Houses Close Together

One of the things I’m most interested in is density and, not surprisingly, how to responsibly increase it. But most people I know in relatively car-centric Utah don’t want to live in stereotypically dense developments like high rises.

Luckily, high rises are just one way to increase density. Another, probably more palatable, solution is simply waste less space, as happens in all the time in older areas. Here’s a picture from Salt Lake City’s Marmalade neighborhood:

houses close togetherThat’s my wife, Laura, measuring the distance between the homes. She’s about 5 feet 3 inches tall and her hands actually extend beyond the edges of the path between these homes.

So in other words, the homes are only about five feet apart. These homes also don’t have large garages or parking lot-sized driveways.

But unfortunately, newer neighborhoods too often look like this:

At least one of the Marmalade homes could easily fit in between each one of these newer homes. They also generally have six-car driveways and three car garages. Who has nine cars?!

And though it’s admittedly an issue personal taste, I think many people would say the Marmalade homes are actually more charming and aesthetically appealing.

But in any case, the point here is that the Marmalade neighborhood is going to be far denser than the suburb in the second picture. The surrounding neighborhood bears that out; there are enough people to support an occasional corner store, more parks, etc.

Ultimately, then, old neighborhoods like the Marmalade offer examples of how to do somewhat higher densities without sacrificing the iconic single family home.

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