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Sure, there's planning there, but not quite as much as the US. I own a flat in a suburb of Padova, Italy. It's in a building with 5 other flats. Next to it are two single family homes, as well as another apartment building with 8 flats. Some of the flats are owned, some are rented.

In the US, things get separated out into giant apartment complexes where everyone rents, and single family home districts, where people lose their shit at the mere whiff of a duplex being built.




Eh, Swiss laws on zoning would make an American's head spin. There is a huge emphasis on mixed use, but that is planned as well!

There are plenty of condo buildings that are owner owned and also rented out! It's just that the USA has plenty of buildings designed for rentals, which is more about the American market than zoning (residential is residential).


Europe is pretty diverse, I guess :-)

> It's just that the USA has plenty of buildings designed for rentals, which is more about the American market than zoning (residential is residential).

How things are done in the US tends to favor larger developers who can come along and make a bunch of apartments in an area where that has been approved (which tends to be a fairly small portion of the city), rather than a more incremental development style where things slowly transition building by building. This is in large part because of zoning laws that make it difficult to get apartments in many places, so having the means to face the legal challenges is only something those with deeper pockets can handle, rather than a smaller developer who may only wish to develop a few buildings.


Zoning controls single and multi unit housing, but the "apartment building" that consists of just rentals is an American thing unrelated to that. In fact, one can convert apartments to condos if one wants (assuming rent control is not an issue). The developers alternate between doing condo and apartment projects, I guess the distinction is important when projects are approved individually, but you can't set that bias in zoning!

The US is not alone in large developers doing large projects. There is nothing else in china, though almost all (if not all) projects are unit for sale (that can and are rented out by the buyer).

Individual units aren't really that common in Europe either, especially in cities (I lived in Lausanne for 2 years also). At best you might have (what the USA calls) duplexes in all but the ritziest of areas. Most of the buildings were fairly large multi unit housing that must have been done by a largish developer at some point; then it is only a matter to deal with the gerrance to do the rental.....

The US is weird in its fixation on detached housing, for sure.


The US is weird in its fixation on detached housing, for sure.

Is it really so weird not to want to hear your neighbors' every amorous evening? Or worry that your kids are bothering them when they run around, or that your work schedule will interfere with the sleep schedule of your neighbors (or vice versa)?


It's weird that you tolerate houses built to such a low standard that hearing through walls is a major problem solved only by doubling them and adding an air gap of a few feet...


It's also not weird to want to live in a huge house on several acres of land. Many people would like that.

Economics is about the infinite wants of people colliding with limited resources. Given the option, some people would live in a cruddy apartment to be 'close to the action' in a place like San Francisco or New York.


It's kind of weird when choosing to live in a large city, where being in close proximity to people is the whole point. It's not so weird when choosing to live in a low population area, but also not so much of a problem.


Insulation solves all of those problems. Mineral wood between the studs and (especially) the floor and ceiling joists goes a long way.


I think the issue here is what is meant by "more planning"

The US is "more planned" in the sense that zoning laws are more strict. More lenient policies in many countries in Europe have more thought put into them, but end up being less strict because that's the way to build nicer cities the way people want them.




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