10/27 Tiny houses offer a valuable way to rethink how we plan and build our cities.

tiny houses of Elaine Walker (white & red) and Jay Austin (brown) at the former Boneyard Studios in Washington, DC

tiny houses of Elaine Walker (white & red) and Jay Austin (brown) at the former Boneyard Studios in Washington, DC

…One particularly exciting aspect is the portability of tiny houses. Let’s think of them as pop-ups.

Despite the popularity of Australia’s more dense and mixed-use areas, proposals for the infill housing that we know is needed to make our cities more affordable and more sustainable often generate heated opposition. The way in which planning laws provide for public participation tends to encourage conservatism, with an emphasis on alerting neighbours and inviting them to identify potential problems. Proposals for medium density and affordable housing regularly generate fears of crime and anti-social behaviour, and in turn unhelpful derision of those raising such fears as NIMBYs.

Tiny houses provide opportunities for a different approach. Unlike a conventional house – or, more dramatically, a block of flats – a tiny house can be moved along if it doesn’t work out. This means that permission need not be granted indefinitely, and consultation could also be undertaken in a more open-ended way. Rather than trying to imagine all potential consequences up front, neighbours could be invited to comment partly before, and partly after tiny houses are installed. That chance to experience tiny houses in practice may prove crucial, as opposition to affordable housing decreases significantly once people have experience of it….

Read more https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/business-law/tiny-homes-big-changes

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Elaine Walker