UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Housing alternatives in the single family neighbourhood Harth, Mia


The single family neighbourhood is a favoured residential form, yet this low density residential option is unsustainable. With its high consumption of land and services, the continued development of the traditional single family neighbourhood results in urban sprawl and inefficient use of infrastructure. In addition, zoning regulations that prescribe large lot sizes, deep setbacks and singleuses, create disconnected, mono-functional residential enclaves. Residential intensification is increasingly touted by urban theorists and proponents of sustainable development as part of the solution. This involves focussing new development on underutilized land, which in turn necessitates the acceptance of new housing forms within existing neighbourhoods. However, people are often wary of higher densities and alternative housing options, believing that the qualities of livability that they identify with the single family neighbourhood are threatened. Focussing on ground-oriented residential alternatives, this project examines the key elements that comprise the residential environment and their connection to aspects of livability. A set of guidelines based on principles of sustainable development directs the design for a higher density, environmentally responsive, groundoriented residential development on an infill lot in an existing single family neighbourhood. The final design proposes the division of the single site into five developable lots, introduces four different dwelling types, and integrates into the landscape a stormwater management system. The plan is compared to other similar alternative developments.

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