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Residential area in Helena, Montana
Suburban slum in Bhutan

A residential area is a land use in which housing predominates, as opposed to industrial and commercial areas. Housing may vary significantly between, and through, residential areas. These include single-family housing, multi-family residential, or mobile homes. Zoning for residential use may permit some services or work opportunities or may totally exclude business and industry. It may permit high density land use or only permit low density uses. Residential zoning usually includes a smaller FAR (floor area ratio) than business, commercial or industrial/manufacturing zoning. The area may be large or small.

In certain residential areas, largely rural, large tracts of land may have no services whatever, thus residents seeking services must use a motor vehicle or other transport, so the need for transport has resulted in land development following existing or planned transport infrastructure such as rail and road. Development patterns may be regulated by restrictive covenants contained in the deeds to the properties in the development, and may also result from or be reinforced by zoning. Restrictive covenants are not easily changed when the agreement of all property owners (many of whom may not live in the area) is required. The area so restricted may be large or small.

Residential areas may be subcategorized in the Concentric zone model and other schemes of urban geography.

Residential development[edit]

A Residential area in Abuja, Nigeria
New inner city residences in Manhattan
Residential area in Brooklyn about a century after it was developed
Detached Houses in a Residential area in Lagos, Nigeria

Residential development is real estate development for residential purposes. Some such developments are called a subdivision, when the land is divided into lots with houses constructed on each lot. Such developments became common during the late nineteenth century, particularly in the form of streetcar suburbs.

In previous centuries, residential development was mainly of two kinds. Rich people bought a town lot, hired an architect and/or contractor, and built a bespoke / customized house or mansion for their family. Poor urban people lived in shantytowns or in tenements built for rental. Single-family houses were seldom built on speculation, that is for future sale to residents not yet identified. When cities and the middle class expanded greatly and mortgage loans became commonplace, a method that had been rare became commonplace to serve the expanding demand for home ownership.

Post–World War II economic expansion in major cities of the United States, especially New York City and Los Angeles produced a demand for thousands of new homes, which was largely met by speculative building. Its large-scale practitioners disliked the term "property speculator" and coined the new name "residential development" for their activity. Entire farms and ranches were subdivided and developed, often with one individual or company controlling all aspects of entitlement (permits), land development (streets and grading), infrastructure (utilities and sewage disposal), and housing. Communities like Levittown, Long Island or Lakewood south of Los Angeles saw new homes sold at unprecedented rates—more than one a day. Many techniques which had made the automobile affordable made housing affordable: standardization of design and small, repetitive assembly tasks, advertising, and a smooth flow of capital. Mass production resulted in a similar uniformity of product, and a more comfortable lifestyle than cramped apartments in the cities. With the advent of government-backed mortgages, it could actually be cheaper to own a house in a new residential development than to rent.

Minor entrance monument, early 20th century

As with other products, continual refinements appeared. Curving streets, greenbelt parks, neighborhood pools, and community entry monumentation appeared. Diverse floor plans with differing room counts, and multiple elevations (different exterior "looks" for the same plan) appeared. Developers remained competitive with each other on everything, including location, community amenities, kitchen appliance packages, and price.

Today, a typical residential development in the United States might include traffic calming features, such as a slowly winding street, dead-end road, or looped road lined with homes.

Suburban developments help form the stereotypical image of a "suburban America," and are generally associated with the American middle-class. Most offer homes in a narrow range of age, price, size and features, thus potential residents having different needs, wishes or resources must look elsewhere. Some residential developments are gated communities.

Problems with residential developments[edit]

Criticisms of residential developments may include:

  • They do not mesh well with the greater community. Some are isolated, with only one entrance, or otherwise connected with the rest of the community in few ways.
  • Being commuter towns, they serve no more purpose for the greater community than other specialized settlements do, and thus require residents to go to the greater community for commercial or other purposes. Whereas mixed-use developments provide for commerce and other activities, thus residents need not go as often to the greater community.

Additional reading[edit]

External links[edit]

The dictionary definition of residential at Wiktionary

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Residential_area — Please support Wikipedia.
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6279 news items


Philippine Star
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 22:26:15 -0700

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines - Twenty-five houses were razed by a fire that hit a residential area in Datu Odin Sinsuat town past 3 a.m. Wednesday, displacing 30 families, authorities said. Supt. Warlito Daus, regional fire marshal of the Autonomous Region ...
Property Magazine International
Tue, 08 Apr 2014 01:15:00 -0700

With a mixture of architecturally sophisticated new apartments and housing in historic buildings in a listed park-like landscape with a 100-year-old tree population, we are aiming to create a state-of-the-art residential area with a unique character ...
WAFA - Palestine News Agency
Wed, 09 Apr 2014 02:21:51 -0700

KHAN YUNES, April 9, 2014 (WAFA) – The Israeli forces, stationed on the borders with the Gaza Strip, on Wednesday opened fire targeting a residential area adjacent to the borders near Khan Yunes, according to media sources. WAFA correspondent said ...

Pakistan Today

Pakistan Today
Wed, 09 Apr 2014 01:15:00 -0700

According to the report, the bomb was found in the residential area Pakistan Employees Cooperative Housing Society (PECHS) block 6 at Khalid Bin Waleed road. The BDU was called in immediately to defuse the bomb. According to the BDU officials, the ...


GMA News
Sat, 05 Apr 2014 09:15:32 -0700

A fire hit a residential area near the San Juan City fire substation on Gilmore Avenue, which straddles Quezon City and San Juan City, on Saturday night. Ilang bahay sa tabi mismo ng San Juan City fire substation, nasusunog. @dzbb pic.twitter.com/ ...

Gazette Live

Gazette Live
Tue, 08 Apr 2014 00:58:23 -0700

View gallery. A man will face no further action after being arrested on suspicion of assault in a quiet residential area. Cleveland Police attended Wilton Bank, in Saltburn, at about 1.20am yesterday over concerns for a man's safety. An ambulance also ...


Fri, 04 Apr 2014 03:57:57 -0700

MANILA, Philippines–Firefighters are still trying to extinguish the blaze currently sweeping through a residential area in Sta. Ana, Manila Friday afternoon. A Metro Manila Development Authority advisory said over Twitter that an ongoing fire is ...

Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Telegraph
Thu, 27 Mar 2014 03:16:19 -0700

Army bomb teams are examining the scene of an explosion that badly damaged the vehicle. It happened last night outside a house in Carrickreagh Gardens. No one was injured but homes were evacuated. The road was closed but has since reopened.

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