THE FUTURE OF DWELLING: DENSITY
Free (open access)
3 - 12
One of the most interesting and alarming characteristics of the Anthropocene has been the human migration trend from rural to urban areas, adding greater population to the cities. The United Nations estimates that 68% of the world’s inhabitants will be living in urban areas by 2050, with most cities illprepared to receive the newcomers. To adapt to the population increase, the cities have to either spread their footprint or become denser, with innovative urban strategies like smart growth implemented more in the developed world than the developing world. As the world population becomes increasingly urban, the challenge for designers will be to develop dwellings that are smarter and smaller to allow for an increase in density without losing public spaces, wasting energy or damaging the quality of life of its users. This paper will propose a new typology of sustainable, self-sufficient dwelling units, designed to create mixed age and socio-economical level communities in existing neighborhoods where building typologies have not changed much since the 1950s (in the USA). The basis for this next generation dwelling typology will produce a systemic interdependence between its functional and design elements by providing: spatial adaptability, production and filtration of water, generation of energy, urban farming and the interdependence of all these systems to sustain a live/work/farm environment in an affordable way that appeals to the consumer by bettering their quality of life and, at the same time, it does so while triplicating the population density per block. Right-sizing will be an essential aspect of this process, as we develop dwelling units designed to be versatile, adjustable, and user friendly. A process aimed at producing a housing typology re-designed for functional living, remote working and urban farming while providing dwelling solutions that allows for smart growth to shape the way urban density will manifest in the future.
density, smart growth, live/work/farm, systemic interdependence, sustainable, selfsufficient, right-sizing