Brief - The Hustle

Are ‘pocket neighborhoods’ the solution to never-ending urban sprawl?

Written by Conor Grant | Jun 30, 2020 10:31:40 AM

Clarkston, a small city in Georgia that’s struggling to deal with the encroaching sprawl of nearby Atlanta, has found a novel solution to rising home prices: pocket neighborhoods.

Pocket neighborhoods — large urban lots subdivided into several small homes — could increase local housing stock and drive down home prices, reports Fast Company

‘An experiment in smaller living’

While tiny houses are often associated with hipster millennials and van-lifers, the city of Clarkston’s project shows that homes with smaller footprints are gaining popularity among urban planners, too.

In partnership with a nonprofit called the MicroLife Institute, Clarkston plans to build 8 tiny homes (ranging from 250-500 square feet) on a single half-acre lot that once had a single house.

Lots have lots to offer

The city expects the humble new homes to cost between $100k and $125k — far less than the county average of $285k (that’s a big deal in Clarkston, where home prices have increased 158% since 2012).

In addition to creating more affordable housing, pocket neighborhoods also reduce the amount of energy required to heat and cool homes and decrease the amount of building materials required to put up houses.