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Old 10-19-2011, 09:02 PM
 
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It is clear that in the past most Americans associate the single family detached homes with many positive things like freedom, quiet, safety and other things while shunning the "horrors" of multi-family apartments. Many people in America hate the idea of HOAs or renting from someone else, basically being under the thumb of a landlord.

However, as we all know sprawl is a very bad enviornmental problem that is very hard to solve because America is so deeply entrenched in for over 60 years. Earth simply cannot sustain this idea that every person should have his/her own plot of land and a house that stands by itself.

If people though cannot accept willingly to live in multi-family buildings because of the lack of freedom from restrictions imposed by landlords or HOA/condo associations, they will opt for single family detached homes which are non-HOA.

Can you be able to achieve a high density that could theoretically save thousands of acres of wildlands and farmlands with just single family detached homes? There is a glass ceiling as to how high the density can go with these types of housing. Multi-family apartments on the other hand can really push density far higher understandably.

Here is a PDF file that shows some good images of how there can be single family detached homes (meaning one unit per house) that can achieve up to 15 units per acre.
http://www.vtpi.org/aff_acc_photo.pdf

On page 3, you can see images of single family homes which are 15 units per acre (30' x 100' lot) with 2 parking spaces, one of them being in the garage and one in the driveway.

If you take 15 units x 640 acres/square mile, you'd get 9600 units per square mile.

If you take the average family of 4 x 9600 units, you'd get 38,400 people per square mile which is a lot! Compare that with the Upper East or West side of Manhattan which has about 100,000+ people per square mile.

However, that would be if the entire square mile was just houses. If you have to consider mass transit like trains, mixed use development and wilderness preserving and other things I'll guess you'd reduce it by a good margin. Even if you got 10,000 people per square mile, it is still good compared to sprawling suburbs.

How much density do you think you can get if you wanted a mixed use type of "town" where single family detached homes are the predominant type of house, if you chose the narrow small lot homes? I think a great neighborhood would have many of these narrow lot homes but all of them are still walkable distance to a "town center" that has most amenities you need like grocery, services, mass transit to a large city, etc. so you wouldn't use a car much of the time.

Would you want to live in these single family detached homes and do you think this would be a good idea for suburbs instead of the large ones we have today where it is only like 2 homes per acre?
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Old 10-19-2011, 09:06 PM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,143,293 times
Reputation: 7737
Quote:
Originally Posted by JKFire108 View Post
It is clear that in the past most Americans associate the single family detached homes with many positive things like freedom, quiet, safety and other things while shunning the "horrors" of multi-family apartments. Many people in America hate the idea of HOAs or renting from someone else, basically being under the thumb of a landlord.

However, as we all know sprawl is a very bad enviornmental problem that is very hard to solve because America is so deeply entrenched in for over 60 years. Earth simply cannot sustain this idea that every person should have his/her own plot of land and a house that stands by itself.

If people though cannot accept willingly to live in multi-family buildings because of the lack of freedom from restrictions imposed by landlords or HOA/condo associations, they will opt for single family detached homes which are non-HOA.

Can you be able to achieve a high density that could theoretically save thousands of acres of wildlands and farmlands with just single family detached homes? There is a glass ceiling as to how high the density can go with these types of housing. Multi-family apartments on the other hand can really push density far higher understandably.

Here is a PDF file that shows some good images of how there can be single family detached homes (meaning one unit per house) that can achieve up to 15 units per acre.
http://www.vtpi.org/aff_acc_photo.pdf

On page 3, you can see images of single family homes which are 15 units per acre (30' x 100' lot) with 2 parking spaces, one of them being in the garage and one in the driveway.

If you take 15 units x 640 acres/square mile, you'd get 9600 units per square mile.

If you take the average family of 4 x 9600 units, you'd get 38,400 people per square mile which is a lot! Compare that with the Upper East or West side of Manhattan which has about 100,000 people per square mile.

However, that would be if the entire square mile was just houses. If you have to consider mass transit like trains, mixed use development and wilderness preserving and other things I'll guess you'd reduce it by a good margin. Even if you got 10,000 people per square mile, it is still good compared to sprawling suburbs.

How much density do you think you can get if you wanted a mixed use type of "town" where single family detached homes are the predominant type of house, if you chose the narrow small lot homes? I think a great neighborhood would have many of these narrow lot homes but all of them are still walkable distance to a "town center" that has most amenities you need like grocery, services, mass transit to a large city, etc. so you wouldn't use a car much of the time.

Would you want to live in these single family detached homes and do you think this would be a good idea for suburbs instead of the large ones we have today where it is only like 2 homes per acre?

Actually I believe the average family size or occupants per dweeling is 2.6 in the US and not 4
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Old 10-19-2011, 09:13 PM
 
551 posts, read 996,339 times
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Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
Actually I believe the average family size or occupants per dweeling is 2.6 in the US and not 4
Oh ooops. Good call there.

So that would mean that theoretically 9600 x 2.6 people = 24,960 per square mile. Not really bad, but when taking into account roads and other things it would be lower than that.

It still seems much better because lots of suburbs in the US are 2 units per acre or even 1 unit per acre. It gobbles up way too much land.
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Old 10-19-2011, 09:20 PM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,143,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKFire108 View Post
Oh ooops. Good call there.

So that would mean that theoretically 9600 x 2.6 people = 24,960 per square mile. Not really bad, but when taking into account roads and other things it would be lower than that.

It still seems much better because lots of suburbs in the US are 2 units per acre or even 1 unit per acre. It gobbles up way too much land.

Small lot development of single family homes could be quite attractive to many folks. understanding that ~2K is likely not realistic with other stuff etc. An area with say 15K densisty, space, amentities and connected via transit could be extremely attractive and walkable. Probably even allow for some common greenspace (potentially developed with schools/community space and the like). It seems that in many ways CA development has been ahead of the curve in this regard. Though in all likelihood multi-family (smaller scale) or attached more modern townhomes could easily mix with this to create livable and dense neighborhoods.
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Old 10-19-2011, 09:22 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,983 posts, read 41,929,314 times
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You can imagine a rather high density in single family homes if you cram maybe 2+ people per bedroom, poor immigrant style. Your density limit is really how overcrowded the inhabitants can tolerate. Santa Ana, California is almost entirely single-family homes but has a higher population density than Boston due to overcrowding:

In Housing Density, It's Too Close for Comfort - Los Angeles Times

On a more on-topic note, some neighborhoods in Long Island near the NYC border reach about 12,000 per square mile with single family home on small lots. But this is just at the neighborhood level.Comes out to about 6 house / acre. Like most older Long Island suburbs, garages are rare. Looks something like this:

floral park,ny - Google Maps

Fairly walkable, maybe not ideal. Might be some denser single-family home neighborhoods in Queens but it's harder to find the number. I think the best strategy would be surround the town center with multifamily homes and then have single family homes further out. I've seen that design near Boston, where the densest housing tended to be near the train station.

Or, perhaps semi-detached homes would be the best compromise. People don't seem to mention that here much, for some reason. Each family owns one side of the house and their own yard. A bit denser than single-family homes but you get to own your own place. We have some in Massachusetts, though the most common housing type in my neighborhood is a two family unit where one unit is upstairs the other downstairs (rather than side by side). In the UK, semi-detached is the most common housing style.
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Old 10-19-2011, 09:33 PM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,143,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
You can imagine a rather high density in single family homes if you cram maybe 2+ people per bedroom, poor immigrant style. Your density limit is really how overcrowded the inhabitants can tolerate. Santa Ana, California is almost entirely single-family homes but has a higher population density than Boston due to overcrowding:

In Housing Density, It's Too Close for Comfort - Los Angeles Times

On a more on-topic note, some neighborhoods in Long Island near the NYC border reach about 12,000 per square mile with single family home on small lots. But this is just at the neighborhood level.Comes out to about 6 house / acre. Like most older Long Island suburbs, garages are rare. Looks something like this:

floral park,ny - Google Maps

Fairly walkable, maybe not ideal. Might be some denser single-family home neighborhoods in Queens but it's harder to find the number. I think the best strategy would be surround the town center with multifamily homes and then have single family homes further out. I've seen that design near Boston, where the densest housing tended to be near the train station.

Or, perhaps semi-detached homes would be the best compromise. People don't seem to mention that here much, for some reason. Each family owns one side of the house and their own yard. A bit denser than single-family homes but you get to own your own place. We have some in Massachusetts, though the most common housing type in my neighborhood is a two family unit where one unit is upstairs the other downstairs (rather than side by side). In the UK, semi-detached is the most common housing style.
Have always considered these a "twin"

You mean something like this? (older style but think your concept)
philadelphia pa - Google Maps

This is about a 12-14K ppsm neighborhood

Another benefit to this design (side by side) twins is that it not only allows for a yard (even if little) but also architecturally allows for windows on three sides as opposed to interior townhouse/rowhomes which only allow for two sides (front and back. Typically twins place the stair case against the attached wall and design rooms allowing for windows, the natural is a real benefit
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Old 10-19-2011, 09:43 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,983 posts, read 41,929,314 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
Have always considered these a "twin"

You mean something like this? (older style but think your concept)
philadelphia pa - Google Maps

This is about a 12-14K ppsm neighborhood
Yea, that's what I meant by semi-detached. Never heard the word "twin".

Semi-detached - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Looks like the word isn't used in the US much. I'm more familiar with London than many American cities...

Here's a (not very fancy ) neighborhood of semi-detached homes near me:

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=eastha...269.8,,0,-5.01

Last edited by nei; 10-19-2011 at 09:57 PM..
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Old 10-19-2011, 09:45 PM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,143,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Yea, that's what I meant by semi-detached. Never heard the word "twin".

Semi-detached - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Looks like the word isn't used in the US much. I'm more familiar with London than many American cities..

Maybe "twin" is a local Philly thing, dunno but is pretty common here as the reference to the style, this styling was also pretty common in some of the street car suburbs around Philly, mostly side-by-sides here as opposed to top and bottom which gives each private yard access to your earlier point.

I also see this as opposed to traditional townhomes in newer development, but towns are also pretty common

I also like this styling, reffered to as carriage homes around here
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=newtow...id=po-37955512

But cant find a better image, most are three units with only attached on both sides, many with parking in the rear
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Old 10-19-2011, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,058 posts, read 16,066,811 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKFire108 View Post
Oh ooops. Good call there.

So that would mean that theoretically 9600 x 2.6 people = 24,960 per square mile. Not really bad, but when taking into account roads and other things it would be lower than that.

It still seems much better because lots of suburbs in the US are 2 units per acre or even 1 unit per acre. It gobbles up way too much land.
Sounds horribly depressing to me. No parks? No roads? No commercial activity. No thanks. Sounds like the worst possible suburb imaginable to me.

The point of detached houses is to have privacy. You have no privacy in those little ticky tackies.
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Old 10-19-2011, 10:06 PM
 
10,630 posts, read 23,408,176 times
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I enjoyed living in my southern California bungalow court home. I agree with those who have pointed to California as a model for this sort of higher-density single-family living. It's possible to pack a lot of people into a relatively small footprint, yet still have a sense of having some personal connection to outdoor space.
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