Infill Housing Study
Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 2:06PM
Environmental Simulation Center

Linden House, with infill development; Brooklyn, New York

The study “Building in Your Backyard: Affordable Land for Affordable Housing” developed a program for new affordable housing to be built on existing under-built New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) estates.  It was funded with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts. 

Through a process of extensive site surveys and zoning analyses, significantly under-built NYCHA properties were identified.  Additionally, analyses of the City’s traditional neighborhoods revealed urban design conventions that were then used to redesign three representative under-built housing estates with infill housing building types.  These design conventions included: 1. Reasserting street patterns by breaking up super-blocks into smaller components blocks; 2. Using buildings to define open spaces; 3. Developing a hierarchy of open spaces from public to private; and 4. Developing a unique “sense of place” by designing a diversity of spaces, each with its own scale. 

The concept of introducing low-rise infill housing into under-built NYCHA estates provided an opportunity to reclaim the alienating “tower-in-the-park” by reasserting its connection with the neighborhood context, as well as providing much-needed low income housing.

Article originally appeared on SimCenter (http://www.simcenter.org/).
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