The term ‘housing ladder’ (aka as property ladder on Wikipedia) is a term widely used in the United Kingdom to describe the relative differences in lifetime-migration from cheaper to more expensive housing. According to this metaphor, an individual, a couple, a family, an urban kibbutz or a grey town mean that over a lifetime one can economically progress (?) from cheaper (younger first-time buyers) to more expensive housing (older second-third time buyers). In a city like London ‘Getting on to the property ladder’ is the process of buying one’s first house and leveraging a place on the volatile property market. TBC… To be featured:
Courtyard building: how low can you go vs how high can you rise?
Three cities demonstrate how low and how high: Berlin, Barcelona and Johannesburg.
In Berlin and Barcelona, dense low rise urban fabrics invariably comprising of courtyard buildings.
In Berlin the courtyard blocks were set at a maximum height of 22m to the eaves producing the Berliner Mietkarserne. As Aaron Cripps writes: “Following German unification in 1871 Berlin was transformed from a provincial city… to an international, bustling, industrial metropolis in a few short decades. Its population expanded at a dizzying rate, increasing by 402 per cent between 1871 and 1919. By 1920 four million people called Berlin home. Rapid growth required urban residential development and in late 1872 textile factory owner, Jacques Meyer, commissioned the architect Adolf Erich Witting to design apartment houses for a plot of land in the Berlin borough of Wedding. With urban planning relatively unregulated by the civil administration and the driving motive being the maximizing of profit from rental income, the results were the Mietskaserne, the ‘rental barracks’ that soon came to dominate urban housing in Berlin.”
In Barcelona the grid blocks were chamfered to create a better sense of public space at the crossroad voids… TBC