Discover: Housing’s “Missing Middle”

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Daniel Parolek (of Opticos Design) coined the term “Missing Middle” in 2010 to define a range of housing types that provide a solution to the mismatch between the available U.S. housing stock and shifting demographics combined with the growing demand for walkable urban living. Missing middle housing includes duplex units, townhouses, live/work units, and other types of residences that are more dense than detached single-family homes and less dense than large apartment buildings.


Missing Middle Housing Diagram (Source: Opticos Design)

The web magazine Next City recently published an article discussing the benefits of filling in this “missing middle” gap. One benefit, it argues, is that the development of this middle housing creates more choice for where to live by expanding the range (in terms of size, cost, location, etc) of housing that is available. Increasing the supply of middle housing also creates densities that can be supportive of high-quality transit and more office/retail development while still allowing traditional neighborhood design that can provide a transition zone between single-family detached homes and high-density residential or mixed use areas.

It is clear that Sandy Springs has a variety of housing types, but most residential areas comprise either single-family detached homes or high-density apartments. We asked the Sandy Springs community a few questions about what they’d like to see. Poll results will be posted here!