Even in less densely populated cities, there is a palpable sense that space is squeezed. “City populations are growing; space is finite. We need a solution to that,” says Reza Merchant, chief executive of The Collective, a UK co-living apartment operator. — Financial Times
Rather than building up, two popular responses to the housing shortage proposed by building owners have been to densify and to promote cohabitation. For consumers, escalating prices and population growth make subscribing to micro apartments and co-living situations appealing options, while for building owners, the opportunity for a significant increase in rental income without constructing additional square footage is almost too good to pass up.
Yet this tendency poses a problem; George Hammond of the Financial Times begs the question: “how can city planners accommodate growth without compromising quality of life; and how can they house those attracted to cities without destroying the attraction?” While density is a key factor in reducing the carbon footprints of city-dwellers, the loss of privacy and a proper respite from the cities in which they’re placed suggest that there could be more thoughtful solutions to the housing shortage facing many of the world’s densest cities.