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Background: High density housing with the qualities of single-family homes

© Iwan Baan
© versum Visuelle Gestaltung GmbH
© Stefano Schröder
Half of the world’s population already live in urban centres. It is estimated that by the year 2050 this percentage will rise as high as 70?%. Urbanisation brings with it great challenges to cities and communities: on one hand many places are confronted with an increase in inhabitants, and as a consequence the need for more housing stock. On the other hand, for many people, the single-family home still represents high quality housing, even with its high per capita space consumption. According to estimates by 2025 nearly two thirds of all newly built housing in Germany will be single-family or double-family homes. Of the housing built in Switzerland since 2000, nearly three quarters are SFH’s. However statistics also demonstrate the potential for change: since 2004 the percentage of SFH’s among new-built dwelling units has been slowly declining. At the same time there was an increase in the number of newly built flats in apartment buildings. For communities, planners, developers and investors who are thinking about the future, it makes sense to take advantage of this trend to create attractive flats in apartment buildings, which reduce sprawl and have advantages of the single-family home. The Technology and Architecture Department of the Competence Centre for Typology and Planning in Architecture (CCTP) of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences has been studying how this is possible. Since 2010, they have been working together with various other research institutions as well as with partners from the commercial sector in a research project funded by the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI). (Amelie Mayer, Dorothe Gerber, Ulrike Sturm, Peter Schwehr)