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Innovation in Design - Greenboro

Innovation in Design - Greenboro

Starting in the late 1970s, a new neighbourhood was envisioned in the south end of Ottawa, called Greenboro. This new area was designed with cluster housing, where the houses are set close together, thus freeing up ribbons of open green space and pathways. An advertisement from 1978 states 33% of Greenboro was dedicated to recreational land and designed so that people could walk - rather than drive - to neighbourhood amenities.  



 




The early phases of the area have innovative layouts with the houses set at an angle to the street creating a visual relief to what could feel like a crowded landscape with the closely-set houses. The streets also have a wide variety of housing intermixed including detached, linked, semi-detached and townhouses. Some have garages, while others do not, again creating visual variety. 

Later phases of the neighbourhood moved away from the cluster concept and angling of houses, yet high density housing continued to be built. The framework of greenbelts and pathways did continue and even today most of Greenboro is notable for the intricate web of pathways leading to the Greenboro Community Centre/Library. 






A few of the house designs repeat in detached, semi-detached and townhouse form. All but one of the designs are under 1,500 square feet. As was common for the time, the kitchens are compact and separate from the living spaces. Most of the designs do not have ensuite bathrooms, as was also common for the time for smaller houses. 

A unique design element of some of the plans is that the main floor is raised up a number of steps. This allows for a basement that is higher above the ground with larger windows, ideal to expand living space. Houses with raised main levels continued to be built by other builders in later phases of the Greenboro area - suggesting that this was a popular design feature. 



















 

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