In Germany, “You can’t walk a block without running into missing middle homes.”


I read this article, then walked to work past all the vacant lots downtown, musing to myself about the way Team Gahan continues to subsidize car-centric  development on the fringe as opposed to infill at the center, where heightened density might preface a measure of critical mass, walkability and other useful outcomes.

My conclusion, as usual, is that the problem of local numbskullism goes beyond the regime’s need to monetize campaign finance (although this is a big part of it). Rather, it’s because the majority of the people making decisions in New Albany identify as suburbanite, and literally cannot imagine living “near” enough to other people to be part of a civil society.

As the noted cultural analyst once observed, sad.

Abundant Middle Housing
, by Mike Eliason (Medium)

Four weeks ago, I left Seattle to take a job in Germany …

 … The big take away is that there is no single family zoning here (Zero is, in fact, the correct amount of single family zoning — there is no single family zoning *anywhere* in Germany. Or Austria. Or Japan…), and more impressively, there don’t seem to be very many single family homes here, either. You can’t walk a block without running into missing middle homes. In fact it isn’t actually missing here, it’s absurdly abundant. What is missing middle housing? It is duplexes, triplexes, rowhouses, apartments, garden courts and similarly sized housing required for a minimum of density to enable walkable neighborhoods. And it is *everywhere* here.

From the Altstadt (historic core of the city) to the outskirts — 2-to-4 story multifamily buildings are the norm, and it feels quite comfortable. Schools and parks aren’t surrounded by acres and acres of luxury detached homes —rather, nearly all of the parks and schools are surrounded by multifamily housing. Sadly, this isn’t standard practice in US cities like Seattle …