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

11679 news items

National Geographic

Sat, 13 Sep 2014 12:18:45 -0700

The slow-moving molten rock could spread and slow even further in coming days as it moves from a steeper grade to more level land, Dayton said. lava. Fluid lava streams from the June 27 lava flow from the Kilauea volcano in Pahoa, Hawaii. (Photo: U.S. ...


Mon, 15 Sep 2014 23:24:10 -0700

According to the report, the giant balloon seemed having some problem maintaining itself into the air, hence it was going down which eventually crashed with a house and landed on the streets of the residential area. One witness, Tim Howarth, explained ...

The State

The State
Sun, 14 Sep 2014 17:22:20 -0700

RICHLAND COUNTY, SC — The Richland County Sheriff's Department is asking the community's assistance with information after the remains of a body were found in a residential area of Richland County east of Columbia Sunday. Deputies were called to ...

The Daily Star

Mon, 08 Sep 2014 14:45:00 -0700

“We will shortly start preparing the draft of a master plan to turn Tejgaon into an industrial, commercial and residential area. It will be prepared within a month,” Housing and Public Works Minister Mosharraf Hossain told the Dhaka Tribune after the ...
Times of India
Mon, 08 Sep 2014 12:30:00 -0700

LUCKNOW: The Lucknow bench has directed the closure of Queens Convent Inter College being run in LDA's Aliganj scheme in violation of the rules prohibiting such activities in residential colonies. This verdict may rein-in the mushrooming of schools and ...
Wed, 03 Sep 2014 15:53:26 -0700

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A judge in northern Pennsylvania is throwing out a municipality's decision to allow a natural gas well to be drilled in a residentially zoned area. The environmental group PennFuture said Wednesday the ruling was a test of a ...

The Hindu

The Hindu
Mon, 08 Sep 2014 23:00:00 -0700

An adult spotted deer was found lying dead with deep wounds amidst a residential area in Sivarakottai on Monday morning. Villagers suspected that the male deer could have strayed into the village after being chased by hounds let out by hunters.
The Guardian
Thu, 04 Sep 2014 02:08:19 -0700

Amateur video apparently shows the moment a Libyan military plane crashed into a residential area of the eastern city of Tobruk on Tuesday. At least three people were killed and nine were injured in the crash. Residents say the plane was part of an ...

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