Thursday, July 5, 2007

Zoning by Income

In this development in Malaysia, the followings house types are neatly arranged, matching price segments to the site contours:

  • Low cost walk-up flats

  • Medium cost terrace houses 20’x 70” lot size

  • High medium cost terrace houses 20’x 75’

  • Medium high cost semi-detached houses 45’x 80’

  • High cost semi-detached houses 50’x 100’

  • Very high cost detached houses 65’x 100’

Great care has been taken to separate the more expensive houses from the cheaper ones; the most expensive houses are placed on high ground, overlooking the rest; the low cost flats are placed on the lowest part of the site, opposite the sewerage treatment plant. The rest of the houses are placed according to the same design principal – the more expensive houses are placed on higher ground.

Of course, it is the rich that can afford the very expensive houses, those with medium income will buy the medium cost houses; only those with low income people will buy the low cost house.

Do people really prefer to live in homogeneous streets comprising the same type of houses, consisting of residents generally belonging to same income group? Ought they? The fact is that to most developers and town-planners, this is just how it’s done.

Is Zoning by Income a basic rule in town-planning?

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