The Small-er House Design Scheme
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There is a conflict taking place between regional and community interests. This tension is nothing new. Often times this conflict is borne out of urban renewal schemes and major infrastructure interventions in core neighbourhoods. As the ‘back to the city’ trend increases however, these conflicts are more and more likely to push into first-ring and postwar suburbs. With intensification policy, like with urban renewal schemes of old, it is the small things that get lost in the shuffle. In Ottawa, Canada, this conflict is being fought over character; sun, trees, parking, landscaping, setbacks, and affordability. These are not the most glamorous aspects of architectural design and many would argue change is inevitable. But if these characteristics were in fact founding tenets of a residential community, then policy makers ought make every effort to protect them as they set and pursue intensification targets. Unfortunately these low-density residential streets have fallen into a policy blind-spot and city planners are currently scrambling to refine new bylaws aimed at curbing invasive, or excessive, developments. So how do we add more people to these neighbourhoods without the wholesale replacement of the existing housing stock? For the suburb of Overbrook the answer may be to take a page out of the 50’s and go small, extra small. The introduction of coach houses would unlock a much needed source of infill for this neighbourhood, and many like it across the country. This thesis proposes their regulation and deployment aided by a federal initiative inspired by the postwar Small House Design Scheme of the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
Cite this work
Elie Bourget (2017). The Small-er House Design Scheme. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/11283