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Daybreak Grove

Daybreak Grove is a townhouse development for low income families in a rapidly urbanizing agricultural community in Southern California with a large Latino immigrant population. The design of this project has been strongly influenced by the urban structure of traditional Latin American cities - and some cities in the Southwestern United States - where urban plazas are the focus of community life. While large plazas are no longer feasible as grand civic gestures in Southern California, scaled-down versions -- placitas or pluezas -- can be adapted to evolving urban contexts. This reinterpretation of the Spanish legacy of urban planning ensures the continuity of a tradition of civic values and emphasizes its importance as a living heritage that can be passed along the succeeding generations as it is adapted to the scale and structure of contemporary neighborhoods.

The project also has been influenced by the traditional California bungalow court. As a settlement prototype, the flexible courtyard model integrates easily with other housing types, including single family dwellings, and is adaptable to a variety of urban situations. Because neighborhood opposition to multi-family projects usually diminishes in proportion to their size, courtyard housing is a particularly suitable type for a variety of urban and suburban neighborhoods, especially smaller lots in stable residential areas.

Source: Design Matters: Best Practices in Affordable Housing, City Design Center at the University of Chicago.