Housing


Neighborhood Watching

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April 1, 2017
What are the unintended consequences of building the city of tomorrow?

Orinio Opinaldo had been watching his West Adams neighborhood change for years. Throughout the 1990s, the area had gradually filled in with apartment buildings and higher-end housing. Opinaldo saw neighbors kicked out of rental units or bought out of homes by developers looking to reposition their properties. The pace of change quickened with the 2012 phase-one opening of the Expo Line light rail train connecting downtown, USC and Culver City.

JOSAI I-House Togane Global Village

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November 14, 2016
A new dorm building for a Japanese university.

Japanese universities aren’t typically in the housing business. Students at most schools live at home or rent private apartments nearby—dormitories are all but nonexistent. So there was room to experiment when New York–based Studio SUMO was commissioned by its longtime client, Josai University Educational Corp., to build a dorm for international students at its Josai International University campus in Togane, Japan, outside of Tokyo. ...

Blooming Bamboo House - Architect Magazine 2016 R&D Awards

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July 20, 2016
H&P Architects doubles down on bamboo to develop a housing prototype that can endure a range of natural disasters.

Vietnam suffers from a relentless cycle of floods, landslides, earthquakes, and more. Because much of the country’s housing stock is poorly constructed—and unsanctioned—the natural disasters destroy thousands of families’ homes every year.

To minimize the risk of destruction, Hanoi-based H&P Architects developed the Blooming Bamboo House, a residential housing model that utilizes local materials and can be built by laypeople at a low cost.

Oakland's Housing Crisis: 'I’m the Last One Here. I Don't Know if I Can Stay or Go'

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April 21, 2016
Paula Beal is a housing advocate who has lived in Oakland for 45 years. She has seen her entire family forced out of the city by rising rents. Now, as the council imposes a moratorium on evictions, she too is desperately seeking a new home

Paula Beal, a 45-year resident of Oakland, California, has watched the city’s housing crisis unfold before her eyes. As housing values and rents rise throughout the Bay Area, she has seen her community gradually get pushed out of Oakland – including her own family.

“I have seven children, 27 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren,” she says. “They have all, over the past few years, been displaced from Oakland. All of them.” And now she may be next.

When the Big One Comes: the Woman Preparing LA for Life After a Major Quake

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January 20, 2016
Marissa Aho recently became Los Angeles’ chief resilience officer. In a city prone to earthquakes, reliant on imported water and suffering a housing shortage, how could the city survive and recover after a catastrophe?

On the list of existential threats to Los Angeles, earthquakes rank highest. With dozens of fault lines running beneath and around the metropolitan area, the ever-looming threat of the Big One is a not-so-quiet concern in the back of most people’s heads. The last major earthquake to hit the region was the 6.7-magnitude Northridge earthquake in 1994, which killed 57 people and caused billions of dollars worth of damage. Many predict that an even stronger earthquake is increasingly likely to strike by mid-century.

How LA's School District is Turning Disused Land into Low-Cost Housing

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October 1, 2015
In a city where affordable rents are in short supply, Los Angeles schools are partnering with developers to build low-cost housing targeted at substitute teachers, bus drivers and maintenance workers

In a freeway-lined corner of the Los Angeles suburb of Gardena, where modest ranch-style homes and shopping malls dominate, the sleek modern architecture of Sage Park Apartments bursts through the drabness. The jutting rooflines and stylish grey, red and rust-orange panelling make the 90-unit complex seem more like a misplaced version of the luxury condos of downtown LA, 15 miles to the north, than what it really is: subsidised, affordable housing.

The Revolution Within Four Walls: How Our Homes Are Changing Forever

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August 10, 2015
With cities growing so fast, and the demand for affordable properties at a premium, the single-family home is radically changing its shape.

There’s a slick chart making the rounds right now that neatly summarizes 400 years of the architecture of single-family homes in America.

Made by the infographic designers Pop Chart Lab, the poster presents front-door views of typical American homes from the colonial days up to the present.

There’s a simple Dutch Colonial from the 1600s, the colonnades of Greek Revivals from the mid-1800s, a broad-porched Craftsman from the early 1900s, and an archetypal McMansion from the not-so-distant past—or, depending where you look, the present.

How Community-Led Renovation is Helping a Rundown Pittsburgh Neighborhood Fight Crime

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July 8, 2015
Slumlords are vanishing, crime is down and affordable housing on the rise: what can East Liberty teach us about the transformative power of regeneration?

Dorothea Burke is standing in the street, staring at her house. It’s a warm day in late May and after a hard Pittsburgh winter, Burke and many of her neighbours are in home improvement mode. Drills and power saws blare in the background. New windows are going in across the street and the house next to it is on the market. Facing her house, Burke, a 23-year resident of this block, is thinking about repointing her brickwork and maybe a paint job. “People are finally taking pride in their homes,” she says.

Beijing's Bomb Shelter-Dwellers May Be Making a Rational Choice About Their Commute

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April 16, 2013
An estimated 2 million Beijingers live in underground bomb shelters. But for many it's better than the 'burbs.

The numbers are undeniably mind-boggling: An estimated two million people in Beijing are said to be living below the earth's surface, in thousands of 100-square-foot spaces located just one or two stories below street level. These figures have been making headlines (and trending upwards) for a couple of years now. Assuming they're accurate, that would mean 10 percent of the city's 20 million people sleep in windowless, subterranean residences.

To Cite or To Site: Competing Ideologies for Addressing Homelessness

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August 17, 2009
To fight homelessness, some cities provide services, some build housing, and some arrest people. Often it's a combination of the three, but now many critics are calling on officials to de-emphasize the law enforcement element. Los Angeles is Ground Zero.

On any given night in America, there are about 664,000 people sleeping on the street. On that same night in Los Angeles, there are more than 40,000 -- the highest concentration of homeless people in any American city. Many of these homeless people can be found in downtown L.A.'s infamous 'Skid Row' neighborhood. This 50-square block area has been called ground zero for homelessness in the U.S. and one of the most-policed areas in the world, but the thousands bundled in sleeping bags and tents on its sidewalks every night call it home.