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Old 01-02-2015, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
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I'm curious as to why you think the first link exemplifies better infill than the second link you posted. The second link shows a building with superior architecture and a wider sidewalk, lending to a much more pleasant pedestrian experience. The first link shows a building that is much simpler and repetitive, albeit a few stories taller, and a narrow sidewalk which is much less pleasant than a wider sidewalk. The building in the first link is also across the street from a hideous, massive parking garage, making that street pretty terrible.
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Old 01-02-2015, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GatsbyGatz View Post
I'm curious as to why you think the first link exemplifies better infill than the second link you posted. The second link shows a building with superior architecture and a wider sidewalk, lending to a much more pleasant pedestrian experience. The first link shows a building that is much simpler and repetitive, albeit a few stories taller, and a narrow sidewalk which is much less pleasant than a wider sidewalk. The building in the first link is also across the street from a hideous, massive parking garage, making that street pretty terrible.
Well the building in the first link and its developer probably aren't responsible for the parking garage across the street.

The first building replaced a parking lot with a building.

The second building replaced a site that included vacant land and some abandoned buildings with a building and a decent sized surface parking lot.
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:01 PM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
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I like this one in Bellevue, WA. This property use to be a Safeway with a big parking lot, typical mid/late 20th century suburban big box development. Now they buried the parking, the Safeway is on the ground floor, and there a 5 stories of apartments above it.

https://www.google.com/maps/@47.6128...3YnVkST_hw!2e0

https://www.google.com/maps/@47.6129...gan4NPqMvg!2e0
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,414 posts, read 11,910,584 times
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From a design perspective, I think the infill apartment buildings going up are blah to awful, even when they are great from a density standpoint.

The problem I have with them is they tend to be boring. They tend to be mid-rise construction, somewhere between 3 and 6 stories. They tend to have articulated surfaces with bands of contrasting materials, with some brick and some metal paneling. They tend to have very modern designs, without traditionalist touches or ornament unless some local historic district requires it. And color wise, they are often quite bland - all in shades of rust, tan, and gray.

Again, I can't complain about putting a few hundred units of housing onto a city block. But comparing them to some of the old (say pre-1930) apartment buildings, or old offices/factories rehabbed into apartments, they're just blah and interchangeable.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:02 AM
 
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My concern with the infill (besides architecture) is their lifespan. Most of them look like they have 20-30 years. What happens then? We just knock them down and build then next new trend?
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Old 01-12-2015, 01:04 PM
 
Location: New York NY
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None of the construction pictured above is what I ever though of as infill, especially in its urban context. These are all large projects with large footprints--essentially mid-rises (for the most part) on empty land that would not look out of place in the suburbs.

This from Wikipedia:

Urban infill


In the urban planning and development industries, infill has been defined as the use of land within a built-up area for further construction, especially as part of a community redevelopment or growth management program or as part of smart growth.[4][5]

It focuses on the reuse and repositioning of obsolete or underutilized buildings and sites. This type of development is essential to renewing blighted neighborhoods and knitting them back together with more prosperous communities.[6] Redevelopment or land recycling is development that occurs on previously developed land. Infill buildings are constructed on vacant or underutilized property or between existing buildings.[7]


I'd call buildings like this:

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.7487...8A!2e0!6m1!1e1

or this:

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.8020...AQ!2e0!6m1!1e1

These are true urban landfill developments. All are built on smallish lots in dense areas, unlike any of the above examples (except for the one on W 35th St). Granted no other cities have the density of NYC, but the general principal still stands IMO. Large projects on big footprints are simply new construction, whether they're in city limits or not and don't really count as infill, especially when there is a lot of undeveloped or underutilized land nearby.

Projects like this are controversial in that they can be a harbinger of gentrification (as in the second example, which is in Harlem), or can be seen as totally out of scale with the rest of the neighborhood (as in the first picture, which is in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan). True infill is more expensive to build, on a per-square-foot basis, but IMO it is one of the few ways left to alleviate the housing shortage in many cities, and that will become even more so as long as Americans continue to want to live in many of the U.S. big cities.

Last edited by citylove101; 01-12-2015 at 01:20 PM..
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Old 01-12-2015, 02:54 PM
 
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Quote:
In the urban planning and development industries, infill has been defined as the use of land within a built-up area for further construction, especially as part of a community redevelopment or growth management program or as part of smart growth
"Within a built up area" seems to be the definitional sticking point. All of these examples are in built up areas, where as they might have been single family homes or parking lots in Dallas and Atlanta they are between buildings in NYC. It seems to me that is simply a cost per sq foot discussion, and not whether they are greenfield (nothing ever built on the land) or previously developed.

In other words, all these are as 'infill' as NYC is.

In my opinion, greenfield can be infill as well, as long as the city is 'built up' around it. Perhaps it used to be a farm or the zoning was incorrect for the area and a zoning change drove development. Infill to me simply means building in a built-up area, and not on the edge of town.

In other words, if these aren't 'infill' then what do you call a building replacing a parking lot, or a 3 story building replacing a 1 story building?
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Old 01-12-2015, 04:19 PM
 
Location: New York NY
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I don't think anything built on a large plot of land can ever really be considered infill. It's just a new development, or maybe (dreaded phrase) urban renewal--whether in a dense area of NYC, or in the more open spaces of a less dense city.

The two critical things for me, for infill, is a small buildable land area and having that plot in a dense neighborhood. Any other type of new construction in a city is just that -- new construction.

Here is a view of part of Oakland California a short walk from downtown:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Do...1b374d!6m1!1e1

LOts of parking lots next to a few high rise buildings. Now if someone builds on that land, whether its a three story or a thirty story building I would not call it infill, simply new housing (or office) construction.
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Old 01-12-2015, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,101,497 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citylove101 View Post
I don't think anything built on a large plot of land can ever really be considered infill. It's just a new development, or maybe (dreaded phrase) urban renewal--whether in a dense area of NYC, or in the more open spaces of a less dense city.

The two critical things for me, for infill, is a small buildable land area and having that plot in a dense neighborhood. Any other type of new construction in a city is just that -- new construction.

Here is a view of part of Oakland California a short walk from downtown:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Do...1b374d!6m1!1e1

LOts of parking lots next to a few high rise buildings. Now if someone builds on that land, whether its a three story or a thirty story building I would not call it infill, simply new housing (or office) construction.
I am pretty sure you are in the minority with this view.

Personally I think anything being built in an existing neighborhood is infill. If it is a new mixed use building on the edge of a SFH, even that would be infill to me.
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Old 01-12-2015, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
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Here are some examples from Los Angeles:

Hollywood

Palms' monster (with another mixed-user down the street)

Santa Monica

Pasadena

DTLA

DTLA

City West (puke) but kitty-corner is one that is not so bad

Westlake/MacArthur Park

Koreatown

East Hollywood

Here is a development in Hollywood that is being built under the "small lot ordinance" which allows for townhomes/rowhomes to be built with minimal parking and setbacks.

A lot of neighborhoods in LA are getting some very attractive infill developments, but the majority of it is pretty bland. For some reason DTLA is getting the bulk of the blah, perhaps because there are so few (or no) NIMBYs to put up a fight for design standards.
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