The relationship between connectivity and site design differs between urban and suburban areas. In dense urban areas, site design for multifamily housing (often smaller than 2 acres) is more constrained and connectivity is easier to achieve. In urban areas, buildings facing the street are typically built up to the property line, and parking is typically located under or behind the buildings.
The connectivity of such areas is often determined by the existing street network and not by the interior site design of multifamily housing. In such developments, the placement and location of building and site entrances and the overall design of the façade contribute significantly to the connectivity and livability of the area.
However, for suburban multi-family residential and large urban projects (typically 2 acres or more), site design is critical to overall connectivity. Such development sites often lack or, if they do have a visible town block structure, the development site often replaces that town block structure. The site design of such developments is particularly important in defining the livability of an area, and this is the primary focus of this document.
About the Book
This book provides guidance for planners, developers, designers, and citizens to create more livable, connected, and vibrant multi-family housing and neighbor hoods. Livability is a measure of a community’s quality of life and includes factors such as access to education, employment, entertainment, and recreation. In recent decades, there has been a growing interest in livability and how the built environment can hinder or promote it.
Dense and compact development, the design of transportation systems, the design and arrangement of open space, and the mix of uses all contribute to the livability of an area. The typical disjointed and isolated development model found throughout the U.S. has led to a decline in quality of life, health, and social connectedness.
Yet, because of the norms, culture, and sometimes just plain habit of planning, development, and design professionals, this form of development persists. This book focuses on shedding light on these norms, cultures, and habits to illustrate aspects of site design for multi-family housing that contribute to livability.