Monday, December 4, 2023

How green are urban styles


Modern Urban dense-pack.

Suburbia. Units have a roof-area of approximately 2500 square-feet

1940s vintage. Roof areas of approximately 800 square-feet

Post Rust-belt

In very round numbers, the distance across the width of the image is approximately 1200 feet or almost 1/4 mile. 

Street view Modern Dense-pack
From the perspective of being able to grow food, Modern Dense-pack is almost zero. 

1940's vintage is severely limited by shade but they have about 1500 square-feet of usable back-yards and another 700 usable square-feet in front. Not enough space to grow gross calories but enough room to grow vitamins and keep a few chickens or meat rabbits.

Suburbia is better but the trend has been bigger buildings and smaller lots.

The big surprise are the raw possibilities of the post Rust-belt urban area.


  1. Dirt isn't garden soil. Worse Roundup contaminated yards (and variants thereof) are almost sterile for garden use.

    General rule of thumb if dandelions grow there well you have garden potential.

  2. Agree, common neighbors in Rust Belt neighborhoods have potential for community garden yields. Fewer residents yet enough to form community work force for weeding - watering shared commune duties.

  3. ERJ, when we first moved to New Home they were still building with decent sized lots. Since our time here, they have converted to what other states such as California have done: Zero clearance where there is perhaps 6' between homes and smaller backyard lots.

    One thing that is not factored into the "green-ness" of dense pack is water runoff. Without the soil to absorb it and nothing but concrete, flooding and water damage are much more of a real thing.



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