Mid-Rise Urban Living

Mid-Rise Urban Living

Chris Johnson
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Many communities in cities around the world do not like the growing number of residential towers, but they also realise that the detached house is not a sustainable urban solution. Between these two extremes, there is a ' missing middle' of mid-rise apartment buildings that relate to the street and are within the height of trees. This book argues that the mid-rise way of urban living is an essential component of growing cities, demonstrating that the economics of this form of development are better than that of terrace houses or town houses. It begins by examining successful historic precedents of this housing type, such as the tenements of Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Barcelona and New York and successful mid-rise housing in London. The book then discusses reasons for the relative lack of contemporary mid-rise housing developments, including planning legislation, and the perception that it is a dull and uniform building type. It brings together and analyses a wide range of award-winning international contemporary examples by leading architecture firms, looks at the importance of location, the need for urban placemaking, visual interest and design diversity and mixed use precincts, and highlights the advantages, including demographic diversity, urban density, sociability and reduction of car use.
Chris Johnson is an architect and planner who was responsible for architecture and planning in NSW for 15 years and led the Australian Urban Taskforce.