Densifying the 80%: A New Standard of Community Living for Vancouver’s Single-family Neighbourhoods


Christine Rohrbacher

ARCH 549

Many cities have been unable to provide an adequate amount or quality of housing for all inhabitants. In Vancouver, land speculation has made it difficult to create affordable homes for all. On top of this, the current market-driven typologies do not prioritize the complexity and functionality of community, the diversity of Vancouver’s inhabitants, or the opportunity to densify within single-family zones currently occupying 80% of the land. Densifying the 80% looks to recreate the low-rise multi-family housing typology to provide for age and class inclusivity; to design outdoor spaces between that foster a multitude of connections; and to establish a starting point for the densification of single-family neighbourhoods. The project will highlight the connections between the city, neighbourhood, community and building through pathways, transitions and thresholds. It will emphasize the opportunities of designing a community around a school’s needs by creating efficient and collaborative spaces. It will provide an example of how to densify single-family zones in a gentle manner, and design a community with more consideration on exterior space and unit livability.