Traditional Homes Too Big For Small Households?

The coming San Leandro By Design conference will look at trends in smaller, denser, transit-friendly housing for future families. But where will we put the gardens?


The American Dream: a single family home with a picket fence, a porch and a swing hanging from the tree out front.

But even those of us who can live the dream today have to wonder whether our children and theirs will be able to afford the luxury of a lawn.

Against this backdrop the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce will hold its next San Leandro By Design conference on Wednesday, September 19, from 8-11 am at the Lecture Hall of the Main Library.

The forum titled Innovations in Housing Forum will provoke conversation about the shape of things to come.

According to Chamber of Commerce president Gaye Quinn, leaders in housing innovations will challenge our typical thinking about how we build housing in communities like San Leandro.

The speakers include:

  1. Patrick Kennedy of Panoramic Interests, who just built a community in San Francisco's South of Market district with 300 s.f. apartments and NO parking – except for bicycles.
  2. Architect and Author Tom Dolan, who just published the definitive book on Live Work/Zero Commute Homes, will talk about Live Work Districts.
  3. Shilpa Sankaran, Co-Founder and Vice President of Marketing for ZETA Communities, an internationally-recognized builder of efficiently produced Net Zero Energy Modular Buildings.
  4. Katie McCamant, President of CoHousing Partners and a nationally recognized architect committed to sustainable design, cohousing, affordable housing, urban planning, and childcare facilities. 

Prepaid registration is required. The fee is $40. Click here for more information and to register online, or call the San Leandro Chamber office at 510-317-1400.

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Rob Rich September 15, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Perhaps those who would prefer not to live in these units should try not to live there?
Ken Briggs September 15, 2012 at 02:30 AM
so far I have not heard where they want to put a place like this at ? then where do they have a lot or lots at by bart to build anything like this ? then what kind of prices are they talking about
David September 15, 2012 at 02:45 AM
The future isn't in tiny apartments. http://www.joelkotkin.com/content/00602-americas-future-taking-shape-suburbs " The 2010 Census — by far the most accurate recent accounting — showed that over 90% of all metropolitan growth over the past decade took place in the suburbs." "In fact, the Census Bureau’s core county estimates (which are demonstrably more accurate than the municipal estimates) showed a slight core county loss in domestic migration over the past year. " "Metropolitan areas with far denser cores, such as New York, Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco, tended to display below-average growth. These fast-growing cities tend to be suburban in form, dominated by single-family homes, automobile commuters and with dispersed economic centers." The future? Young people surely want to ditch the 'burbs? "Yet surveys of millennials show a strong, often even more marked, preference for homeownership and suburban living than their parents." Surely retirees will want to downsize? "The 2011 Community Preference Survey, commissioned jointly by the National Association of Realtors and Smart Growth America, found that only a small minority — less than 10 percent — favored a dense urban location. Some 80 percent expressed preference for a single-family home." "The only things that can kill off future suburban development would be forced densification by government edict or a continued miserable economy that entraps millions of the unwilling in dense urban areas"
Rob Rich September 15, 2012 at 03:18 AM
I think people should be permitted to develope small units if that's what they want to do. If you think it's a bad idea, don't move there.
Tom Abate September 17, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Back to David's point, I would not dispute that there has been suburban population growth. But some of the 'burbs have become low-income (Vallejo). Meanwhile the core cities are thriving. San Francisco is rockin' and rollin' in terms of company and job formation -- despite some tough tax. Why? Because the young folks don't want lawns. They want night clubs. (And smaller apartments.)


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