The year is 2040 and autonomous vehicles have virtually eliminated the need for individual car ownership. Without the need to store a large personal vehicle, garages are being reclaimed for additional living space, businesses and publicly shared amenities. Street parking and two-way traffic is eliminated as neighborhoods that were built around the requirements of the automobile are being reconfigured into vibrant, people-centered communities.
In San Francisco’s Sunset District, where single family homes flank streets with an average width of more than 50 feet, an additional 2,500 single family and duplex homes have been built in the otherwise deserted streetscape – allowing the city to meet housing needs for a growing population while maintaining the single-family character and scale that makes the district unique.
The footprint of the buildings allows for shared outdoor space and vehicle/fire truck access while the massing allows for access to bright, naturally daylit spaces for both new and existing. While kids return outside for play, unworried about speeding traffic, people of all ages enjoy the more accessible and intimate scale of the sidewalk and take advantage of the new mixed-use quality of their street – popping in and out of the parklets, shops, restaurants and community spaces.
Each of the prototypical homes that have been developed are built economically with 3d printing technology, minimizing construction times and disruption to neighboring homes. Like their predecessors, the homes are economical in size and employ organizational strategies that allow for diverse occupant types. Unlike their neighbors, these homes establish relationships with the public realm that help to transform the way we think about community in an urban context.