Public and Private Zones
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ABOUT URBAN COTTAGES
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1: The Street: Public/Semi-Public
The street is public, but some social scientists have noted that in small communities such as these, with narrow streets and
homes close to the street, even the street takes on a semi-public, semi-private feel.   The front yard creates an important
transition from semi-public to Semi-private space.  It is owned by the individual but visible from the public realm.  

2:  Sidewalk, Driveway & Planters: Semi-Public
Each home has a small front yard that is can easily be maintained or can be lavishly individualized for with a very small
investment.   This offers a wonderful opportunity for residents to share their creativity and, improve their property value and
enhance the community.

3:  Front porches: Semi-Public/Semi-Private
large front porches are an essential part of each home, providing a semi-private space from which to view the city, the
neighboring homes, and passersby. This important transitional space is an outdoor room which allows for interaction with
other people walking down the street.  It provides an opportunity for customization and individualization of its furnishings. It
provides a place for the residents of the neighborhood to see and be seen, adding to a sense of community.

4:  Interior Ground Floor: Semi-private
Having evolved from the basic needs of everyday living, traditional folk homes of the urban cottage concept all have floor
plans where the most public rooms are located on the front ground floor. This allows for the maintenance of inviting
semiprivate areas and allows the residents to have their blinds open more often than not. This coupled with the large windows
of this style of architecture create a comfortable surveillance of the surrounding area and a feeling of participation with the
broader neighborhood even while being inside the home.

5:  Rear courtyards: Semi-Private-Private
Each home opens to a small fenced rear yard. These rear spaces are truly outdoor rooms.  Having a private outdoor space  
makes an enormous difference in an urban home and creates an important psychological connection to nature. It provides for
outdoor dining, or a place where pets can be let out to when there's no time to take them for a walk.  It is another opportunity
to personalize one’s living environment to suit individual needs.

6:  Upper Floors and Bedrooms: Private
The upper floors in urban cottages are arranged so that the bedrooms are in the front and back, with all the bathrooms, halls,
stairs, and closets located in the middle.  This allows for full width bedrooms with large windows overlooking the front and
back yard.   The elevated position provides privacy, while the large windows provide views of the trees, skyline, or
surrounding areas.   These bedrooms often have vaulted ceilings and clerestory windows, providing a very spacious feeling,
even in the most private areas of the home.
CitySpace Homes
Urban Cottages
Planning Concepts

General Concepts

Key Features of  
Urban Cottages

Advantages of Urban
Cottages

Public & Private Zones

Defensible Space
Theory & Urban
Cottages

Comparison of Density
with other Building
Formats

Effects on
Surrounding Areas