Accessory Dwelling Unit Case Studies

© 2013 TriMet / Fred Joe /

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) or “granny flats” can be built in most backyards in Portland and many have been constructed. The City of Portland also allows them to be built right up to the back lot line so that they touch the alley behind many residents homes. This makes them a fascinating way to activate alley spaces and for those lucky people living in the ADUs, their front door opens onto a peaceful and natural alley instead of a busy neighborhood street. We liked the concept so much we wrote a 2020 vision about families living in ADUs on alleys and their kids walking through the alleys to school each day (scroll to the bottom!).

One of our team members and local ADU expert, Lina Menard, is currently writing a series of case studies for She is chronicling the experiences and finished products of residents in Portland who have successfully completed ADUs on their properties. Go take a look for some great stories and great images.

In addition to, more information about ADUs can be found at the City of Portland and on page 68 of the Alley Allies Toolkit.

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