signify intensity.

Let us say that the following are different degrees of the security and safety of a country

  • coast guard
  • army
  • navy
  • air force
  • marines

If such a country is to perform a war game exercise, the degrees of involvement would be how many of these departments are involved in the exercise.

Having only the army and air force involved, would be a lower degree of involvement than having the army, air force, navy and marines in the exercise.

Whereas, each of the department involved would have its own level or intensity of involvement.

If you wish to follow such use of terminology, then

degrees of involvement could be the number of aspects of

  • parks and recreation
  • sewers and drainage
  • utilities
  • housing
  • entertainment
  • garbage and health
  • etc

And each of these aspects would have their own levels of involvement.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.