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Old January 2nd, 2010, 05:18 PM   #1
PragmaticIdealist
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Development Standards for Multi-family Housing

In another discussion regarding the relationship between residential density and transit viability, I made mention of clever ways developers can provide all the advantages of single-family detached houses in condominium and apartment buildings.

What can developers do to make high density as appealing as low density?
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 05:52 PM   #2
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Is low density appealing?
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 06:43 PM   #3
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  • Privacy
  • Quietude
  • Solar access
  • Private outdoor spaces and gardens
  • Spaciousness
  • High ceilings
  • Sunken rooms, split levels, and multiple-story living spaces
  • Convenient access to garages
  • Storage space
  • No fees
  • No pest problems
  • Little crime
  • Views of nature and open space
  • Enhanced access to nature, open space, and recreation
  • Multiple aspect, 360-degree views
  • Private points of entry
  • Better support for pets
  • Better schools
  • Communities with more families and fewer perceived subversive elements
  • More control over exterior (and interior) improvements and more opportunities for self expression through one's home
  • Custom or mostly-unique design
  • Ability to entertain
  • Private pools and other outdoor amenities
  • Limited amounts of unsafe and obnoxious car traffic
  • No transients or panhandling
  • Little litter and graffiti
  • Ability to grow one's own food
  • Less deindividuation and anonymity
  • Skylights and glass roofs
  • Fireplaces and barbecues
  • Fewer drug problems
  • Less pollution
  • Flexibility with regard to room additions

Last edited by PragmaticIdealist; January 2nd, 2010 at 07:00 PM.
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Old January 3rd, 2010, 01:23 AM   #4
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What a weak list. I could apply all of those items listed to high density living as well. But low crime, less litter, fewer drug problems and better schools really shows up how unresearched your list really is.
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Old January 3rd, 2010, 07:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klamedia View Post
What a weak list. I could apply all of those items listed to high density living as well. But low crime, less litter, fewer drug problems and better schools really shows up how unresearched your list really is.
What's your problem?

Don't you have anything constructive to contribute to this discussion, or is your only purpose here to act like a troll?

The objective of this thread is to arrive at some standards cities can use to ensure developers create multi-family housing that is sustainable and competitive, especially in areas that currently lack sufficient density for transit.
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Old January 3rd, 2010, 07:02 PM   #6
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I have nearly 3500 posts while you have barely 300 and you're calling me a "troll"......ok. Perhaps you should go back and research our many old threads specifically on this subject before you try and act like you running something up in here.
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Old January 4th, 2010, 12:17 AM   #7
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there is no need for the hostility and the personal attacks. discuss the matter at hand or not at all.
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Old January 4th, 2010, 02:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klamedia View Post
I have nearly 3500 posts while you have barely 300 and you're calling me a "troll"......ok. Perhaps you should go back and research our many old threads specifically on this subject before you try and act like you running something up in here.
No one runs anything anywhere in this forum. Post count means nothing. So this means nothing.

But in terms of how developers can make low density just as appealing as high density: I think that since Americans are (after 50 years) finally realizing how bad sprawl was, are starting to venture back into downtown areas. I think that TOD's are a key element. You can have suburban style houses in a urban environment with transit being a key component.
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Old January 4th, 2010, 02:05 PM   #9
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One of the ideas I like is making elevator use private so that private ground-floor amenities and outdoor spaces can be directly connected to the units, themselves and so units have 360-degree views.

Elevators would be shared, but access to individual floors, including a series of terraced "backyards" radiating from the bottom of the building, would be restricted.
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Old January 4th, 2010, 02:09 PM   #10
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Wrapping parking structures with residential units offers the opportunity to directly connect private or semi-private garages to apartments and condominiums that are stacked atop each other.

image hosted on flickr
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Old January 4th, 2010, 02:24 PM   #11
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BIG ( http://www.big.dk/ ) is one of the firms that makes the most innovative uses of vertical space, such as at the Mountain Dwellings project in Copenhagen that is essentially a series of houses built on artificial terraces against a communal parking structure that is shared with surrounding land uses.

http://www.archdaily.com/15022/mountain-dwellings-big/
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Old January 4th, 2010, 07:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
Wrapping parking structures with residential units offers the opportunity to directly connect private or semi-private garages to apartments and condominiums that are stacked atop each other.

image hosted on flickr
Why are we still talking about garages and parking structures?
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Old January 5th, 2010, 02:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klamedia View Post
Why are we still talking about garages and parking structures?
A person may be willing to give-up his or her three-bedroom house and maybe one or more of his or her private cars. But, that person may still want to own a car even if he or she rarely uses it. And, the option needs to be made available to this subset of the population that he or she represents. I'm completely in favor of charging a premium for parking, though, especially as our public transportation system grows.

Additionally, car sharing, which is a vital part of our future transportation system, will require a certain amount of parking. And, of course, retailers and offices almost always want some, as well.

Ultimately, car sharing is the key to minimizing parking requirements, which are often prohibitively expensive for developers.
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Old January 5th, 2010, 09:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
Additionally, car sharing, which is a vital part of our future transportation system, will require a certain amount of parking. And, of course, retailers and offices almost always want some, as well.

Ultimately, car sharing is the key to minimizing parking requirements, which are often prohibitively expensive for developers.
Agreed.

Rethinking Public Participation for Smart Growth
http://thecityfix.com/rethinking-pub...-smart-growth/
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Old January 6th, 2010, 08:24 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
BIG ( http://www.big.dk/ ) is one of the firms that makes the most innovative uses of vertical space, such as at the Mountain Dwellings project in Copenhagen that is essentially a series of houses built on artificial terraces against a communal parking structure that is shared with surrounding land uses.

http://www.archdaily.com/15022/mountain-dwellings-big/
This looks like an astounding project. Gave me an idea. I'll render it and post it up later.
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Old January 6th, 2010, 04:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
BIG ( http://www.big.dk/ ) is one of the firms that makes the most innovative uses of vertical space, such as at the Mountain Dwellings project in Copenhagen that is essentially a series of houses built on artificial terraces against a communal parking structure that is shared with surrounding land uses.

http://www.archdaily.com/15022/mountain-dwellings-big/
That's really awesome.

Let me ask you this: What is your opinion on huge master planned (sub)urban communities that are connected to rail transit?

An example is Daybreak in South Jordan, Utah.

http://www.daybreakutah.com/
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Old January 6th, 2010, 06:58 PM   #17
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The Web site does mention lofts and townhomes. But, I'm not as opposed to the suburban model when it is located at the far end of a transit line. I'll take a reduction in Vehicle Miles Traveled any way I can get it.

The best neighborhoods are those that combine a variety of high-quality housing types in a single community that is connected well to a transit station. High density and a mix of uses work well close to the station, but they aren't necessary farther away, as long as those low density areas are within a 5-minute walking or biking radius.

I think we, as a country, have enough single-family detached homes to absorb the demand for several years to come. We are seriously deficient, though, in higher density housing typologies that are connected well to other land uses and to transit.
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Old January 6th, 2010, 07:34 PM   #18
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That Daybreak, incidentally, looks like pretty good New Urbanism and Traditional Neighborhood Development. All new master-planned greenfield communities should be as thoughtfully-designed. Thanks for posting the link.

Similar places, like Glenwood Park, Seaside, and Woodstock, sometimes lack the transit component.
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Old January 8th, 2010, 01:48 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
Wrapping parking structures with residential units offers the opportunity to directly connect private or semi-private garages to apartments and condominiums that are stacked atop each other.

image hosted on flickr
^ I definitely like this idea and hopefully we can see more of this.
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