Urban Fold

There's More to Compact Cities Than Mid and High-Rise Housing

The mismatch between current US housing stock and the growing demand for walkable urban living can be addressed in part by recovering the skills required for intermediate-density housing, argues Dan Parolek.

Looking to solve the "mismatch between current US housing stock and shifting demographics," Parolek argues it will be necessary to begin constructing "missing" housing types that have been largely neglected since the early 1940s:

"The solution is not as simple as adding more multi-family housing stock using the dated models/types of housing that we have been building.  Rather, we need a complete paradigm shift in the way that we design, locate, regulate, and develop homes. As What's Next states, 'it's a time to rethink and evolve, reinvent and renew.' Missing Middle housing types, such as duplexes, fourplexes, bungalow courts, mansion apartments, and live-work units, are a critical part of the solution and should be a part of every architect's, planner's, real estate agent's, and developer's arsenal."

In a well considered essay, Parolek lays out a number of characteristics that will be key in the successful reconstitution of the "Missing Middle." These include a walkable context, small footprint and blended densities, simple construction, marketability, and several other principles.

Thanks to Robert Steuteville

Full Story: Missing middle housing: Responding to demand for urban living


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