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RE-inhabiting the city: SUSTAINABLE URBAN DWELLING OPPORTUNITIES FOR FAMILIES

Chair: Martin Gold Co-Chair: John Maze UF GISoA Master of Architecture Summer 2011

Jim Frey


A Master’s Research Project submitted to the Graduate School at the University of Florida in partial fulfillment for the degree of Master in Architecture


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to thank Director Martin Gold and Assistant Director John Maze for their patience and guidance throughout this process. A special thanks to my wife, Julie and children, ZoĂŤ and Sydney, for their unconditional love and support which made this possible.


TABLE OF CONTENTS: 10

ABSTRACT

12

PREFACE

16

THE FAMILY UNIT

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THE URBAN CORE

28

CASE STUDIES

42

SITE SELECTION

48

RE-INHABIT PROPOSAL

97

CONCLUSIONS

101

IMAGES SITED

103

WORKS SITED

105

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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In [the traditional New England town], one can live above the store, next to the store, five minutes from the store or nowhere near the store, and it is easy to imagine the different age groups and personalities that would prefer each alternative. In this way and others, the traditional neighborhood provides for an array of lifestyles. In conventional suburbia, there is only one available lifestyle: to own a car and to need it for everything. - Andres Duany, “Suburban Nation�

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REinhabit: To live or dwell in again after living somewhere else.

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ABSTRACT:

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The majority of cities in the United States are coming to the harsh reality that the single-family home and associated sprawling suburban lifestyle that has worked over the past seventy-plus years is no longer economically and socially viable as the main vehicle for family growth. The era of seemingly endless and inexpensive resources and energy has ended, striking a devastating blow to the economies of the world, in particular to cities in the United States of America. With a mere fraction of the population of the world, the United States is one of the highest per capita energy and resource consumers and the constantly growing suburban family lifestyle is a major influence in that consumption. A housing bubble in the United States at the beginning of the twenty-first century compounded the issues through consumption of massive amounts of energy and resources and continued to driving prices upward, which started to subside in 2007 due to the bursting of the bubble. A subsequent market collapse and economic crisis was felt worldwide due to speculation in the housing and property markets, fueled by attractive interest rates and dubious financing. During this time, the suburbs were continuing their sprawling expansion away from city centers and places of work at an alarming rate in order to accommodate the desires of new and existing families to achieve the “American Dream.” Most small (50K to 250K) to mid-sized (250K to .5M) cities are considered auto-centric, especially those within the southern U.S., where most every aspect of life involves an automobile. This has exacerbated the problems of the suburban lifestyle. The American city is known for its sprawl, inadequate infrastructure and extensive amounts of time wasted in traffic congestion. Many of these

issues have detrimental effects on the environment, health and socioeconomic well-being of families. As cities move forward into the future, the family unit must embrace a new global perspective of dwelling. One that pursues the conservation of resources and land, increases the health, safety and social aspects of its inhabitants, provides economic opportunities and improves existing infrastructure while encouraging density. With these issues at hand, the study explores sustainable opportunities and solutions for families to live and grow, while at the same time, halting and reversing the detrimental effects of sprawl on the American city. One option is by “RE-inhabiting the city” through the creation of dense familyoriented dwellings. Such dwellings would subjugate the use of automobiles and meet the varied needs of new, existing and shrinking family units through the creation of a mixed-use development that implements multi-use, civic spaces at different scales.


FIG. 1 Rendering of a sustainable housing community within a dense city.

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PREFACE: RE-inhabiting the city

sustainable urban dwelling opportunities for families In the early twentieth century, families started to migrate from city centers to suburbs with an exponential increase in the mid- to late-1940’s. While many factors, such as automobiles and a budding interstate system, contributed to the growing migration trend, the largest was the return of approximately sixteen million G.I.s from World War II in 1945. The returning soldiers wanted to start families and were having trouble finding suitable homes within the city due to a shortage of standard building materials caused by the war. Discounted farmland, inexpensive stick-type building materials, and government-backed G.I. loans drove developers, such as Abraham Levitt and Sons, to develop mass quantities of single-family, tract homes (Levittown, NY). In the same period, increasingly affluent Caucasians were moving from the cities to the suburbs to escape overcrowding, crime, congestion, and racial issues. This was the introduction of what would later be known as white flight. Rural areas also were losing large numbers of people to the suburbs as well. The driving factors behind those losses were advancements in farming technology, urban jobs, and the promise of a better life. The suburbs, propelled by inexpensive housing, energy, and fuel, continued to grow to such great numbers that by the 1970’s the United States had become a suburban rather than an urban/rural nation. Under the direction of then-President Richard Nixon, the government saw suburbanization as the future of America and created building programs and tax

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break to drive the suburban machine forward into the future. An examination of who occupies the urban core reveals that small to mid-sized cities reflects the proliferation of smaller households of singles, unrelated individuals living together, and childless married couples.1 Often, small city urban cores have no residential buildings and those that have them are not designed for or intended to be used by families. Residential buildings within the urban core tend to have small living spaces, lack familydesired amenities and are frequently occupied by professional singles and dual income no kid(s) couples. Over the past four decades as the suburbs have grown, so has the average size of the single family home. This is not the case with regard to the number of occupants within each of those expanding homes. In fact, the family size per household over the same period has been slowly declining. Thus, the average household square footage per person in the United States has almost doubled from 548.23 sf/person in the 1970’s to 925.45 sf/person in the 2000’s2(see fig.6 pg. 15). This expanding suburbia has led to longer commuting times, higher cost of living, growing consumption of natural resources, less time spent with family, and a lower quality of life standard.


FIG. 3 Cartoon depicting the shortage of housing in the city core.

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FIG. 2 Before and after aerials showing Island Trees, New York, site of the first Levittown development.

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The intensifying dynamics of suburban life have morphed the traditional concepts of family as well as the economic and social cost to support it. The definition of what makes up a family is ever changing, affected by social status, economic conditions, and other issues such as divorce, joblessness, abuse, number of incomes, sexual orientation, and other dynamic factors. These and other contributing factors produce more multigenerational, single parent and parentless households,3 making it ever harder for the current suburban condition to house the new dynamics of a family. Furthering the exploration of dwelling, this Master’s Research Project (MRP) looks to develop a sustainable architectural typology that will entice the family unit to reinhabit the urban context similarly as they did in the suburbs of the United States over the past 80 years or so. The changing economic conditions and the desire for a higher quality of life, point to an emerging trend in where families are choosing to live within small to midsized cities. The proposal seeks to present an alternative to the suburbs by creating a multi-family dwelling typology that meets the dynamic needs of both the nuclear and the changing family unit, within the urban context of Gainesville, Florida, a small-sized city.

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1970

3.11 People

1,605 sf

forward 40 yrs

2010

2.59 People

2,397sf

FIG. 4 Autocentric Suburbia, Eden Prairie IV, Florida.

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FIG. 6 Size difference in single family housing.

City Core

FIG. 5 Suburban Horizons, showing the suburban sprawl of Los Angeles, California. The city core is left of center.

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THE FAMILY UNIT: FAMILY COMPOSITION Since the concept of the project revolves around creating dwelling options for families, it is intuitive to start with the composition of the family unit to chart its spatial needs and desires. The description of a family today is no longer a fixed form; it is now more a free form. The definition of a family is wide-ranging and dynamic from the traditional or “nuclear family” (a married father, mother and their biological child or children) to the nontraditional or newly termed “post-modern family” (made up of single parents, surrogate mothers, same sex parents, skip-generational, multi-generational and other variants with loosely and tightly defined relationships). For centuries, “family” connoted a growing, messy, almost tribal identity. Then industrialization, wealth and mobility allowed, even encouraged, the family unit to shrink. The term “nuclear family” did not enter the lexicon until the boom after World War II, a suggestion that the immediate family, built on a foundation of marriage and traditional gender roles, was the nucleus of social structure.

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Today, the 2010 Census figures show that the percentage of Californians who live in “nuclear family” households has dropped during the last decade to 23.4% of all households. That represents a 10% decline in 10 years, as measured as a percentage of the state’s households.4 Those households are being supplanted by a spectrum of post-modern family arrangements. Some forms of households that were rare just a generation ago

are becoming common. California is a reflection of a new dynamic taking shape in the North American family unit. Since there is no rigid definition to portray a family, for the purpose of the MRP, a family unit will be described as any number of adults (18 years old and up) with at least one child (newborn to 24 years old) with the focus of what constitutes a family being driven by at least one child. The project will aspire to be dynamic in its program and spatial inflections to accommodate all types of families from the traditional to the nontraditional.

FAMILY DWELLING Since the concept of the MRP is to create an urban family dwelling alternative to the suburbs, it is astute to consider the family attractors and detractors of suburbia as the basis to design the desired aspects and spatial qualities for an urban housing program. The history and contributing economic factors that made the suburbs viable and expansive will not be detailed as they have been noted in the preface. However, some of those factors will be repeated, as they are also part of the blueprint of the suburbs. Aspects that families look for when selecting a place to call home are driven by factors such as proximity, safety, space, and quality of life. According to a recent survey by Lauren Kin, a family sociologist, “of the proximity drivers the most prevalent are location of good schools, parks, and services within walking distance.” Safety concerns center on sightline issues, such as being able to view younger children


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while they are playing inside or outdoors, general community safety, i.e., traffic and crime, and other minor concerns about environmental issues like air and water quality. The space factors relate to both the space inside the home and the availability of green space in the form of a yard for play sets or access to parks. The factors directly relating to the interior of the home are generally concerned with layout and organization issues, so children can have their own space and still be within view of a parent. They also have to do with issues of storage space for items such as bikes, toys, playhouses, etc. The final aspect at the heart of quality of life issues is primarily concerned with family interactions, parenting, emotional well-being and physical/ material well-being. The first three of these revolve around communication and the final one is about meeting the monetary, transportation, and medical needs of the family unit. The quality of life issues have a direct correlation with the parent(s) ability to achieve a positive work-life balance. Hence, the location and design of the family dwelling plays a crucial role concerning quality of life issues.

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As people gain wealth around the world, they all usually tend to do the same thing: spread out. A common dream shared among people of all cultures is to have a piece of land to call their own. The suburbs are the place that many turn to because it offers the space needed to satisfy those dreams. The suburbs have remained popular in the United States and have witnessed a 12 % population increase from the 2000 Census to 2010 Census.4 Families are enticed to live in the suburbs by many factors including: the size-to-cost ratio, the perception of green space (own back yard), private space away from noisy shared-wall neighbors, idealized safety and being able to live with like-minded people of the same socioeconomic status.

Conversely, the suburbs also come with a cost that is not always realized at first. Americans tend to believe that a healthy environment to raise children is a large, single-family home in a quiet, suburban community. Many are convinced that trading the polluted, crowded city for greener pastures is the right decision for their children. Unfortunately, the farther they move away from urban centers, the more auto-dependant, resource intensive, and by extension, environmentally detrimental they become, hence exacerbating the environmental ills while trying to protect their children. Instead, they end up spending more time commuting for every aspect of life and less time exercising, relaxing, playing with the kids, walking the dog, or talking with their spouse/partner. The energy efficiency of individual automobiles is a far less important environmental issue than the energy inefficiency of the asphalt-latticed way of life that we have built to oblige them - the sprawling American landscape of subdivisions, parking lots, strip malls and interstate bypasses. The critical energy drain in a typical American suburb is not the Hummer in the driveway; it’s everything the Hummer makes possible - the oversized houses and irrigated yards, the network of new feeder roads and residential streets, the costly and inefficient outward expansion of the power grid, the duplicated stores and schools, the two-hour solo commutes. -- Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are the Keys to Sustainability. by David Owen

One option to the suburbs is to embrace a family friendly life style in the urban core. Living in a dense community means living in a smaller space.


SUBURBAN TO URBAN MORPHOLOGY

Community roof top gardens Private food producing gardens.

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8

Community playset

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7

Backyard playset

Urban housing Maintenance

Single-family home

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Community interaction

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Auto parking

Public interaction

Community interaction

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FIG. 7 Comparison and contrast of suburban and urban conditions.

Family outdoor space

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Smaller spaces require less energy to heat and cool and use less land, therefore, increasing density and preserving land for forests and farmland. As more people are living in close proximity to each other, more resources can be shared. Neighborhood parks replace large backyards; coffee shops and community centers replace home offices and playrooms; public libraries replace extensive personal libraries; and nearby theaters replace media rooms. Other resources, such as power and sewer lines, can be delivered more efficiently to densely populated communities. Density supports alternative transportation. More people mean more frequent and efficient transit service and more amenities within walking and cycling distance. The more pervasive public transportation becomes the less dependent the family becomes on the environmental and economic burdens of the vehicle. Urban environments are good for the family unit, considering that living in a dense, urban neighborhood can provide some of the same benefits for children as riding public transportation, such as: self-reliance, exposure to a variety of people, and sensory stimulation, to name a few. Urban environments also provide innumerable cultural and social opportunities, those that suburban families usually drive into the cities to enjoy. Dense communities are arguably better for kids’ health than suburbs, because the built environment in the urban core is more likely to encourage walking and other forms of active transportation.

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A thought-out and attractive design option to suburbia, must take all the aspects of family life into consideration. Families make homes and invest in

communities that meet more than just their need for food and shelter. A well-designed urban family housing program needs to consider the quality aspects of shelter, community, services, schools, transit, and proximity to work and play that promote a healthy lifestyle.


FAMILY INTERACTIONS

ENTERTAINMENT FINANCES

PUBLIC SERVICES

DINING OUT

CLOTHING

SERVICES

DAYCARE

LIBRARIES

COMMUNITY

DRYCLEANING HEALTH

PARKS

RECREATION

FITNESS

CLUBS /ORGS. GROCERY

AFTER SCHOOL CARE

SOCIALIZE

FAMILY

COOK

EAT SLEEP

SHELTER

SCHOOL WORK TRANSPORTATION

STORAGE

PLAY SECURITY

GATHER

FIG. 8 Bubble diagram of family interactions.

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THE URBAN CORE: Throughout North America, there has been a rediscovery of the central role an urban core plays at the nucleus of society and economic growth. There have been signs of changing interests and a renewed confidence in cities as a place to live, work, and raise children. This is witnessed through the 2010 Census which reports that the urban cores of all the top metropolitan areas from the 2000 Census have increased their population.4 The urban core of those metropolitan areas has realized a higher percentage increase than their associated suburbs.1 As city governments and planners embrace the changing attitudes and advance with revitalization of their urban cores, they should realize that in order to develop and sustain growth, they will need to build up a diverse population of residents. Families are one such residential typology that should garner more attention due to their direct impact on the economic and social development. The economic impact families have was not truly studied until the pioneering economist and author Gary Becker released his influential work, A Treatise on the Family, which created a sub-field called family economics. Some of the economic drivers families generate are through the need for larger living spaces to accommodate the increased number of people per household. Another is through business and job creation to meet the needs of families, such as daycare within the service industry, doctors in the professional industry, and many more.

URBAN REVITALIZATION 22

For redevelopment to take place, the community needs to have political “backbone,” economic

willpower, and most of all be open to embracing change and shedding the failed concepts of the past. This starts with the ability to change local ordinances and zoning restrictions. If the community is serious about revitalizing the urban core, those changes will transpire under a public entity in one form or another. For instance, in the state of Florida, under Chapter 163 Part III Florida Statutes, the state authorizes local governments to designate up to eighty percent of a municipality as a Community Redevelopment Area (CRA). The Community Redevelopment Act, adopted in 1969, is intended to help communities revitalize downtowns, preserve historic structures, and otherwise enhance the designated CRA district. In order to establish a CRA, the local government legislative body must adopt a resolution finding that the designated area is a “slum” or “blighted,” or it contains a shortage of affordable housing, and that the rehabilitation or redevelopment of the area is “necessary” in the interest of the public’s “health, safety, morals or welfare.” Next, upon the finding of necessity and a further official finding that there is a need for a community redevelopment agency, the local government may create a CRA to exercise the powers of the local government in accordance with the Act. The CRA is funded through Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and revenue bonds. Principally, a CRA is a focused financing tool that channels tax increments paid on properties within the designated CRA district back into the CRA area for redevelopment within the CRA.5 The CRA can help boost redevelopment of such areas through financial tools, such as low interest loans, matching grants and the like. Because they work closely with the city commission and municipalities, they are able help with changing local zoning ordinances to


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mixed-use if it will benefit the community. Some municipal governments use cultural strategies by turning to museums, performing arts centers, art districts, and other cultural activities to promote and revitalize their cities. This development of municipal cultural strategies in the United States, although guided by a varied set of goals and entrepreneurial objectives, continues to guide the development and support of cultural activities in most cities.6 Of those cultural activities, an ample amount should be directed or inclusive of the family as a primary source of social activity and funding. Another significant revitalization strategy focuses primarily around entertainment and commerce. Officials in most major cities pour public funds into marketing campaigns designed to spread the good news about their metropolis and attract tourists, suburban consumers, and corporate investment. These institutionalized efforts are familiar in the form of business and technology incubators and special business or entertainment redevelopment zones and have been the subject of extensive research.7 For the most part, these economic drivers have been successful and will attain a higher level of success and continued development as long as they are growing the residential population at the same time. The professional jobs incentive creates the need for housing, which in turn generates the need in the urban core for goods, services and additional public transportation. This creates another layer of jobs and hence boosts the economy.

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URBAN PRINCIPLES As communities prepare to embrace a renewed interest in the livable urban core, they must establish a development plan with a set of principles that serves as the guideline for responsible and sustainable (longevity and green) revitalization and growth. If not, they will simply be repeating the same mistakes that drove residents from city centers to the suburbs. The worst-case scenario would be to repeat the unchecked growth and continue the same devastating impact on resources and the environment as the suburban lifestyle. A better option to a small suburban subdivision with fifty-one homes requiring seventeen acres and countless resources to create would be a oneblock urban redevelopment at less than four acres housing one-hundred and twenty-six homes with existing infrastructure (fig. 9). Some institutions have established and tested principles that they use to enhance transportation and public space, manage growth and preserve land and resources through redevelopment instead of sprawl. A collaborative plan on the national level has created the “Livability Principles� that establishes six principles for sustainable communities jointly issued by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This represents a pivotal point in restoring land use issues as a national priority. This means the three agencies will be working off the same playbook to improve service, instead of individual unit-prioritizing manuals. American families expect more affordable and sustainable choices in their communities and these improvements are set up to deliver them. The six


LIFESTYLE CHOICES SUBURBAN

URBAN

or

Rustlewood neighborhood in Gainesville, FL - 121,005 sf of living space - 17 acres w/ 51 single family homes - DENSITY = 3 units/acre

2nd Ave. and 10th St. Gainesville, FL - 252,770sf of residential space and 101,548sf of Commercial / Retail space 3.84 acres w/ 126 units - DENSITY = 32.8 units/acre

FIG. 9 Suburban and urban density comparison.

=

SUBURBAN

17

Suburban housing is auto centric by nature and leads to increased commute times and emissions.

URBAN

18

=

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Dense Urban housing embodies the potential to reduce emissions and lead to a healthier lifestyle.

FIG. 10 Suburban/urban mobility.

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principles seek to: • Provide more transportation choices • Promote equitable, affordable housing • Enhance economic competitiveness • Support existing communities • Coordinate policies and leverage investment • Value communities and neighborhoods Although, these principles are vague they represent a step forward on the national level and support enhanced principles at the state and local levels that better serve their individual communities.8 Another and perhaps more important set of principles are the ones from the Smart Growth Development Plan, which concentrates growth in compact, walkable urban centers to avoid sprawl and encourage mixed-use development. These are the principles upon which Portland, Oregon, based its redevelopment and are the primary reason behind its success as the “Most Livable City” in 2009, according to the ratings branch of Forbes Magazine. Communities around the United States are looking for ways to get the most out of new development and to maximize their investments. Frustrated by development that requires residents to drive long distances between jobs and homes, many communities are challenging rules that make it impossible to put workplaces, homes, and services closer together. Many communities are questioning the fiscal wisdom of neglecting existing infrastructure while expanding new sewers, roads, and services into the fringe. Smart Growth seeks to solve those issues and answer the questions through the following principles:

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•Mix land uses •Compact building design

•Create a range of housing opportunities and choices •Create walkable neighborhoods •Foster distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place •Preserve open space, farmland, natural beauty, and critical environmental areas •Strengthen and direct development toward existing communities •Provide a variety of transportation choices •Make developments decisions predictable, fair, and cost effective •Encourage community and stakeholder collaboration The plan was created on the following: community quality of life, economics, environment, health, transportation, housing, and design. Those issues are clearly present in the principles and the primary reason for the success of the Smart Growth Development Plan.9 These plans and principles establish proven guidelines for revitalizing the urban core of both the emerging cities and those such as Atlanta, Georgia, whose downtown development plan needs to change due to sprawling suburbs, traffic, and water shortages. Communities and/or municipalities should take the Smart Growth Development Plan principles a step farther, by incorporating specificity into the socioeconomic and environmental climate in which they are to be applied. This MRP uses Smart Growth concepts as a basis to create an urban housing typology that intertwines family, health, and environmental concepts. The revised RE-inhabit principles are:


RE-inhabit Development Principles 01 - DENSITY, DIVERSITY, AND MIX

Cities will embrace density, diversity and mix of uses, users, building types, and public spaces.

Cities will prioritize walking as the preferred mode of travel, and as a defining component of a healthy quality of life.

Neighborhoods will provide the needs of daily living within walking distance (0.5-mile radius).

Cities will develop in a way that prioritizes a multitude of public transportation options over car-oriented patterns.

Cities will focus on conserving, enhancing, and creating strong, distinctive places, which are of and for that region.

02 - PEDESTRIAN ORIENTED 03 - WHOLE COMMUNITIES 04 - TRANSIT PRIORITIVE 05 - PLACE-MAKING

06- REGIONAL AND LOCAL SOURCING

Cities will grow and produce the resources they need, in close proximity (300- and 50-mile radius, respectively)

07 - PRESERVATION AND INCLUSION OF NATURAL SYSTEMS

Cities will conserve, integrate, and enhance natural systems to improve environmental health and reduce climate impact.

The development of cities will require the active participation and collaboration of the entire community.

Cities will develop building types and urban forms that encourage growth and redevelopment within existing infrastructure while reducing service costs and environmental footprints.

08 - EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES

09 - RE-ENDURING DEVELOPMENT

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CASE STUDIES: The following case studies have been explored, along with many others, as a guide to what types of dwellings are currently available to families in an urban framework of a city. The primary elements being investigated for the residential buildings are the quality of family friendly spaces and amenities. Secondary to those are the contextual considerations, such as energy- and resourcereducing building features, transportation options, and family-oriented businesses.

01 SOMA STUDIOS + 8th & HOWARD FAMILY HOUSING 02 IROKO HOUSING 28

03 SYNERGT AT DOCKSIDE GREEN


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CASE STUDY 01: SOMA STUDIOS + 8th & HOWARD FAMILY HOUSING

PROJECT OVERVIEW This five-story mixed-use affordable housing development is in the South Market section of San Francisco. The project designed by David Baker and Partners, combines apartments and modern singleoccupancy studios with a wealth of community services. This single structure was developed by separate financing factions that vertically subdivided the site into separate parcels for each group. The 88 studios were financed through the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency and tax credits. The 74 apartments, comprised of one, two, and three bedroom units was financed through the Mayor’s Office of Housing and tax-exempt bonds to house working families, which sits above the privatelyfinanced commercial retail space. The building was completed in 2003 as part of a joint venture with Citizen’s Housing Corporation..

PROGRAM

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The 162-unit complex features 88 studios as well as 12 one-, 40 two-, and 22 three-bedroom family apartments and has 6 community rooms and a 6,000 sf child-care center. Semi-public courtyards provide areas for resident functions, while a car-share pod (where one can rent a car) offers an alternative to those who do not own cars. The ground plays host to the daycare and 18,000 sf of retail space. Each

San Francisico, California

side features protected shared courtyards. The building is visually rich, with a bright geometric facade punctuated by long windows on one side and a flowing wall creating curving rooms on the other. The careful, yet playful, design allows for a depth of detail uncommon in affordable housing. Reduced residential parking frees space for neighborhoodserving retail, including an organic grocery store. Despite its affordable housing intent, this mixed-use project is designed better than many market-rate residences in the area.

PROJECT FEATURES The scheme is based on a combination of the bar and perimeter block format creating a cross-axis courtyard that separates the functions but still creates a central space that achieves a sense of community. The gap in the urban edge provides a view into the softer interior open space, sharing it with the civic domain. Entrances to the housing are through semi-public landscaped courtyards that also serve as outdoor green space for public functions. On the second level, the courtyard divides the space and houses modern single-occupancy studios with private baths on one side and affordable family apartments on the other. The shared central space functions as a communal amenity and includes an area for children to play. All studios and apartments have private balconies overlooking the courtyard.


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The city corner comes alive with 8th + Howard/ SOMA Studios’ undulating edge, bright geometric mural, bustling corner market, and handcrafted glass and steel gate. Eclectic mixes of artists, immigrants, veterans, and young people have made this affordable housing development their home.

INFLUENTIAL CONCEPTS This case study touches on many of the issues relating to the concepts of this MRP. While it is limited in the variability of family-sized apartments, it still encompasses the aspects of a mixed-use family dwelling project by incorporating secure play areas, a daycare and family friendly services. The project encompasses the complete end of an urban block and mitigates the civic conditions on all three sides in an aesthetically rich manor. It utilizes semipublic courtyard entrances to create a safe transition between the residential and urban conditions. It also places walkability and transit options at the forefront of the design concepts.

PROGRAM MATRIX family housing

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child care facility

community facility

different scaled family areas

family serving retail

public transit

parks + open space

food + restaurants

energy saving features


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27

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CASE STUDY 02: IROKO HOUSING

South Bank, London, England

PROJECT OVERVIEW Iroko Housing at Coin Street is a mixed-use housing development in South Bank, London, developed by the Coin Street Community Builders. The architect, Haworth Tompkins, designed the scheme that combines affordable rental units and co-operative building units with private or shared ownership. The project site is an urban block located behind the National Theatre on London’s South Bank, with the north side flanked by large office blocks and the south bordered by the busy Stamford Street. To the east is another housing project and to the west is a site earmarked for a sports center with high-density housing.

PROGRAM

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The challenge for inner-city housing is to reconcile the civic presence demanded by the urban setting with the privacy demanded by the domestic function. The Iroko Housing project is comprised of 59 homes, of which 32 are five-bedroom houses, 6 are threebedroom maisonettes (an apartment occupying two or more floors of a larger building and often having its own outside entrance) and 21 are one- and twobedroom maisonettes and flats (including one flat designed for a wheelchair user) designed around a communal garden. On the ground level are two corner shops and limited residential parking (21

spaces). The public parking garage (200 spaces), below grade, generates revenue for the residents. A clear typology was needed on such a prominent site, one that plainly defines both the public and the residential areas. In response to this, the dwellings are arranged as terraces onto the streets forming three sides of a courtyard. The center of the site provides a secure communal space in the form of a large landscaped garden with designated play areas. The fourth side of the courtyard is completed by the Stamford Street Neighborhood Center.

PROJECT FEATURES The layout of the scheme is based on a perimeter block or courtyard format with a central space that functions as a communal amenity including children’s play areas. The courtyard space is carefully divided for different uses by low concrete walls and level changes. All flats and maisonettes have large balconies and every bedroom overlooking the courtyard has a balcony. The balconies are divided by vertical translucent screens for privacy. The materials and architectural treatment acknowledge the public and private faces of the development, addressing the street and the courtyard in very different ways. The street facades are expressed as simple brick screens with deep window reveals, while the courtyard elevations are a more informal composition of gardens and timber clad balconies,


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Street

Street

Street

Below grade parking entrance

Neighborhood center

Street

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which can be occupied by the residents and evolve and age over time with the courtyard landscape. The family-oriented courtyard scheme embodies many principles of sustainability. Many of the concrete pad foundations were retained from the brownfield site of a former warehouse. Designed on low-energy consumption principles, passive solar panels are incorporated above each dwelling, providing free hot water to residents for most of the summer and reducing the demand on the heating system for the rest of the year. High-efficiency gas-fired condensing boilers, heat recovery and ventilation systems, low-emissivity double-glazing and a high degree of air tightness reduce energy consumption and bills by 30% while providing better air quality.

INFLUENTIAL CONCEPTS This case study embodies many of the same concepts as the MRP. The project utilizes and repurposes an urban block that combines the terraced and courtyard/perimeter block building forms. It strives to find the balance and mitigate the differences between the urban public and the residential scales. Most importantly, is the main concept which is directed at housing families, as distinguished by the 38 units that are three bedrooms or more, larger walkways for children to play, and a secure courtyard, which incorporates a play set and levels for a multitude of activities.

PROGRAM MATRIX family housing

36

child care facility

community facility

different scaled family areas

family serving retail

public transit

parks + open space

food + restaurants

energy saving features


34 33

35

36

38 37

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CASE STUDY 03: SYNERGT AT DOCKSIDE GREEN

Victoria, BC

PROJECT OVERVIEW Designed by Busby, Perkin and Will, Dockside Green is a 1.3 million sf, mixed-use development on a former brownfield site in the heart of Victoria, British Columbia. The project was a joint collaboration between the city of Victoria and Windmill West and Vancity Developments. The first phase, Synergy, completed in 2008 includes four buildings constructed over a common underground parking structure. From the beginning of the master planning process in early 2005, the project team for Dockside Green focused on the triple bottom line: ecological, economic, and social sustainability as part of its “Smart Growth” principles. As the first phase in the development, Synergy was designed to represent that focus and take advantage of the building’s integration in the larger plan. The site is bound by roads on the west and north sides; a greenway and creek on the east side; and future development on the south side.

PROGRAM

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The program for Synergy has 96 residential units of varying sizes. Those units are distributed among a nine-story residential tower with commercial space on the ground floors, a two-story townhouse building, a six-story building with retail space at the ground floor, and a four-story residential building,

all above a 94-space parking garage. Synergy’s facades feature columns of dark brick punctuated with recessed windows and balconies shaded with awnings. The 2- and 4-story buildings have rooftop decks screened with wood slats. Upper floors on the towers step back to provide wrap-around windows and decks. Dockside Greens also has newly constructed retail shops and a commercial office building within walking distance. Since this was a complete redevelopment of a brownfield site, the master planning has integrated pedestrian and bike friendly greenways.

PROJECT FEATURES This project is based on the “Point Block” form, which uses integrated greens for community activities. The project is supported by unique onsite amenities such as, green spaces traversed by waterways and walking trails, a vehicle-sharing program, a mini-transit system and pedestrian and bike trails, which all promote a health family lifestyle. The building form and orientation as well as the envelope are designed to produce the most energy-efficient and user-friendly building possible. Some strategies, such as rolling canopies are used to control glare and solar heat gain. Occupants have control over their spaces through a dashboard that controls these canopies as well as heating and ventilation.


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Green roofs with vegetable gardening spaces and the greenway on the site were designed to support social equity and local food production. They also have environmental benefits: green roofs and spaces limit the urban heat island effect and allow stormwater to permeate on site, taking a burden off the city storm water system. In addition, all rainwater is collected on site and reused for irrigation and toilet flushing or infiltrated and treated by the greenway. The Synergy project also takes advantage of an on-site water treatment plant and a wood-fired combined heat and power plant that provide heat and hot water to the entire development. This, along with the hydropower-based electricity, will reduce the carbon footprint of the development.

INFLUENTIAL CONCEPTS While this case study may not be an outwardly apparent family oriented project, it embodies a fair amount of the RE-inhabitation principles, which are directly related to the concepts of the MRP. The project is phase one of a master-planned green community in an urban center. It repurposed an abandon industrial waterfront with a mix-used development that is now an asset and economic driver for the urban core.

PROGRAM MATRIX family housing

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child care facility

community facility

different scaled family areas

family serving retail

public transit

parks + open space

food + restaurants

energy saving features


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SITE SELECTION: LOCATION: GAINESVILLE, FL

Gainesville is the largest city and county seat of Alachua County. It serves as the cultural, educational, and commercial center for the North Central Florida region. Gainesville also is home to Florida’s oldest university, and is one of the state’s centers of education, medicine, cultural events, and athletics. The University of Florida and Shands Hospital at UF are the leading employers in Gainesville and provide jobs for many residents of surrounding counties.10

building new homes near downtown and create a fashionable district of shops along what is now University Avenue. The city continued to develop and draw tourists, investors, and speculators due to railroad expansion and local industry. The paramount outcome of its development plan materialized in 1905 when the city was selected as the site for the University of Florida. The University opened a year later to just over 100 students with 15 faculty and 2 incomplete buildings. Within two decades, the University had grown to more than 2,000 students with 13 Collegiate Gothic-style buildings that can still be seen on campus today. By the 1930s, the University had become a stable economic driver that helped the area endure both the land-boom collapse and the Great Depression. The city witnessed an enormous population boom and economic growth just after World War II as veterans returned looking for an education and home where they could start families. By the end of the twentieth century, the University had an enrollment approaching 50,000 and had become one of the chief research institutions in the Southeast.

In the 1880s, Gainesville endured two major fires, after which it rebuilt with all brick structures. One of the structures was an imposing new red brick courthouse, which indicated Gainesville’s growth and prosperity as it changed from town to city. Because Gainesville is centrally located within the state, it was able to lure multiple railroad connections, which in turn, made the city one of the largest in the state with a population of nearly 3,000. Gainesville’s modern amenities such as, paved streets and utilities, enticed merchants to start

During the post-war years, Gainesville had seen extraordinary changes in population to more than 104,000 living in and around the city by 1970. With this tremendous rate of growth came the need for multi-family housing; the cities development plan was not able to meet the demand fast enough which led to an unfortunate amount of urban sprawl in the form of suburbs. Alachua County and Gainesville had shifted their development plans to focus on suburban housing, which, at that time, was widely encouraged by the federal government and made

29o 39’ 5” N / 82o 19’ 30” W

Gainesville Quick Facts:

(All data shown is within city boundary) Area: Approximately 62 square miles Classification: Small-sized City (50K -250K) Climate: Hot / Humid Population: 124,354 from the 2010 Census Households: 57,576

HISTORY

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possible by the automobile. During these years, retail stores and merchants moved away from the city core to malls and large shopping centers on the periphery and downtown became a professional and government center. In the 1980s, the city shifted its plan and focused on preserving the immediate surrounding neighborhoods like the Duckpond, the Southeast and the Pleasant Street areas by creating historic districts to preserve their unique residential character. This effort at least put a halt on the degradation of the residential area immediately surrounding the city core and would later lead to promising changes in future development plans.

COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT The city commission is now working to fight the suburban sprawl that resulted from the post-war population boom and has targeted sprawl as one of its chief threats. The city has established numerous agencies whose primary purpose is to manage development and redevelopment growth plans for the businesses and people they attract to the area. One such agency is the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency, which has established the Eastside, Fifth Avenue / Pleasant Street, Downtown and College Park / University Heights (FIG. 12 pg. 47) as four areas, of the urban core, that are in need of redevelopment. Gainesville’s Community Redevelopment Areas comprise 4.3 square miles, or approximately 6% of the total area of the city. Of particular interest is the College Park / University Heights area that has seen a large amount investment from the University and private developers. The CRA describes the district as follows:

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The identity and future of the College Park/ University Heights Community Redevelopment Area is intertwined with the University of Florida. As more students opt to walk and cycle to class, living close to campus becomes increasingly appealing. The diverse residential base and proximity to a center of higher education infuse an aura of freshness and activity in this district. Luxury row houses, apartments, and condominiums with attention to design are being constructed alongside established historic residences in these conveniently located neighborhoods. Perhaps the most exciting opportunity for College Park/University Heights is the redevelopment of under-utilized commercial and industrial districts, and the potential infusion of technology and medical related spin-offs linked to the University. A mix of technology, research, and enterprise is planned for areas south and east of campus, providing jobs and support for additional mixed-use development. This would also encourage new and unique housing options for professionals and entrepreneurs who want to live, work, and play in College Park/University Heights.11 The referenced project, Innovation Square is a joint collaboration with the University of Florida, Shands Hospital and private investors. The project has adopted a “Smart Growth” type model with the concept of a technology/research community where one can live, work, and play in a dense walkable district. They also are responsible for a newly built graduate student housing project and have a proposal for a 120-bed “dormcubator” for entrepreneurial-minded students. The majority of redeveloped, existing historic and proposed housing


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FIG. 11 City of Gainesville conceptual master plan for Collage Park/University Heights.

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units in this district are mostly occupied and aimed at growth in the graduate student and young professional audiences.

of two stories in height. Building height shall be limited to six stories and up to eight stories by special use permit.12

One of the goals of the MRP and reasons for selecting a site in the College Park/University Heights district is to increase the diversity and opportunities of the district by adding mixed-use, family-oriented housing to an otherwise studentdominated area. Family-oriented housing will increase the potential success of Innovation Square and the district by adding a place for professionals and students with established families to be part of the entrepreneurial community and attracting a diverse mix of businesses and services that target families.

The site also was selected for its walkability and proximity to transit options. The proposed project is fronted along 2nd Avenue, which has wide sidewalks, right-of-way crosswalks, dedicated bike lanes, two bus routes with two additional routes a block away and on the path of a proposed streetcar. It would be the only walkable family-oriented dwelling in the developing Innovation Square community. Also strongly considered, is its central location within walking distance of the top three employers, the University of Florida, Shands Healthcare, and the city government. It has garnered particular interest from families of professors and doctors who do not like the daily commute to the suburbs on the west side of town. Additional characteristics of the project site are its proximity to the cultural center and activity provided by the downtown district, existing infrastructure, and general safety of the area.

SITE DATA Area: Approximately 3.86 acres Classification: Urban Mixed-Use 2 (min. 2-story up to 5 story and 8 story by special request)

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The College Park/University Heights area is located in the center of the City of Gainesville, north and east of the University of Florida and consists of 537 acres of land. According to the 2000 Census, total population within the area was 12,105 with 5,460 housing units of which 64.6% were renter occupied and 7% were vacant.12 The area has a variety of uses allowed, including the more flexible mixeduse designations that allow for the integration of residential with office, retail, and commercial uses. The site is located in the Urban Mixed-Use 2 zone, which allows up to 100 residential units per acre. An essential component of the district is orientation of structures to the street and pedestrian character of the area. All new development must be a minimum


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FIG. 12 City of Gainesville CRA district map.

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FIG. 13 Google Earth image of highlighted site.

TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS Site Innovation Square University of Florida Shands Hospital Down Town

5 mi

3m

i

mi RTS BUS ROUTE 1 RTS ROUTE 5 RTS ROUTE 8 RTS ROUTE 10

STREET CAR ROUTE

PUBLIC PARKING GARAGES & LOTS

BIKE LANE

Regional Transit System Bus Routes Map

PARKS & NATURE

COMMUNITY AMENITIES

5 mi

5 mi

3m

3m

i

i

mi

mi

1â „2

Shopping Centers Schools Resurants Cafe/ Coffee Shop Beer and Wine Grocery Stores Small Grocery Stores Major Roads Minor Roads

FIG. 14 Site asset studies.

Local Parks Regional Parks Conservation Areas Lakes, Ponds and Rivers Major Roads Minor Roads

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RE-INHABIT PROPOSAL: PROJECT DATA Dwelling units: 142 DUA: 36.78

The RE-inhabit concept started by finding a need in the community and expressing its resolution as a blueprint for family-oriented space- and placemaking. It is not intended to be a discourse on designing a new architectural aesthetic for family housing. It is however, a treatise on the subject of designing a housing typology that orients the architectural space configurations around the needs of family units with the intent to increase the socioeconomic well-being and quality of life for families through dwelling. After researching the dynamics and dwelling trends for families a set of principles was established to serve as a guide for the development of the project. The RE-inhabit Development Principles directed the selection of the site and the blueprint for space-making. The proposed site is in a socially and economically active urban area of the city. Being just under four acres and in a mixed-use zone allows the proposal to create a broad range of dwellings that can accommodate a diverse family structure. One of the main attractors of suburbia is its implied feeling of secure space for children to play. With this in mind, the solution dictates that different levels of space are designed in a varying range of sizes and from private to communal in- and outside of the dwelling. The projects mixed-use plan is programmed to give priority to family-oriented businesses and service providers.

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PROGRAM The following is the proposed programs for theREinhabit project:

•Residential units: 142 units at 252,770 sf 15 Studio units at < 900 sf 15 Two-Bedroom units at 750 to 1,100 sf 61 Three-Bedroom units at 1,250 to 1,700 sf 20 Four-Bedroom units at 1,650 to 2,200 sf 15 Five-Bedroom units at >2,300 sf 6 Row house units at 2,200 to 2,600 sf each 10 Townhome units at 2,050 sf each

•Residential amenities:

On site Daycare On site Storage 24,000 sf Parking Garage - 2 decks below grade 370 residential spaces - 2.6/unit 450 comm./retail spaces Open central courtyard w/ playground Bike Center Amphitheater Swimming and splash pool w/ large deck Fitness Center Computer Room Theater Room Residents Hall

•Commercial/Retail: 101,548 sf Urban Grocery Store Cafe’ Restaurant(s) Shops Office Space


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URBAN HOUSING FORMS:

ROW HOUSE Typical DUA: 20-30

BAR Typical DUA: 30-80

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The row house, also known as terraced, is a type of medium-density housing that originated in late 17th century Great Britain. It is typically three to four stories with a shared or common wall between units, unified setbacks and similar facades. It is fronted on the urban sidewalk with a small green or hardscaped area in the back.

Bar style housing also known as alphabet is a medium- to high-density housing typology. It uses the bar form to configure many shapes, such as E, I, L,T, W and many more to form the public and private spaces. It ranges in height from three to ten stories in height with unified vertical cores. It usually addresses the urban sidewalk on at least two sides and can accommodate single or mixed-use typologies.


FIG. 15 Row house housing form diagram.

FIG. 16 Bar housing form diagram.

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BLOCK Typical DUA: 20-40

COURTYARD Typical DUA: 30-60

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The block form is typically three to eight stories in height and is a medium-density housing typology. It uses many small building footprints and walkways within the urban block to form semi-public green spaces around the buildings.

The courtyard housing is a medium- to highdensity housing typology and is typically between three to eight stories in height. It can be configured similar to the point block as many smaller forms within the urban block or as one large form. The building form is pushed to the setback lines and uses three facades to create a semi-public courtyard or four to create a private courtyard.


FIG. 17 Block housing form diagram.

FIG. 18 Courtyard housing form diagram.

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BUILDING FORMS STUDIES:

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Since the RE-inhabit project proposes an alternative family housing solution to suburbia, it is reasonable to start with a suburban architype. The building form study starts with the traditional single-family suburban neighborhood (1/3 acre lots each) as a foundation to establish a common family housing language. Each study begins by condensing the

traditional suburban fabric to create a pliable living-unit descriptor that can be manipulated to form a new urban dwelling unit (UDU). That UDU is then manipulated into a building form. Once a building form is selected, it is then further explored by removing the standard unit and replacing it with appropriately scaled units to meet the needs of varying families.

HINGE-SLICE

The Hinge-Slice form starts by pulling the face of the unit form out from a central point to create an implied hinge point on the outer facade. This opens the view corridor in both directions and opens the corners of the block for civic space. The form is then sliced and separated to allow movement and views between the forms while at the same time keeping the implied boundary of the hinged facade.


COMPATED BLOCK ( > 20 DUA)

ROTATION

EXPANSION

SUBURBAN BLOCK ( < 4 DUA)

SITE RESPONSE MACRO

SITE RESPONSE MICRO

HINGE-SLICE (25 DUA)

FIG. 19 Hinge-slice assembly and massing process.

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PUSH-PULL

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The Push Pull form is a simple process that pushes back and pulls forward every other unit from side to side and is staggered as it moves up floor to floor. This is done to allow each unit to have a large outdoor room that will supplement the personal outdoor space of a suburban house and shading the interior. It also breaks up the scale of the building facade allowing it to relate to the scale of the surrounding context.


COMPATED BLOCK ( > 20 DUA)

ROTATION

EXPANSION

SUBURBAN BLOCK ( < 4 DUA)

SITE RESPONSE

PUSH-PULL (30 DUA)

FIG. 20 Push-pull assembly and massing process.

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TERRACED

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The Terraced form takes the same initial block of residential units and steps them down from one end to the other. While the terraced form reduces what could be the maximum density, it unlocks the units to more exposed views and allows the overall form to fit a context with varied heights. It also gives rise to individual roof lawns that can host a variety of different programs that can be altered to meet the needs of the families, at any point and time.


COMPATED BLOCK ( > 20 DUA)

ROTATION

EXPANSION

SUBURBAN BLOCK ( < 4 DUA)

SITE RESPONSE

TERRACED (36 DUA)

FIG. 21 Terraced assembly and massing process.

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URBAN BLOCK HOUSING EQUATION: Studying the previously selected urban housing forms provides a design taxonomy that yields a variety of appropriate dwelling alternatives that meet the needs of families. Hence, an equation is created to amalgamate the basic urban housing forms, to generate a solution for the larger context of the urban block.

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COURTYARD

LETTER (BAR)

ROW HOUSE

BLOCK BLOCK

LETTER

BAR

COURTYARD

URBAN BLOCK ROW HOUSE

BLOCK

FIG. 22 Urban block housing equation formulated from the housing and building form studies.

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PROPOSED URBAN BLOCK SOLUTION: SITE

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The 3.86-acre site was selected for its central location, east/west solar orientation, un-built plots, and ability to fit the RE-inhabitation principles. The site is located in a community redevelopment area (CRA), which makes potential zoning changes a little less challenging.


TO UF 2 BLOCKS

N

SITE AREA 3.86 ACRE

TO DOWNTOWN 6 BLOCKS

FIG. 23 Proposal site in context.

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TRANSPORTATION

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Two primary roads border the site. The east/ west oriented SW 2nd Avenue, which is a twolane, divided road with on street parallel parking and designated bike lanes. It is directly serviced by three bus lines and is on the proposed route for a future streetcar. It is also the one main connector from downtown to the main entrance of the University of Florida. The west side of the site is bordered by SW 10th Street, which is a two-lane road travelling north/south and a feeder road to University Avenue and the Innovation Square development.


SITE

PED CORRIDOR BIKE LANES ON STREET PARKING PARKING GARAGE BUS ROUTE PROP. STREETCAR

FIG. 24 Site transportation study.

TRAFFIC PATTERN

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MASSING

Stacking the four-story residential mass (545,280 sf) on the high-bay commercial/retail mass (136,320 sf) creates a mixed-use typology that, allows each to prosper and gain an advantageous position to meet their individual needs. For the commercial/retail, it is direct access to the street level and frontage. For the residential portion, it the security and view from being above the street level. This also helps to create walkable amenities for the residential units above and the surrounding community.

PARKING

Site parking is accommodated on two levels below grade. The vehicle is subjugated in order to promote the use of public transportation, bicycling and walking. The first level below grade contains 450 public parking spaces for the commercial/retail shops and reserved lease spaces. The lower level has 370 secure parking spaces available for residents, resident guests and employees of the commercial/retail shops as well as 24,000 sf of residential storage units.


RESIDENTIAL MASS

COMM/RETAIL MASS

TWO LEVEL PARKING DECK BELOW GRADE

FIG. 25 Massing and parking building form proposal.

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DENSITY

The overall form containing the subjugated parking, two stories of commercial/retail and three stories of residential units represent the maximum height currently allowed on the site. This form yields a total of 671,430 square feet at maximum allowable density excluding the parking. The two levels of parking below are accessed at two points on secondary two-way roads on north and east facades. This allows for easier entry and exiting of the parking garage as the traffic pattern on these roads is reduced and the speed is slower.

CARVE

Carving out the center of the building mass initiates the courtyard concept and increases green space, a central component for familyoriented amenities and day-lighting strategies. Extending the southwest corner of residential block up to eight stories replaces the decreased density and creates views of campus to the east, downtown to the west, and Paynes Prairie to the south over the adjacent low to mid-rise commercial and residential building. Lowering the northeast corner addresses the low scale of the low-rise residential building at that facade and opens the courtyard to the prevailing wind direction.


FIG. 26 Density and carve building form proposal.

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SLICE

Vertical slices through the north facade allow for moments of pause and permit the facade to shift to accommodate different scales and types of dwellings. The separations caused by the slices correlate to the adjacent buildings and create extended view corridors. It also permits northern light and improved ventilation as well as pedestrian circulation to penetrate the facade and reach the central courtyard.

PUNCTURE

Punctured openings through commercial and residential blocks on the south facade increases commercial/retail frontage, give rise to small public courtyards and makes cross-ventilation through the courtyard possible with the sliced openings at the north facade. Extending the two residential blocks down to the ground level on the north facade and changing the type to townhome and row-style housing adds variety in housing typologies making the project viable for more families. Eliminating the residential component from the top of the northeast corner establishes a standalone commercial building that can function as a daycare for the residents and the community.


FIG. 27 Slice and puncture building form proposal.

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INSERT AND PUSH

Inserting an amenity block between the commercial/retail and residential blocks raises and isolates the residential units, which increases views and decreases noise issues. A terraced form is achieved by inserting green roofs into the slope of the original form. The terraced building form is implemented to extend landscape for cooling and water absorption, create additional play spaces, and house community gardens. Pushing Day-care facade back maintains a wide sidewalk while creating a drop off and pick up lane. Also by pushing and morphing, the independent residential forms creates townhome and row style building blocks to increase density and variety of residential components as well as allowing some residential units to have direct access to the ground level.

COMPRESS / RAISE

By compressing the commercial/retail faรงade, a greater public sidewalk and overhang to shade storefronts is created. Also by compressing, the south facade of the southwest residential units by different degrees produces a steppedback form, which opens up multiple views for the residential units and creates outdoor urban space for amenity level. Raising the west end of the courtyard brings the lawn up to the amenities level and divides semi-public from private areas. Raising the ground at the townhomes and row-style residents generates a backyard within the context of the courtyard.


Community Amenities

Green Roof

FIG. 28 Insert/push and compress/raise building form proposal.

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SCREEN

An operable screen becomes the exterior facade of the terraced residential block, protecting the southern facade from solar gain. This allows the residential units to control the balance between views and privacy and adds visual variation to the facade as the panels move about. At the ground floor, lobbies serving residential and public spaces are inserted within commercial/retail storefront. These lobbies become entry nodes for the vertical circulation from the street level to the parking garage below and the residents above. On the residential floors above, the lobbies transform to large exterior entry courts that aid in air circulation and become semi-secure play zones that act similar to a front yard.

RE-INHABIT

Reduction of maximum building volume allows the landscape, light and circulation to move into the center of the building and create a sense of community and a place for families within the urban context. Thus, increasing the urban density and potentially curtailing suburban sprawl. The solution proposal yields 101,548 square feet of commercial/retail and 252,770 square feet of residential space, excluding the courtyard, amenities, parking decks.


FIG. 29 Screen and final Re-inhabit building form proposal.

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SOLUTION IN CONTEXT

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The RE-inhabit solution in context with the proposal for Innovation Square and the Tech Hub to the south, Ayers Medical Center to the east, and low-rise student rental housing and commercial/retail to the north and west. The proposal takes some of its cues from the adjacent context to form public courtyards and entrances that have a similar parlance.


TO UF 2 BLOCKS

N

INNOVATION SQUARE PROPOSAL

TO DOWNTOWN 6 BLOCKS EXISTING PROPOSED

FIG. 30 Re-inhabit solution proposal in context.

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SITE INTERACTIONS:

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CLIMATE

The design of the building form helps capture the prevailing breeze with its depressed northeast and elevated southwest corners. The perimeter facade and building have been sliced and punctured to allow air to move across the courtyard from multiple directions. These raised openings, along with light wells, allow sunlight to filter into the small public courtyards and residential entry-courts.

CIRCULATION

The punctured openings in the facade create small courtyards at grade that allow visual connections from the central courtyard to the exterior. They also serve as public lounges for the retail and commercial units and as entrances to the parking garage below. The residential circulation transpires through vertical entry courts that access the public facade, central courtyard and roof yards from the dwellings.


PREVAILING BREEZE

SUN LIGHT AIR MOVEMENT

PUBLIC CIRCULATION PRIVATE CIRCULATION

FIG. 31 Climate and circulation interaction diagrams.

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FLOOR PLANS: GROUND FLOOR 1. Family Room 2. Dining Room 3. Entry Court 4. Elevated Lawn 5. Community Courtyard 6. Urban Grocery 7. Cafeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 8. Resaurant 9. Retail/ Commercial 10. Day Care 11. Public Courtyard 12. Parking Garage Entrance 13. Amphitheater 14. Bike Storage 15. Truck Bay & Loading Dock 16. Mech. & Pump Room

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B

C

1 9

9

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3

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1

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1

1

1

2

2

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1

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9

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13 9 14 9 6 12

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3 11

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9

9 3

A

11

8

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A

B

C

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FOURTH FLOOR 1. Family Room 2. Dining Room 3. Bedroom 4. Porch “Exterior Room” 5. Hinge Space 6. Entry Court 7. Resident Court “Big Wheel Space” 8. Bench Planter 9. Light Well 10. Operable Screen 11. Garden Roof Terrace 12. Pool 13. Splash Pool 14. Pool Deck

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C

B

10

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1

7

3

4

3

2

8

4

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ELEVATION: 2nd AVENUE FACADE

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The long southern facade fronts SW 2nd Avenue, the main thoroughfare between downtown and the UF campus. This elevation highlights the operable screening system and colored residential courts. The perforated panels of the screen add color and continually change the facade as the panels are opened and closed. The differently colored residential entry courts act as a way finding system.


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SECTIONS: SECTION AA - ALONG 2nd AVENUE 1. Residents 2. Family Room 3. Bedroom 4. Porch “Exterior Room” 5. Resident Court “Big Wheel Space” 6. Entry Court 7. Comm. amenity Center 8. Retail/Commercial 9. Urban Grocery 10. Operable Screen 11. Garden Roof Terrace 12. Pool 13. Solar Panels 14. Parking Garage 15. Ramp

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RES RES RES RES RES RES RES RES RES RES RES RES RES RES RES RES RES RES RES RES RES RES

RES RES RES RES

RESIDENTIAL

B.W. B.W.

RES RES

B.W. B.W. B.W.

RES

RES B.W. RES B.W. RES B.W. RES B.W.

RETAIL/COMMERCIAL

GROCERY PARKING PARKING

RES RES

B.W. B.W. B.W.

RESIDENTIAL RES RES

RES RES

B.W. B.W.

RES RES

RETAIL/COMMERCIAL

RETAIL/COMMERCIAL PARKING PARKING

PARKING PARKING

PROGRAM SECTION

13

105’ - 0” 1

93’ - 4” 4

81’ - 8” 70’ - 0” 58’ - 4”

10

3

1

1

1

1

1

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1

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1

11

46’ - 8” 1

1

5

1

4

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

10

35’ - 0” 7

1

1

23’ - 4” 12

9

8

14 14

15 15

6

1

5

8

8

8

8

5

8

8

6

8

8

14 14

15 15

6

8

14 14

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SECTION BB - ALONG 10TH STREET 1. Residents 2. Porch “Exterior Room” 3. Resident Court “Big Wheel Space” 4. Entry Court 5. Comm. amenity Center 6. Retail/Commercial 7. Urban Grocery 8. Living Wall 9. Operable Screen 10. Garden Roof Terrace 11. Solar Panels 12. Loading Dock 13. Parking Garage 14. Car Ramp

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VERTICAL CIRCULATION

B.W. RES RES RES B.W. RES RESIDENTIAL B.W. RES B.W. COMMUNITY

RETAIL/COMMERCIAL PARKING PARKING

RESIDENTIAL RESIDENTIAL BIG WHEEL RESIDENTIAL BIG WHEEL BIG WHEEL RESIDENTIAL RESIDENTIAL B.W. RESIDENTIAL B.W. CENTER

GROCERY PARKING PARKING

PROGRAM SECTION

11

11

10

105’ - 0” 10

1

93’ - 4” 10

81’ - 8”

1

1

1

9

1

70’ - 0” 1

58’ - 4” 46’ - 8”

9

1

3

3

1

1

1

1

1

2

35’ - 0” 23’ - 4” 11’ - 10”

5

5

5

6

5

6

6

4

5

12

6

7

14

13

14

8

14

13

89


SECTION CC 1. Residents 2. Porch “Exterior Room” 3. Entry Court 4. Operable Screen 5. Garden Roof Terrace 6. Solar Panels 7. Parking Garage8. Pool 8. Ramp 9. Innovation Square 10. Low Rise Commercial

90


6 5

4

2

1

1

1

6 5

1

9

3

1

10 3

8

7 7

91


PERSPECTIVE: PERSPECTIVE - ALONG 2nd AVENUE

92


93


FAMILY ORIENTED SPACE: RESIDENTIAL COURT (BIG WHEEL SPACE)

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The residential court is a distinct family oriented feature, targeted at younger children. This space provides a secure place for kids to play independently, while in site of an adult. In addition, it helps create a sense of community, while enhancing day-light and natural ventilation for the residential units.


95


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CONCLUSIONS: For this Master’s Research Project, the primary focus was to provide families with an alternative to suburban dwelling. The alternatives that we are aware of today in American society reflect the nottoo-distant past that embraced an agrarian and/or urban lifestyle and included movements such as new urbanism, garden city, smart growth, suburban densification models and others. The common factors in most of these are about conserving resources, increasing density and mixing uses. However, the country’s focus on suburbia over the past century has left today’s families with little to no choice when it comes to places to live and raise children. Though there are many direct planning and architectural interventions within suburbia to try to fix its ills, there are often not many options for families in small to mid-sized cities. For the purposes of this MRP, the urban core of a small to mid-sized city (Gainesville, FL) was selected as a basis for the research and proposal. The challenges were to preserve the attractors of suburbia while, eliminating or mitigating the detractors that affect the social and economic well-being of the family and create an urban housing option. Architects such as Le Corbusier have tried to answer the questions and solve the issues of urban housing. In the first half of the twentieth century, housing solutions directed systems of proximity, transportation and connectivity, which influenced the direction and amount of growth, while assuming resources would remain inexpensive and plentiful. Today it is reversed; growth is directed by independent transportation systems (automobiles), which in turn creates expanding proximities and

connection (sprawl) that use dwindling resources and waste time at greater cost to the environment and the social and economic fabric of the family. Therefore, new ideas and concepts of dwelling must flip once again and consider the reuse, rezoning and densification of existing infrastructure as they endeavor to conserve and improve the resources of the environment and family. The city core has the ability and potential to be part of the answer and is the most suited and feasible option to the suburbs. Using the principles of “smart growth” as a framework to build the family-oriented REinhabitation principles was a major key to the success of this project typology. The MRP sought to answer many questions such as: Is the RE-inhabitation concept viable and is there interest? The answer is yes, with the support of the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency (GCRA) policies and the community. Local suburban family households were loosely surveyed about family-aimed housing on or near the selected site and eight out of ten expressed great interest, one commented, “It is something the community desperately needs.” What is urban family dwelling, exactly? It is a change in attitude as much as a change in location. It focuses more on community, family, health, and diversity and less on individualism and extravagance. It is a place where the individual backyard is replaced with numerous community yards that have multiple programs and kids can safely play in the

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neighborhood; home offices and playrooms are replaced by coffee shops and community centers; extensive personal libraries are replaced by public libraries. How will the family benefit from dwelling in the city instead of the suburbs? In the proposed mixeduse project, they will spend less time commuting and have more family and leisure time. Because the project promotes walking as the main form of motility, they will lead a healthier lifestyle. It benefits children by exposing them to a variety of people, sensory stimulation, and builds self-reliance. Urban environments also provide innumerable cultural and social opportunities, those that suburban parents usually drive their children to cities to enjoy. How does the city benefit from having families in its center? It gains social diversity as families become permanent residents instead of visitors; public safety as parents are vigilant and watchful; economic stability as a variety of family-oriented businesses move to the core; a steady consumer of public transportation.

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The MRP proposal is not going to appeal to all families, and it is not designed or trying to be the one and only answer to fix the troubles of the suburbs, the economy or the environment. It is presented as an option for those families that want to make a change or those starting out that do not want to move from the city to the suburbs. Its intent is not to replace the suburban lifestyle, as it cannot nor should it, but to capture the qualities familiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; desire and morph them to fit the context of the urban core while keeping their sublime intent. It should strive to reduce the strain on the environment and natural resources, promote health and safety and improve the socioeconomic well-being of families. It is not an

edict of architectural aesthetic that can be placed in any city, but it is a formulation of place-making for urban family dwellings that is intended for use in any small- to medium-sized city.


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IMAGES SITED: 1. Dockside Green Project. Victoria BC. 2008. Perkins + Will 2. Stranded baby carriage. [Chicago Tribune, 1947] 3 - 4. “Before and After” photos from The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Collections: popular Culture & Political History, Levittown: Building The American Dream. 2003 <http:// /levittown/images/lg_jpegs/B4P3a and B4P3b>. 5. Eden Prairie IV, Florida. 2009. Christopher Gielen <http://culturehall.com/artwork.html?page=9823> 6. Los Angels, California. 2010. Jim Frey 7. Backyard garden. 2009. Grace Bonney. <http://assets4.designsponge.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/ jb04.04_betsygarden01-300x200.jpg> 8. Playset. Catherine Holecko. <http://0.tqn.com/d/familyfitness/1/6/3/-/-/-/backyard_playset.jpg> 9. Lawnmower. Westerfield, MA. 2002. < http://www.champineyslawnmower.com/image/17002825.jpeg 10. Car Dance. Jed. 2011. < http://www.jedword.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/car-dance-300x192. jpg> 11. Neighborhood social. John Tandy. 2009 < http://www.modelandscape.com/images/large/f_taylor_ new_main.jpg> 12. Green Roof. Adit Justa. 2009. < http://www.instablogsimages.com/images/2009/06/17/green-roof_ cL5v7_24429.jpg> 13. Pock Play Park. Burlington , NC. 2010. <http://liveoakhomes.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/ Macintosh-on-the-Lake-Pocket-Park.jpg.bmp> 14. Harold Way Apartments. Koning Eizenberg Architecture. Los Angeles, CA. 2003. < http://www.kearch. com/index.html> 15. Richmond’s Pocket Parks. Richmond, VA. John Sarvay. 2009.< http://floricane.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83 452295a69e201157249fb2a970b-400wi>

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16. Residential Terrace. Aaron Able. New York, NY. 2009. < http://i-cdn.apartmenttherapy.com/uimages/ ny/urban-terrace-01.jpg> 17. The Suburbs. 2010.< http://brainsyndicate.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/suburbs.jpg?w=640&h=480> 18. Traffice Jam. 2007 < http://odeeblah.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/traffic_jam_web.jpg> 19. EDITT Tower. Singapore. T.R. Hamzah & Yeang International. 2008 < http://www.trhamzahyeang.com/ project/skyscrapers/img-edit/ed1_r3_c1.jpg> 20. Green Transporation. Bridgette Meinhold. 2010. < http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/ files/2010/07/bikelead-ed01.jpg> 21 - 29. 8th + Howard/ SOMA Studios Family Appartments. David Baker + Partners Architects. Brian Rose. San Francisco, CA. 2003. < http://www.dbarchitect.com/project_detail/5/8th%20%2B%20Howard%20 SOMA%20Studios.html> 30 - 38. Iroko Housing. Haworth Tompkins Architects. 2001. < http://www.haworthtompkins.com/built/ proj22/index.html> 39 - 47. Synergy @ Dockside Green, Busby Perkins and Will. Enrico Dagostini. 2008. 22 July 2011. <http:// www.perkinswill.com/work/dockside-green.html> 48 - 49. “Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency Community Redevelopment Plan College Park/ University Heights CRA” Gainesville CRA. 28 Nov. 2005. The Gainesville City Commision. 17 Mar. 2010 <http://www.gainesvillecra.com/_pdf/cpuh/downloads/CPUH_area_redevelopment_plan.pdf> 50. “Gainesville, FL.” Google Maps. 2010. Google. 17 Mar 2010 < http://maps.google.com>

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END NOTES: 1. Birch, Eugenie L. 2005. “Who Lives Downtown.” THe Brookings Institute 2. U.S. Census Bureau, Characteristics of New Housing for 2009. Median and Average Square Feet of Floor Area in New Single-Family Housed Completed by Locations. U.S. Census Bureau, The 2011 Statistical Abstract, No. HS-12 Households by Type and Size. 3. U.S. Census Bureau, The 2011 Statistical Abstract, Table 1334. Births to Unmarried Women 1980 to 2008, Table 1335. Marriage and Divorce Rates 1980 to 2008, and Table 1336. Single-Parent Households: 1980 to 2009. 4. U.S. Census Bureau, 2010- Census Demographic Profile Summary, Population Distribution and change: 2000 to 2010. 2010 Census Briefs. 5. Florida Statutes, Chapter 163 Part III. et sequitur (2005) 6. Grodach, Carl and Loukaitou-Sideris, Anastasia. 2007. “Cultural development strategies and urban revitalization: a survey of US cities”. International Journal of Cultural Policy. 13 (4): 349-370 7. Gibson, Timothy A., 2005. Selling city living: Urban branding campaigns, class power and the civic good. International Journal of Cultural Studies. Sage Publications. 8. Riggs, Trisha. 2009. “Livability Principles” Announced In Federal Interagency Agreement Echo Urban Land Institute Efforts To Promote Sustainable Communities.Urban Land Institute. 9. United States, and Smart Growth Network. 2006. This is smart growth. [Washington, D.C.]: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. http://purl.access.gpo.gov/GPO/LPS76764 10. City of Gainesville, Florida.2007. Gainesville History, “ A Historical Summary” http://www.cityofgainesville. org/VISITOR/AboutGainesville/AreaHistory/tabid/343/Default.aspx 11. Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency. 2008 Annual Report “Planting the Seeds of Success”. CRA Districts College Park/University Heights pg. 5. http://www.gainesvillecra.com/CRA-2008-online5_000.pdf 12. Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency. Community Redevelopment Plan. College Park/University Heights Redevelopment Area. Adopted November 28, 2008. http://www.gainesvillecra.com/_pdf/cpuh/ downloads/CPUH_area_redevelopment_plan.pdf

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BIBLIOGRAPHY: Asensio Cerver, Francisco. 1997. The architecture of multiresidential buildings. New York: Arco. Broto, Carles. 2000. New housing concepts. Barcelona: i Comerma. Cárdenas, Raúl, and Juan Herreros. 2008. Vivienda y espacio doméstico en el siglo XXI = Housing and domestic space in the XXI century. [Madrid]: La Casa Encendida. Cohen, Nahoum. 1999. Urban conservation. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press. Cooper, Rachel, Graeme Evans, and Christopher Boyko. 2009. Designing sustainable cities. Chichester, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell Pub. Duany, Andres, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck. 2010. Suburban nation: the rise of sprawl and the decline of the American dream. New York: North Point Press. Ebner, Peter. 2010. Typology+: innovative residential architecture. Basel: Birkhäuser. Farr, Douglas. 2008. Sustainable urbanism: urban design with nature. A Wiley book on sustainable design. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley. Firley, Eric, and Caroline Stahl. 2009. The urban housing handbook. Chichester: Wiley. French, Hilary. 2008. Key urban housing of the twentieth century: plans, sections, and elevations. New York: W.W. Norton. Goodchild, Barry. 1997. Housing and the urban environment: a guide to housing design, renewal and urban planning. Oxford [England]: Blackwell Science. Hyde, Richard. 2000. Climate responsive design: a study of buildings in moderate and hot humid climates. London: E & FN Spon. Jenkins, Paul, Harry Smith, and Ya Ping Wang. 2007. Planning and housing in the rapidly urbanising world. Housing, planning, and design series. London: Routledge.

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Keys, Mike, and Stephanie Laslett. 2009. Dwelling Accordia: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Maccreanor Lavington, Alison Brooks Architects, Grant Associates. London: Black Dog Publishing. Kunstler, James Howard. 1993. The geography of nowhere: the rise and decline of Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s manmade landscape. New York: Simon & Schuster. Owen, David. 2009. Green metropolis: why living smaller, living closer, and driving less are keys to sustainability. New York: Riverhead Books. Persson, Begnt, and Roger G. Tanner. 2005. Sustainable city of tomorrow: Bo01--experiences of a Swedish housing exposition. Stockholm: Formas. Tilder, Lisa, Beth Blostein, and Jane Amidon. 2010. Design ecologies: essays on the nature of design. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. Zhou, Jingmin, and Ian Colquhoun. 2005. Urban housing forms. Amsterdam: Architectural Press.

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reINHABIT  

Urban family dwelling Masters Research Project. 2011

reINHABIT  

Urban family dwelling Masters Research Project. 2011

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