Residential estates occupied by single-family homes are widely regarded as the main driver behind excessive land use, urban sprawl, energy waste and the rising traffic volumes in conurbations. However, broad sections of the population clearly view houses, as opposed to apartments, as the ideal way to live. Hence, a decline in demand appears highly unlikely in the medium to long term. This raises the question as to how existing and future single-family residential estates may be better reconciled with the goals of sustainable urban development.
Tom Weiss is an architect. He is teaching and researching at the Institute Urban Landscape at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences ZHAW. He studied architecture at the Hochschule für Technik und Architektur in Biel and at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam. He is co-Author of ‘Brussels – A Manifesto’ and ‘Zukunft Einfamilienhaus?’. In 2008 he and Rolf Jenni founded the practice Raumbureau in Zurich.