Posted on Posted in Housing, LoHA

This lecture was held at UBC and organized in partnership with Small Homes BC Society, a non-profit organization focused on ‘support the development and promotion of small housing as a sustainable housing form’.

The motivation behind this lecture by Ross Chapin was to showcase alternatives for increasing density in single-family residential neighborhoods in Vancouver. As the city continues to grow there is a need to reimagine the future of these low-density residential areas. Current zoning policy concentrates density on major arterials with little attention given to the transition between high densities (towers) and low density (single-family homes).

Some opportunities for increasing density in residential zones include laneway housing, secondary suites and subdivision. This can ultimately result in single-family homes to be converted from one large unit to three or four smaller units that generally fall under a single owner. Strata is not common in single-family lots.

Our laboratory model focuses on expanding on current opportunities and exploring alternatives for housing models. In terms of low-density areas we believe that Ross Chapin’s work sets a precedent that is worth of attention.

Ross Chapin has been building ‘pocket neighborhoods’ in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. ‘Pocket neighborhoods’ are defined as ‘clustered groups of neighboring houses or apartments gathered around a shared open space’. This type of living arrangement allows increasing density as well as community engagement. The homes in these ‘pocket neighborhoods’ are small but spacious. The lack of individual space is counteracted by the shared amenities such as community gardens, workshop spaces and guest suites.

For more information on Ross Chapin’s work go here.