Invisible Density

The Canadians call it "laneway housing", and in the U.S. they're often dubbed "granny units". These smaller homes in underused garage or alley locations are creating new ways to add density to areas without changing community character.

Kamala Rao explains that in Vancouver, one of the main differences between this housing type and other densification techniques is that they "can't be sub-divided or sold separately from the main house on the lot. They can only be used for additional family space or rental income."

Rao explains why this is a smart strategy for cities and towns attempting to add housing without stirring up NIMBY resistance:

"Think about it: what other city has successfully added density to long-established, single-family neighbourhoods filled with $1 million-plus homes? The very thought of it conjures up images of staunch NIMBYism. The City of Vancouver's deft branding and effective outreach smoothed the roll-out of its laneway housing bylaw, keeping NIMBY opposition to a minimum."

Full Story: Home, Home on the Lane


Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
Wood necklace with city map

City Necklaces

These sweet pendants are engraved on a cedar charm with a mini map of selected cities. The perfect gift for friends and family or yourself!