While new physical square meters of old housing typologies cannot keep up with the rapid increase in demand for space, the elusive qualities of urban living quickly adapt to the changed conditions. A new semi-formal rental housing market emerges, arbitrary rules get established, and a mixing-pot city gradually becomes selective. As new housing designs still tenaciously repeat the same old patterns, we slowly realise, that a new urban Existenzminimum calls for something other than mere housing. Instead, it is time to invent new typologies for living: hybrid spaces complementing – rather than repeating – our existing housing stock.
Social Space & Indoor Parks
As private individual space gets ever more precious, public social spaces become invaluable for urban living. Our momentary private nooks created with a gesture at libraries, parks, reading rooms and cafes still keep a dense city homey for most. Access to such amenities largely affects one’s housing demands: quality public space, local institutions and affordable mobility allow us to settle for less in terms of housing, without necessarily compromising our quality of living. The more these spaces offer, the more pressure they release from the housing stock.
On one hand, contemporary urban life needs private individual space – shorter-term, affordable, compact and targeted to young single dynamic residents – but on the other hand, and even before that, it needs more indoor public space.