(un)affordable: Beautiful by design

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What constitutes great affordable housing design has changed over the decades. Where hulking concrete structures—Cabrini-Green in Chicago, Pruitt-Igoe in St. Louis—were once seen as economic answers to the affordability crisis, time has proven such designs do little in the way of elevating the lives of residents. There’s mounting evidence that the buildings we live in play a significant role in our physical health, mental well-being, economic prosperity and community cohesion. Affordable housing developers in Boulder County (and in other areas of the country) have attempted to increase the positive impact of their housing projects through human-focused design: by mixing incomes within developments, incorporating programming on-site, implementing innovative building materials and systems, and cultivating a sense of community. On this episode of (un)affordable, we talk with Carrie Makarewicz, an associate professor at the University of Colorado Denver’s Urban and Regional Planning Department, about how the design of affordable housing can contribute to a better quality of life.

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