A professor of mine back in the day, Martin Liefhebber, won a competition back in the early 1990's to come up with a solution, and a plan for laneway housing. His plan was to allow for what would essentially be the extension of the existing street grid by including the laneways and to make all housing/dwelling/offices located in the laneways almost entirely self-reliant. Rain water collection, solar and wind power, sewage collection all done in house and used to fertilize garden in greenhouses etc. This would have meant increased density without only having to build ridiculous condos everywhere, but also would have created some absolutely phenomenal intersections of life within many neighborhoods scattered across the city.
The ideas went over so well, that this city even tasked him to draw up preliminary plans as to how to implement his plan. However, due to the narrow laneways, the plan died a quick death- why? Our immensely large firetrucks cannot fit in the laneways and poof! that was the end of that.
Why not have some smaller trucks that can make it into these places? How does Europe manage, or any city where they have tight lanes, only wide enough for three people? The point is they do and they have and they have accommodated such interesting places by making smaller firetrucks. We on the other hand do not and will not. Let's just make outright illegal.
Recent Articles on Laneway Houses:
I'm looking to explore laneway housing in Toronto.
Can anyone point to some of the best examples, or, better yet, any resources on laneway housing in Toronto?