Crowded apartment elevators and public trains probably make the list of places Americans don’t want to be right now, but the need for affordable housing, better public transportation, and denser living will not go away, according to public health and housing experts. Instead of ditching the push for denser housing altogether, experts say that public officials and builders will need to find innovative ways to address these issues while incorporating lessons we’ve learned from the pandemic, the New York Times reports. Instead of dense everything, potential solutions include incorporating open spaces, broader sidewalks, slimmer roads and promenades, amenities that have kept it easier to keep your distance in suburban neighborhoods during the pandemic.
Katie and Timothy Carney were searching for a larger home to accommodate their growing family. But equally important to them was finding a place within easy distance of Washington’s Metro light rail line. They finally pounced when they saw a 2,500-square-foot colonial-style house in a mixed-use development less than a mile from the nearest rail stop in Silver Spring.
“He can leave his office downtown and be home in 50 minutes,” Mrs. Carney said of her husband, who works as a journalist at The Washington Examiner. He can walk to the transit stop in less than 15 minutes.
That’s music to the ears of planners and housing advocates trying to address the housing crisis ravaging cities like San Francisco and Seattle. But some developers worry that the coronavirus pandemic will stop the momentum as social distancing and telecommuting become the norm.