Thursday, June 15, 2017

"Making better use of the tremendous adaptive potential of under-used existing buildings is a proven way forward."

Photo credit: Kőszeg, Hungary 2009 (and 1987)

Looking at the photo, this quote from the article seems relevant.

"Even in our most densely populated cities, parking takes up inordinate amounts of valuable urban space."

It's been the sort of week for thinking about Kőszeg.

Density Without Demolition, by Stephanie Meeks (CityLab)

Tearing down old buildings won’t make our cities more affordable or inviting. It’s time to make better use of the buildings and spaces we already have.

As anyone who’s tried to find an apartment lately can tell you firsthand, many of America’s biggest cities are in the midst of a full-blown affordability crisis. All over the country, as young job-seekers and empty nesters both look to enjoy a more urban daily experience than offered by the previous suburban ideal, neighborhoods are struggling with skyrocketing housing and rental costs and surging development pressure.

We face some tough challenges in trying to navigate these pressures, but creating a false dichotomy between affordable housing and historic preservation should not be one of them. Creating affordable housing and retaining urban character are not at all competing goals. In fact, contrary to the conventional wisdom, they can most successfully be achieved in tandem.

Just imagine these be achieving as a result of an explicit plan endorsed and supported by municipal government. We hear about these things, but as residents of New Albany, we seldom experience them.

Simply put, older blocks often offer more affordable housing options than newer areas of the city, while creating employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for urban residents of all incomes. At a time when cities are struggling with the high costs of adding new affordable housing, making better use of the tremendous adaptive potential of under-used existing buildings is a proven way forward that sidesteps many of the problems posed by demolition for new construction.

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