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Accessory Dwelling Units for Sustainable Urban Living

Accessory dwelling units (ADU) are small homes that can be built in the backyards of larger homes, in cities where they’ve been approved.

They’re also sometimes known as carriage, coach, or laneway houses.

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ADU’s… Today’s Loophole for Building Small Homes Legally

Image © Colin Perry and Lanefab

These small homes are typically around 700-1000 square feet in size, although the size sometimes has to be calculated as a percentage of the size of the yard.

Image © Colin Perry and Lanefab

Adding new homes in potentially underused backyard spaces is a sustainable way to provide more housing options in walkable urban neighbourhoods where people don’t need to use cars to get around for every errand. ADUs can also help reduce urban sprawl by reducing the need for cities to grow outwards (which increases pollution from transportation).

To find out if ADUs are legal in your city, check out this website (US only):

VIDEO: The Accessory Dwelling Unit for Sustainable Urban Living

Additional Resources:

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Danielle is a digital nomad who is passionate about tiny spaces, living with less, reducing waste and eating plant-based food. Danielle is half of the Exploring Alternatives blog & video project. You can find more of her at www.ExploringAlternatives.ca and her Exploring Alternatives YouTube Channel.
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