Schoolyard Housing

Schoolyard Housing

Los Angeles-based urban researcher and design lab, cityLAB, has been researching the feasibility of siting affordable housing on public schoolyards.

Per cityLAB, schools with relatively large campuses are distributed across all neighborhoods, suggesting another cache of free land in the urban and suburban residential fabric. California hosts a range of public school campuses: 10,521 K-12 schools, 115 community colleges, 23 state colleges, and 10 university campuses. Conservatively estimating that these 10,669 school sites average 10 acres each, the state has 166 square miles of land occupied by public schools, equivalent to more than 7 Manhattans.

A win-win concept: cityLAb’s research argues that every school site has some opportunity for housing development. Higher education campuses already include dormitories, but only eleven California community colleges have dorms, even though a growing number of their students are sleeping in cars. On any campus, prime sites include surface parking lots, portable classrooms, or derelict buildings, all of which could be made new as part of the affordable, multi-family housing without losing any recreational greenspace.

Read the cityLAB report: Living in the 21st Century Schoolyard

Housing Innovation Collaborative


  • Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • UCLA Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • cityLAB Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • Abode Communities Housing Innovation Collaborative

Home Tours

Coming Soon


LACDA led an RFP for a 3D printed house.

LACDA led an RFP for a 3D printed house.

The 3D printing process is starting to evolve – using photosensitive resin and light.

Earlier this year, Icon printed a welcome center for a master-planned community in Austin, Texas, designed for people who have been chronically homeless, and the company is beginning to print 400-square-foot homes in the community that will be completed in early 2020.