The Importance of Small Scale Development

Big developments serve a huge need, but smaller ones help cities too

When we think about how to add housing, too often we default to big developments-- either large multi-unit developments with dozens or hundreds of units or planned single-family developments, with a whole neighborhood being built all at once. But particular in areas that are already built up, we need to identify how to encourage incremental development. This article, focused on Washington, DC, discusses some of the benefits, challenges, and solutions for small-scale development.

Today, real estate financing, the development process, and housing demand favor larger projects. So even if you want to, say, build a small coffee shop on that vacant corner lot, or fill in a hole in a commercial corridor with a multi-use building, it can be challenging to get the resources and permits to do so.
— Emily Brown, Greater Greater Washington