Lisa De Bode – Micro-Flats Appealing For World’s Urban Poor

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aljazeera.com. As urban areas expand and housing prices soar, “living small” becomes more popular in global cities.

Can two people live together in a space of about 28 square metres? Two women from Brooklyn got a taste of small-space living by camping in a micro-home at the Museum of the City of New York last week, drawing attention to the consequences of urbanisation around the world.
At a time when more people than ever before are living alone – one out of seven adults in the United States – and housing prices are soaring, policymakers are experimenting with tiny solutions to a big problem.
The museum’s micro-flat, which measures some 30 sqm, is part of an exhibition called “Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers”, and features space-saving furniture and under-counter appliances. The flat’s bed converts into a couch, the chair can become a stepladder, and the television moves sideways to reveal a bar.
Challie Stillman, design director of Resource Furniture, the distributor of the appliances, and her partner Lina Franco, a former estate agent, arrived Friday evening for a 24-hour stay in the unit.
“A lot of people in NYC already live like this,” Franco told Al Jazeera. “It was very much like being at home,” she said, recounting the experience of having six friends over for a Mexican dinner in the mini-flat Friday. “But I think it can be a bit too small for two people.”

Read more: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/08/201382210555954288.html

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