Outside the Loop the city of Chicago has a surprisingly low population density. The presumed benefits of low density living — backyard, extra space, plentiful natural light and air — are not in evidence when the organization of the typical Chicago house type is examined. A deep interior dark zone and a tiny backyard cancel much of the potential benefit. Further, the alley doubles the paved surface with questionable benefit. The Townhouse Urbanism project investigates this condition further and attempts to expand the discussion of what housing could be in Chicago and cities like it.
In this project, a change in the configuration and infrastructure of the urban block facilitates a change in the individual Townhouse. The alley is eliminated, reducing by half the paved space of the block. The car is moved out of a separate garage and into an open air carport under the Townhouse. Each Townhouse is connected to a newly liberated green space; the salvaged area is developed as both large scale recreational amenities and individual garden plots for the residents.