Laneway Infill: Re-Creating an Urban Housing Typology
Cubitt, Emma Lea
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This thesis proposes an incremental response to the challenge of creating increased density within urban residential communities. Responding to the growing need for smaller urban dwellings, and the projected needs caused by future urban population growth, it suggests that infill housing on historic residential lanes and alleys could continue the tradition of small-scale, adaptive, and gradual change along these often-forgotten corridors of older North American cities, and specifically in Hamilton, Ontario. Incremental intensification through laneway housing represents a ground-oriented, modern, and unique housing typology with scale, texture, and ways of living that bring added diversity to the city. With a strategic approach, these houses can generate reinvestment in historic neighbourhoods without destroying the existing urban fabric. Planning reforms, economic realities, and design considerations are analyzed through literature reviews, case studies, and original field research on the laneways in Hamilton, Ontario. Application of the findings establishes incremental laneway housing as a viable catalyst for achieving urban renewal and increased densification in mid-sized North American cities.