Some Random, Innovative Housing/Land Use Policies

Three months ago, City of Seattle Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda asked me to sit in on a panel on housing for the committee she chairs, Housing, Health, Energy, & Workers’ Rights. Specifically, she wanted me to talk about innovative housing/land use policy outside of Seattle. A number of people have asked for the crib notes/links from what I was reading off of, so here it is. It’s by no means comprehensive — just what I had time to throw together in an afternoon.

Among these policies are several themes that could be relevant for Seattle:

  • social housing: affordable housing (workers, students, elderly, families) via fed, state, and non‐profit actors.

Netherlands
Amsterdam

Switzerland

  • Right to housing in Swiss constitution

Zürich:

  • Surplus land offered to cooperatives v. market rate developers

Germany
Freiburg:

  • Intensive redevelopments of brown/greenfields. ~50% of land for affordable housing or coops/cohousing/syndicates (eg in Rieselfeld and Vauban)

Hamburg

Austria:

  • more innovative fire codes, heavy usage of mass timber/innovation, advanced prefabricated high-performance assemblies industry, highly regulated but simple forms to keep costs normalized.

Vienna

  • Long history of progressive social housing paired w/ amenities, parks and transit.

Edmonton, Canada: Infill guidelines: broad infill regulations w/ education, design competition, neighborhood
input (https://www.cityofedmontoninfill.ca/)
NYC: office of tenant advocate
California: SB 827 Proposal for minimum zoning near high quality transit (1/2 mi stops, 1/4 mi corridors) exempt from local controls on max density, FAR, min parking. height increase if lower than 45‐85'

--

--

dad | designer | writer | Noted shill for housing. interests: Baugruppen, architecture, passivhaus, mass timber, staedtebau, not for profit housing

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
mike eliason

mike eliason

dad | designer | writer | Noted shill for housing. interests: Baugruppen, architecture, passivhaus, mass timber, staedtebau, not for profit housing