San Francisco and New York City are experimenting with
a somewhat new concept in urban housing-the micro studio
apartment. A micro-studio has between 220 and 350 square feet
of space. This is just enough living space for a small family unit
of 1-3 people.
The driving forces behind this new concept are the high cost
of living space in cities, the need for new housing, events
like Hurricane Sandy, lower energy costs and the desire
of young people to collect fewer possessions.
The advent of the net computer, ipads, Kindle and phones
like the Blackberry has meant that people now collect
fewer books in favor of access to information by computer.
In addition, people have more opportunities to socialize
outside the home with more volunteering, multiple jobs,
gym memberships and a host of activities that keep
people engaged outdoors.
There are numerous advantages to the micro-studios.
For instance, beds can be folded into the wall with
combinations like bed/closet or bed/shelving.
Kitchen appliances can be built into the walls.
Energy costs are lower due to the need to heat/air condition
a much smaller/compact living space.
Opponents have argued against the concept for fear
of placing too much stress on public accommodations,
medical care delivery and local transit due to higher
densities of people living in the same neighborhood.
In NYC, Mayor Bloomberg has agreed to waive the existing
zoning laws on a limited basis in order to incubate the
micro-studio concept in Manhattan. The new
micro-studios would be between 250-350 square feet.
Currently, San Francisco is considering a floor of 220
square feet in its zoning laws.
The only remaining question is whether or not people
will embrace the micro-studio apartments on a large
enough scale to whet the appetites of construction
builders. Is the micro-studio an idea whose time
has come or is the notion simply another passing fad?
Credits: First Published on Blogcritics
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