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It’s Time to say Good-bye to Single Family Homes

Wed, 09 Nov by Pauline Relkey

Interesting talk on CBC Radio.

Nathan Lauster, author of Death and Life of Single Family Homes says that places like Vancouver are becoming unaffordable to buy a house and we should look at other ways to live.

When we live in a single family home, there are environmental costs – we use more energy, we need vehicles to get around and need more land to build on.
Plus it’s isolating. We need to get people out to meet others.

The alternatives are townhouses, low and high rises and duplexes.

We buy single family homes for 2 reasons:
1. Cultural – to show that we are successful and can afford to buy a home and that we are good people/parents and provide a home for our children.
2. Pragmatic – we can control our space.

Nathan says that we can have a more full life when we get rid of maintenance issues. One person says the local cafe is his kitchen, the park is his family room for example.

Municipalities have to change their zoning bylaws to enable more people to live in less space. We usually live in one part of town, work in another part of town and shop in yet another part of town.

What is Vancouver doing to lead the way?
They have parks and agricultural land that is protected space so no development happens on them.
They have made industrial areas as exciting places to live.
They enabled old houses to mix in with new builds.
They have secondary suites/laneway houses (and so does Regina).

single-family-homes-or-town-houses.   To hear the radio podcast, click here.

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