Missing Middle Housing
8 x 9
Full color, 275 photos and illustrations
8 x 9
Full color, 275 photos and illustrations
Today, there is a tremendous mismatch between the available housing stock in the US and the housing options that people want and need. The post-WWII, auto-centric, single-family-development model no longer meets the needs of residents. Urban areas in the US are experiencing dramatically shifting household and cultural demographics and a growing demand for walkable urban living.
Missing Middle Housing, a term coined by Daniel Parolek, describes the walkable, desirable, yet attainable housing that many people across the country are struggling to find. Missing Middle Housing types—such as duplexes, fourplexes, and bungalow courts—can provide options along a spectrum of affordability.
In Missing Middle Housing, Parolek, an architect and urban designer, illustrates the power of these housing types to meet today’s diverse housing needs. With the benefit of beautiful full-color graphics, Parolek goes into depth about the benefits and qualities of Missing Middle Housing. The book demonstrates why more developers should be building Missing Middle Housing and defines the barriers cities need to remove to enable it to be built. Case studies of built projects show what is possible, from the Prairie Queen Neighborhood in Omaha, Nebraska to the Sonoma Wildfire Cottages, in California. A chapter from urban scholar Arthur C. Nelson uses data analysis to highlight the urgency to deliver Missing Middle Housing.
Parolek proves that density is too blunt of an instrument to effectively regulate for twenty-first-century housing needs. Complete industries and systems will have to be rethought to help deliver the broad range of Missing Middle Housing needed to meet the demand, as this book shows. Whether you are a planner, architect, builder, or city leader, Missing Middle Housing will help you think differently about how to address housing needs for today’s communities.
"Some of the success of the movement toward Missing Middle Housing probably hinges on the ability of Parolek and other champions of Missing Middle Housing to effectively illustrate the concept, and this book is full of colorful, informative graphics and photos.… Missing Middle Housing is coming—this book will ensure that planners will be ready."
Planetizen: Top Urban Planning Books of 2020
"A ‘how-to’ guide in designing and implementing Missing Middle Housing… Overall, the book an excellent launching pad to start re-thinking and talking about Missing Middle Housing again. In an era of deep political polarization that has spilled over into the land-use debate, finding a respectful balance between large-scale urban condo developments and single-family homes might be the best approach in addressing our ongoing housing crisis."
"Timely and valuable... [Missing Middle Housing] belongs on the bookshelf or e-reader of urban planners, architects, builders, developers, code writers, and housing professionals. I can’t imagine a more useful—or readable—book will be published on these housing types anytime soon."
"Missing Middle Housing is critical to building a strong town. It's incremental, affordable, financially productive, and built bottom-up using the efforts of many hands. Dan Parolek has long been a thought leader I look to on housing. Having his insights in one book fills an urgent need for local leaders."
Charles Marohn, engineer and author of "Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity"
"We can see the genius of Missing Middle Housing to provide affordability, flexibility, and variety and take pressure off the housing markets where communities are experiencing displacement. If you want to be part of this solution, this book is a must-read."
Heather Hood, Vice President and Northern California Market Leader, Enterprise Community Partners
"Missing Middle Housing is an invaluable tool for addressing the attainable-housing crisis and delivering equitable, resilient, and healthy living with walkable urbanism at the neighborhood scale. Communities that want to remove policy and zoning barriers and developers—large or small—who want to prosper while doing good, and be part of the needed change, need to read this book."
Christopher Coes, Vice President of Land Use and Development, Smart Growth America
"There is a growing need for housing attainable to moderate-income families, as well as demand for innovative, non-single-family product types that appeal to value-seeking buyers and to lifestyle-driven consumers. Missing Middle Housing types effectively respond to these market gaps, and this book clear demonstrates how builders large and small are adapting to deliver these choices."
Todd LaRue, Managing Director, RCLCO Real Estate Advisors
Chapter 1: What is Missing Middle Housing and Why is it Important?
Chapter 2: Demographic Changes and Growing Preference for Missing Middle Housing by Arthur C. Nelson
Chapter 3: The Missing Middle Housing Affordability Solution (with case studies)
Chapter 4: Understanding Barriers to Missing Middle Housing
Chapter 5: Missing Middle Housing Types
Chapter 6: Case Studies
Chapter 7: Implementing Missing Middle Housing: Overcoming Planning and Regulatory Barriers (with case studies)
About the Author
The mismatch between the types of housing currently available and the types that people need is especially apparent here in the Bay Area, with its soaring housing prices, overwhelming rent burdens and indomitable homelessness crisis. But across the country, people are looking for housing options that shape affordable, walkable and desirable neighborhoods. Enter missing middle housing, such as duplexes and fourplexes. Hear from the author of the new book, Missing Middle Housing, as he beautifully illustrates how these housing types, when designed well, can be a powerful tool to create the communities that people both want and can afford. Hosted by SPUR.
Across the country, people are looking for housing options that shape affordable, walkable, and desirable neighborhoods.
Daniel Parolek inspired a new movement for housing choice in 2010 when he coined the term “Missing Middle Housing,” a transformative concept that highlights a way to provide more housing and housing choices in sustainable, walkable places. This housing type includes a range of house-scale building with multiple units compatible in scale and form with detached single-family homes.
Join the Maryland Department of Planning and the Smart Growth Network at 1 p.m. Eastern, Tuesday, July 28, when Parolek, author of the new book, Missing Middle Housing, illustrates how these housing types, when designed well, can be a powerful tool to create the communities that people both want and can afford.
Opticos Design founder Daniel Parolek inspired a new movement for housing choice in 2010 when he coined the term “Missing Middle Housing.” This transformative concept highlights a time-proven, incremental, beloved way to provide more housing choices in resilient, walkable places such as cottage courts, fourplexes, and courtyard buildings.
According to Chuck Marohn, “Missing Middle Housing is an indispensable piece of the Strong Towns vision for cities that are resilient, adaptable, and can pay their bills." Hear from Dan, the author of the new book, Missing Middle Housing: Thinking Big and Building Small to Respond to Today’s Housing Crisis, as he dives deep into Missing Middle Housing.
In this webcast, Dan will discuss:
what “missing middle” means and why it’s important for your city or town,
how policy, planning and zoning can create barriers to the delivery of Missing Middle Housing types and how planners can respond to make way for more housing options,
how the Missing Middle concept is being applied around the world
case studies of how creative developers are delivering these types and the responses from communities of buyers and renters.
Strong Towns is holding a weekly Ask Me Anything session with their staff and special guests from the broader Strong Towns movement.
This is your chance to get specific with questions about how the Strong Towns approach to building stronger, more resilient places applies to your own town or city. It’s also an opportunity for all of us to stay connected and in conversation as we consider all the changes happening around us.
This week’s AMA will feature special guest Daniel Parolek of Opticos Design from our Tuesday, August 11 webcast Missing Middle Housing: Thinking Big and Building Small to Respond to Today’s Housing Crisis. You can also ask any other questions you may have about building a stronger, more financially resilient place.
Major housing shortages continue to plague areas in the US and abroad. Many well-intended planning efforts to address these demands are falling short to deliver on high-quality results. Units are being crammed onto lots in unattractive ways, failing to deliver attainability, and yet claiming the Missing Middle phrase to capitalize on its growing popularity.
In response, Daniel Parolek, author of Missing Middle Housing: Thinking Big and Building Small to Respond to today’s Housing Crisis, has shifted his focus to clearly identifying the mistakes he sees, explaining why they are a problem, and proposing attainable solutions. In this presentation, Daniel will give attendees the understanding and knowledge to successfully avoid the top five Missing Middle Housing challenges. Architects and planners across both cities and regions will gain solutions they can use for building more successful housing options.
Participants of the live webinar are eligible for 1.5 AICP CM and 1.5 AIA HSW LU self-reported credits.
Download the tables for chapter 2 here or read them below.
The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded Island Press a $20,000 Art Works grant to support architect and urban designer Daniel Parolek’s forthcoming book Missing Middle Housing: Thinking Big and Building Small to Respond to Today’s Housing Crisis, which will be published in July 2020.
This grant will aid Island Press in publishing this important book. The project will address a U.S. housing crisis that keeps more and more Americans from home ownership and reveals its least understood problem—the tremendous mismatch in U.S. housing stock. Missing Middle Housing will show why missing middle housing types (duplexes, fourplexes, bungalow courts, live-work units, and more) are a critically important solution to address the vast disparity between what is currently being built and the type of housing people want and need—walkable, affordable, and urban. It will be a valuable tool for urban design professionals working to create vibrant and equitable urban communities.
The Art Works funding category supports projects that focus on public engagement with, and access to, various forms of excellent art across the nation; the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence; learning in the arts at all stages of life; and the integration of the arts into the fabric of community life.
“The arts are at the heart of our communities, connecting people through shared experiences and artistic expression,” said Arts Endowment chairman Mary Anne Carter. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support projects like Missing Middle Housing.”
With the benefit of beautiful full-color graphics, Parolek’s book will go into depth about the benefits and qualities of missing middle housing, explains why more developers should be building them, and defines the barriers cities need to remove to enable them to be built. He proves that density is too blunt of an instrument to effectively regulate for twenty-first-century housing needs.
Island Press relies on both philanthropic funding and revenue from book sales to fulfill its mission.
“We are grateful to the NEA for recognizing the value of Parolek’s work and the importance of delivering solutions for creating more sustainable cities through books. Because of their funding, Island Press will be able to ensure Missing Middle Housing becomes a foundational resource for practitioners and policymakers to think differently about how to address housing needs for today’s communities,” said David Miller, president of Island Press.
Jaime is the Associate Director of Publicity at Island Press.