In an article on the design of affordable housing, Alan Mallach offers the challenge….
He starts with the groundwork, “Good design and affordability are not mutually exclusive!
Good design matters. It matters particularly with respect to affordable housing, which not only should embody social and community objectives that go well beyond the mere provision of shelter, but also must overcome the stigma of its association with the hulking towers and barren blocks of many public housing projects.
It must be understood that good design is far more important, and far more complex, than simply a matter of visual attractiveness or “curb appeal.” Design addresses the livability and adaptability of the units themselves, their energy efficiency, the way their residents feel about their environment, the way social cohesion and interaction are fostered within a development and the way a development enhances – or detracts from – the long-term sustainability and viability of the community. But few CDC executives, housing directors or lay community leaders have the training or background to address these issues effectively. Good general information and detailed road maps that can help those involved with rebuilding neighborhoods to think more intelligently and creatively about the design of their buildings are urgently needed.
In this regard, it cannot be said that the architectural profession has been much help. According to a recent survey by the American Institute of Architects, fewer than 1 percent of architects (500 of 58,000 members) listed affordable housing as a primary interest.”
He is pointing to an opportunity because the city is the future and affordability and sustainability are the criteria: a couple of examples...