Across the country, people are looking for housing options that shape affordable, walkable, and desirable neighborhoods.

Daniel Parolek inspired a new movement for housing choice in 2010 when he coined the term “Missing Middle Housing,” a transformative concept that highlights a way to provide more housing and housing choices in sustainable, walkable places. This housing type includes a range of house-scale building with multiple units compatible in scale and form with detached single-family homes.

Join the Maryland Department of Planning and the Smart Growth Network at 10:00 Pacific Time, Tuesday, July 28, when Parolek, author of the new book, Missing Middle Housing, illustrates how these housing types, when designed well, can be a powerful tool to create the communities that people both want and can afford.

Date: Tuesday July 28

Time: 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time

You can register at this link.


Images: Globest.com&MissingMiddleSydney


  1. A “Missing World View” is a transformative observation that comes to us from the environmental movement. Without such a view we are trapped in a bubble of endless demolition and reconstruction carried out in the name of economic development without regard for environmental impacts.
    The missing middle housing form is missing because it is not desirable for most folks. What is desirable for almost everyone is a house on a lot with freehold title. Let us not kid ourselves, endless expansion of the population is not sustainable. We are far beyond the carrying capacity of the planet already. Endless reconstruction is not sustainable because it results in climate change. It does not deal with the underlying issue of over population.
    We could spread ourselves across the landscape and disappear into the natural world where we can live lightly upon the land. If there really is such a thing as an “urban human species”, then we will have to say that it appears to be an evolutionary dead end.

    1. Jolson, Unless you’re a hermit living off grid in a self-built house without using nails, making your own shoes and computers you depend on a certain amount of industrial activity that requires clusters of people working together. The moment that happens the freehold single family home becomes an *increasing* burden on the environment. It might be possible in some utopia to create walkable self-sufficient communities, but it is not possible to “disappear into the natural world” as you describe. Even that utopia would entail voluntary reduction in consumption – but it is that reduction that is key more than the scale of the Utopian community.

      It is also a complete cop out to talk about over population without volunteering to leave us.

      Both the endless expansion of the population and the economy are, by definition, not sustainable. But it is the latter that is the problem more than the former. We do need a new way of thinking and in many ways you are on the right track. But there’s no point in grumbling about it on a blog. How do you communicate it much more broadly in a convincing fashion?

      We do need to find a way to break the “cycle of more” that is fed to us by the industries that sell it. We need to share more, repair more, live and travel lighter. But that can certainly include living in cities – and missing middle is probably lighter than mega highrises. But we need not disappear into nature and you’ll never convince most people to willingly go there so it is a dead end. A waste of effort. Futile.

      I would not live in a house given the choice. It comes with way too many downsides. Maybe most would not agree, but I’d bet that is, in large part because of marketing, and expectations of repeating what seemed to work when we were kids but has become a nightmare of longer and longer commutes, fragmented communities and car dependence. It no longer works. But neither does everybody going off on their own. That should be obvious.

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