The Typology That Houstonians Love To Hate

Townhouses have been growing like kudzu in Houston over the past few years as the uber-sprawling city has finally started to fill in and become more dense. Locals hate them, but there's beauty to be found in efficient land use.

August 18, 2016, 7:00 AM PDT

By Josh Stephens @jrstephens310

Houston Townhouse

holbox / Shutterstock

"Central Houston can grow only by adding density. Houston has a few new high-rises and plenty of California-style mid-rises, but the townhouse has become the dominant new typology. While some developers are building large developments with tens or scores of townhouses, the most popular style seems to be the duplex that replaces one single-family home with two adjoining units."

"However dulled my aesthetic senses may be, my economic sensibilities are on high alert in Houston. Los Angeles, amid one of the country’s worst housing crises, has a habit of tearing down single-family homes in order to build…. single-family homes. The only difference between the new homes and the teardowns is that the new ones are usually bigger, more imposing, more expensive and about a million times more ugly than whatever they replaced. They make the city uglier and do nothing to ease our housing crisis."

Monday, August 15, 2016 in Rice Kinder Institute for Urban Research: The Urban Edge

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