Urban Fold

The Power of Infilltration

Planning Magazine examines how cities are encouraging multifamily projects and higher densities.

"Today cities are seeking to return to the earlier model by encouraging neighborhoods to increase their densities and the diversity of their housing types. New projects range from 500-square-foot triplexes to luxury high-rise infill towers.

...While these projects face challenges, from zoning to financing to NIMBY-ism, communities have identified the traits of workable projects and are developing practices that promote success. The result could be a move toward increased neighborhood densities through small-scale multifamily projects.

...Despite the roadblocks, small multifamily projects can succeed. Portland is seeing a steady increase in multidwelling projects in existing neighborhoods â€" 66 percent of all apartment and row house permits from 1997 to 2004 were for projects in medium-density residential zones, according to Bill Cunningham, manager of the city's infill design project, which offers guidance on how to integrate infill projects into their surroundings.

Good placement, planning, and design connect infill projects to the surrounding fabric, making them more acceptable to residents. Cunningham notes that residents are now living in new infill projects in medium-density residential zones and not just in redeveloped areas such as the Pearl District."

Thanks to American Planning Association

Full Story: The Power of Infilltration

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