An Ecological Suburban Neighborhood in Florida
precedent: post WWII florida subdivision experiments / proposal: alternative ecological methodologies
by Jessie Shell
With suburban neighborhoods consumed by developers and marketing, the architectural profession has been increasingly excluded from the design process. There are few alternatives proposed for this type of housing resulting in mundane developments criticized for lack of community, homogeneity, and the expenditure of land and resources.
When the concept of suburban dwelling is perceived as a fabric of interdependent detached houses, an alternative framework and density emerges integrating ideas of landscape, identity, and place. Four post WWII mid century neighborhoods were chosen as precedent studies based on the exploration of these concepts during a time of mass-produced housing. In addition, a more recent precedent study was chosen to compare technologies and methodologies. The criteria for analysis is presented at two scales: the scale of the neighborhood and scale of the individual house.
A criteria was developed to anaylze the precedents and proposals in a systematic manner, which is consistent throughout the thesis. There are six issues studied at the scale of the neighborhood: typology, transitional element, street conditions, shared neighborhood landscape, hydrology systems, and density. The three issues at the scale of the house are: program, the courtyard space, and systemic use of walls. These issues were chosen for analysis based on the idea of what an ecologically and efficiently designed neighborhood should consists of and in response to the insufficiencies of many suburban neighborhoods today. A thoughtfully designed neighborhood is sensitive to the site conditions and local resources. Each house should seem inseparable from the neighborhood resulting in a dynamic relationship between the individual house and the overall neighborhood.