Yes To ADU: Backyard Urbanism

Los Angeles, California 2018

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Micro Housing-Plus and the collective backyard

ADUs can become a helpful addition to the entire neighborhood block if each and every one of the individual ADUs performed some infrastructural role, beyond just housing. If we consider the backyard ADUs to be mini “housing-plus” projects, and each “plus” performs some communal function, then the ADUs may transition from being sources of the nuisance to sources of benefit. For instance, if some of the ADUs also acted as something that offers a tangible return for the whole block – for example, solar power, water filtration, and more – the ADUs can be regarded more like infrastructure and less like architecture. The courtyard condition of a typical Barcelona Block is neither truly private nor is it completely public. The petition of such urban patches become a series of collective condition that contains variations of shared back-of-houses. If the shared functions of the LA ADUs can help remind the LA neighbors that legal property lines are as non-physical as any other imaginary political boundaries, maybe the typical LA suburban blocks can be re-imagined as a series of permeable blocks.