The Alternative To Apartment Buildings

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Recently I’ve been digging through an old MS Word document into which I copy-and-pasted interesting anecdotes and funny jokes I came across whilst wandering around the interweb over the years. The following quote (source unknown) caught my eye:

An alternative to apartment buildings would be neighborhoods full of tiny houses.

Read it again, and then read it a few more times. Think about it. What would a neighbourhood full of tiny houses look like? One might argue that a neighbourhood full of tiny houses is basically just a townhouse complex, but in fact most townhouses are nearly as big as standard 3B detached houses, so I don’t think that’s what it would look like. Would it be literally tiny houses? There are precedents for this, in old inner-city residential neighbourhoods, and more recently in the ‘traditional neighbourhood development’ schemes pioneered by Andres Duany. Neighbourhoods full of tiny houses would be much less expensive to build and maintain than apartment buildings, especially high-rise towers, and could more easily and affordably replaced than apartment buildings. Such neighbourhoods would be more human scale, more friendly, and would make houses more attainable and practical for a wider range of householders (not all households need or can afford a standard 3B detached house). On the other hand, neighbourhoods of tiny houses would mean higher costs associated with roads and streets, snow clearing, roof repairs, traffic congestion, parking, etc. In any case, I think it’s an interesting concept that might be worth exploring more.