Design codes, opportunity space, and the marketability of new housing
This paper is about state – market relations in speculative housebuilding, with specific reference to the means by which higher quality design can be achieved in new residential developments. Applying the concept of opportunity space, we investigate the extent to which form-based/design codes change developers’ opportunity space both in absolute terms and vis-à-vis the opportunity space of designers. We interrogate this using evidence from a major design-coded residential development in the southeast of England, drawing on interviews with housebuilders. We conclude that design codes have the potential to transform the market context for new housebuilding, but that the typical housebuilder has yet to be convinced of their business advantages.
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