Love Thy Neighbor Through Delineated Design

Getting along is much easier when the fronts and backs of buildings are rational: public activities out front, private out back, and a street wall to keep them orderly.

Howard Blackson discusses the challenges of redevelopment, and how much easier sprawl repair is in neighborhoods with land use laws that keep the fronts and backs of buildings in character:

"The overwhelming majority of the issues I see (as a SoCal city's Design Review Boardmember) monthly are redesigns in response to conflicts between neighbors due to a simple confusion between how new and existing buildings should relate to their lots and to each other."

"What magic ingredient would help us avoid neighbor conflicts and enhance the quality of our lives as we settle in and transition together from rural to suburban to urban community character? It appears to be a shared understanding of a building's fronts, sides and backs. As social beings, we live both public and private lives and our habitats reflect such. We have public streets, squares and buildings to spend time in with our neighbors. In addition, we also have private lots, yards and buildings to spend time alone or with family and friends. When those spaces and places are confused by others, it causes anxiety and conflicts."

Thanks to Hazel Borys

Full Story: Fronts, Backs, and Everything In Between


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