Density Without Destruction

Writing for Greater Greater Washington, Dan Reed recently highlighted how South Pasadena is adding density without clobbering neighborhoods with huge buildings. Specifically, Reed looked at the Mission Meridian Village, a public-private partnership designed to increase density while respecting the character of the existing neighborhood. And apparently, it’s working:

All of this happens on 1.65 acres, about a fourth bigger than a football field. With about 67 homes, Mission Meridian Village has a density of 40 homes per acre, but it doesn’t feel crowded. Each house has its own private outdoor space, be it a porch, a patio or a balcony. Meanwhile, residents have eagerly embraced the shared courtyards. Chairs and tables spill out from patios into the space, while kids’ toys lie on the ground, waiting for the next game.

Reed argues that the project ultimately is an example of suburban development that doesn’t require a car, is respectful, and produces a sense of community.

It also offers a more nuanced view of city building where the only two options aren’t radical destructive development or doing nothing at all and hoping things return to their past glory.

Ultimately then, the neighborhood in Reed’s post is helpful for understanding how to proceed with projects like the one I mentioned in a post last week that suggests turning streets into housing.

Provo has ample space for new development. The parking lots and streets in this image, for example, could be converted to housing without jeopardizing the character of the neighborhood.

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3 Comments

Filed under construction, Development

3 responses to “Density Without Destruction

  1. Paul

    I’ve visited Mission Meridian probably 3 times, twice with groups from Provo (including 2 tours led by the developer). What’s perhaps most remarkable about Mission Meridian is how deftly it transitions from loft condos above retail adjoining a light rail station to single-family homes in only about 200-300 linear feet. It demonstrates how important great design is to project functionality and, conversely, how much blame mediocre design needs to take when new developments conflict with their surroundings.

    • I have family in the LA area, so next time I’m down there I’ll have to go by. Relatedly, I wish people could just see some good design, b/c I think they’d suddenly be more open to development.

  2. Pingback: Density Is Needed Everywhere In Provo | (pro(vo)cation)

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