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Residential area in Helena, Montana, USA
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]

New inner city residences in Manhattan
Residential area in Brooklyn about a century after it was developed

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 townlot, 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.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

952130 news items


Sun, 26 Jul 2015 08:33:45 -0700

TOKYO, July 26 (UPI) -- A small airplane crashed into a residential area of Tokyo, Japan, on Sunday, killing at least three people, injuring two and setting several houses on fire. The crash happened in the Fujimicho area of Tokyo's Chofu district at ...

Fox News

Fox News
Sun, 26 Jul 2015 02:56:15 -0700

SANAA, Yemen – Saudi-led coalition airstrikes hit a residential area in a quiet Red Sea town in Yemen, killing at least 120 people in the deadliest strike against civilians since the March offensive began, security and medical officials said. Hours ...
Hudson Hub-Times
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 21:08:40 -0700

Although I was glad to learn about the broadband rollout in our city of Hudson, I am sorely disappointed to have to add this to the already ridiculous list of City Services, which I as a resident, and taxpayer in the southern end of the former township ...

National Post

National Post
Fri, 24 Jul 2015 10:45:01 -0700

Residents in an east Vancouver area say their neighbourhood is being overrun by prostitutes. Ric Ernst/Postmedia NewsMarcia de Costa picks up a used hypodermic needle outside her home on Kingsway in Vancouver, B.C. Thursday July 23, 2015.

TWC News

TWC News
Fri, 24 Jul 2015 16:37:30 -0700

WILMINGTON -- A halfway house for sex offenders is raising some concerns for neighbors. The All Family Recovery House, funded by the Department of Public Safety, is located in a residential area near downtown Wilmington. Neighbor Gina Moore, who has ...


Tue, 28 Jul 2015 01:48:45 -0700

In a shocking incident, a small plane crashed into a residential area in Tokyo on the morning of Sunday, July 28, 2015. The accident set fire to many houses and vehicles on the road. Three people were reportedly killed and five others injured. The ...
Tue, 21 Jul 2015 15:03:12 -0700

The Wolfforth City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to rezone the southeast corner of the intersection of FM 179 and County Road 7000, or 66th Street, from a single-family residential area to a general commercial area. The council held an open ...
Chandigarh Tribune
Sat, 25 Jul 2015 22:48:45 -0700

A light plane crashed into a residential area in Tokyo this morning, setting several houses afire and reportedly killing three persons, according to officials and local media. The five-seater plane crashed at around 11:00 am (0200 GMT) shortly after it ...

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