I'm busy writing the section on the process for
participatory layout of carfree districts. While
the process is fairly simple for families in their
own buildings, probably each with a potentially
for-rent commercial space on the ground floor, or
for the family business, it becomes complicated
by buildings that must by their nature be large.
Small buildings are simple and comparatively
inexpensive to build. They are flexible and can
easily be renovated to serve changed needs.
See these examples of typical Amsterdam streets/canals:
These are small buildings, particularly the ones
in the last two photos. They are interesting because
of their structural efficiency (they can be spanned
wall-to-wall by fairly lightweight beams and need
no intermediate columns) and because the smallest of
them are small enough that the can be occupied by a
single family. Single-family occupancy eases problems
with neighbors, especially if the demising walls are
independent, to reduce building-to- building noise
Now, I am proposing that a company that wanted to
set up offices in a carfree district would go around
to various families and rent their ground floors
to use as offices. I don't see any particular
difficulty with this, once the property departments
get used to it.
However, some special occupancies will definitely
(or probably) require their own, purpose-built
structures, probably with the occupancy of all stories
in the building. What I need help with is the
identification of which buildings this might turn
out to be. So far the list is:
School & university
Swimming pool & gymnasium
Apartment block (but not usually)
Government office (sometimes)
Medium-sized manufacturing operations (sometimes)
I have already noted in parentheses some exceptions.
(Families might build a house with an apartment to
rent, for instance, possibly obviating the need for
apartment blocks.) Many government offices can just
as well be dispersed throughout the neighborhood.
So, the question for the list is:
What is the definitive list of special-occupancy
buildings that must be provided in an urban area?
Thanks & regards,
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J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities