60 attendees of the International Builders’ Show 2014, hosted by the National Association of Home Builders in San Francisco, learned about our innovative models for clustered housing in Tompkins County.
Sue Cosentini, of New Earth Living, joined with Daniel Parolek, Opticos Design Inc., Berkeley, CA to present an education session entitled The Future of Housing: Responding Creatively to Demographic & Market Shifts.
“Participants were interested in the legal mode, the social structures and the lengths that we go to in our climate Zone 6 to reduce energy use,” Sue reports. She also highlighted the small ecological footprint, walkability and proximity to the urban core, and intentional relationship-building among neighbors.
Parolek encourage builders to target the “Missing Middle,” which he describes as well-designed, simple housing which achieves medium-density yields and provide high-quality, marketable options between the scales of single-family homes and mid-rise flats for walkable urban living. These include duplexes, fourplexes, bungalow courts, mansion apartments, and live-work units. They are classified as “missing” because very few of these housing types have been built since the early 1940’s due to regulatory constraints, the shift to auto-dependent patterns of development, and the incentivization of single-family home ownership.
Homes designed by New Earth Living, EcoVillage and as Missing Middle housing fulfill the specific needs of shifting demographics and the new market demand, and are a key component to a diverse neighborhood.
Asked what she learned from session participants and her co-presenter, Cosentini answered ” I learned that the Zietgeist is shifting from “Stuff” to Fun!
More about building the Missing Middle on Logos Opticos: Composing Vibrant Urban Places.