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Stacked Yards

Large yards for the urban environment
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(+5)
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Background:
In a recent article (see link), the cost/benefit of an urban house versus a suburban house were compared. Due to the cost of owning/driving a car, the only real benefit they could find to suburban living is the availability of large yards.

A large yard is certainly an attractive amenity that can only be found in the suburbs. It's a private place that your children can play without you fearing for their safety. Other than the fact that there isn't enough sun area in the city for this amount of grass, I don't see a reason why we can't just stack our yards.

Stacked yards:
In cities, build a block of 8 houses together in a grid pattern. Think of the #9 domino - there is a middle dot that isn't connected to the outside. This dot represents the yard structure.

The yard structure is an 8-floor building with no walls - only guardrails. Each floor has an entrance from only one house, has motion-sensor and day lighting controlled lights, and is covered in plastic grass.

The structure has a green roof - a roof with a few feet of dirt on a concrete slab. This is sectioned off into 8 garden spaces - one for each neighbor. Such a layout will not only provide space for gardening, but also serve as a community space to socialize with neighbors.

Worldgineer, Oct 17 2006

Sightline urban/suburban article http://www.sightlin...uter-pays-principal
[Worldgineer, Oct 17 2006]

Plastic grass http://www.waterlessgrass.com/
One of many products. [Worldgineer, Oct 17 2006]

Stacked Yard http://www.stanford...Vikingsholm(12).jpg
Probably better for sunbathing than ball-games. [jurist, Oct 18 2006]

Sketch http://img265.image...stackedyardsjh7.png
Something like this. You could change it to a 4 story structure if you want to have 1/2 the yard space each (the yards turned out quite large). [Worldgineer, Oct 18 2006]

Sky City 1000 http://www.takenaka...o/63_sky/63_sky.htm
Kind of the opposite idea [Zimmy, Oct 18 2006]

[link]






       Pricey, but probably workable. A similar structure would be a parking deck, so the costs are probably similar. Back when I was in college, 1988 or so, parking structures cost approximately $10,000 per space (vs $800 for surface parking) A smallish yard of 1500 square feet is probably about the same as ten parking spaces, so about $100,000.
Galbinus_Caeli, Oct 17 2006
  

       Most of the cost is land value. I figure this could replace the smallish yards that city houses have - you'd end up with a yard 8x the size of a regular yard, plus a garden the same size as your current yard.
Worldgineer, Oct 17 2006
  

       The costs I gave are installation costs. Take a piece of land and either put surface parking on it or a parking structure. Our test case was the new Denver Airport, by the way.
Galbinus_Caeli, Oct 17 2006
  

       [21] I was thinking of using plastic grass, but it's possible that a shade grass might survive, though you'll probably need some artificial light to make it work. Hey - I bet you could use a fire sprinkler system to water the lawn if you go that direction.
Worldgineer, Oct 17 2006
  

       Plants grow just fine under flouresents (well usually). Maybe the playground equipment could be hooked up to generators.
Galbinus_Caeli, Oct 17 2006
  

       What about the houses that will be shaded by this structure? NIMBY, they will rightly say.
Texticle, Oct 17 2006
  

       //NIMBY// Ha!   

       It would of course be the choice of the homeowners - nobody's going to make you buy such a house. It's true that the house to the north side won't recieve much direct sunlight, but that could be a benefit in the summer and if designed right you'll get sun shining through the structure in the winter.   

       Another benefit I just thought of: build a garage in the basement.
Worldgineer, Oct 17 2006
  

       Now that's an idea, [jurist]. If you filled your entire property with house and added a green roof, you might end up with as much yard as a suburb house. Expensive, but functional.
Worldgineer, Oct 18 2006
  

       This large concrete unheated outdoor room with green plastic carpeting is missing some things that make a yard a yard. Birds, breezes, trees, and sun beams for example. I guess the structure could be enclosed and made into a big grassy multi-floor green house. That could be nice, but still I'd feel a little sorry for the people living there. But then I feel sorry for people living in apartments, so maybe it's just me.
Heathera, Oct 18 2006
  

       I thought about the tree issue - you could have an atrium that goes all the way to the top, filled with a giant tree. The birds and breezes should still be there, but if you want the sunlight you'll need to go to the top.   

       (see sketch)
Worldgineer, Oct 18 2006
  

       Some day, I would like to spend a lot of time working out a solution to the yard problem mentioned in the idea.
So far I have thought of stair stepping the houses so about half of the roof of the house below you is your yard. I was thinking about putting major transportation corridors inside and/or underneath the houses w/ industrial and some commercial hidden in the pyramid like volume.
(like Habitat 67, but w/ grass and trees instead of concrete patios on the roofs)
There was gigantic skyscraper for Tokyo concept that paralleled another idea I had which was like stacking cereal bowls and using the stair stepping unit concept so that yards faced the interior open space. The Tokyo tower concept was probably 20 times bigger than what I had thought of (and somehow they thought of it first, but I was quite upset when I saw it - thinking someone, somehow got a hold of one of my drawings). - anyway -
  

       Possibly, the Center North "yard" could be used for commercial, and it seems possible that part of the yard tower structure could be underground.
Zimmy, Oct 18 2006
  

       +, by the way.
Zimmy, Oct 19 2006
  

       [Worldgineer], I have been thinkin', you know...(ouch!)
On a neighborhood block as drawn in your link <<Sketch>>, there are so many things to put in there.
  

       One block with an olympic swimming pool, the next with a soccer field, another with a weight room/tennis courts/Chess room.   

       etc, etc, etc..., Really all just a short walk away.
'And but for the sky there are no fences facin'..
Zimmy, Dec 02 2006
  

       Pubs. Slot car tracks. Grocery stores. Apartments. Hey! What happened to the yards?
Worldgineer, Dec 06 2006
  
      
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