As global citizens it seems overwhelming to know how to help and what to do about challenges that lie ahead with the large increases of population to our cities and towns.
We will leave the deep thinking for another time, but thought that it would be relevant to take a quick look at some of the more economical, low-cost housing options that look as good as they cost.
The 'Happy Cheap House' above by Tommy Carlsson is a prototype for a low-cost prefabricated home popular in many Swedish towns. "The concept is both a vision of a better world in the small format, how we live in the future, what we need around us in the housing world and how large a house we really need," the architect explained. See more about this here.
Now for something different! A Belgian architect and her partner have constructed modular units on wheels consisting of office and living space, inside a dilapidated old textile factory as a temporary solution until such a time when they can transform the factory into a permanent home.
Now, maybe this is the type of blue-sky thinking we need? A radical approach that breaks the mould to help house people at least temporarily - there are always many vacant industrial buildings in most cities at any one time...
Forward thinking solutions to bring life back into a post-industrial area is also on show here by two architecture students (Tomasz Zablotny and Pawel Maszota) from Poland. Driven to create a community for artists or workers with modular and easily adaptable micro homes which move around an old shipyard on the railway tracks. GENIUS!
Each unit is only tiny (1.5 x 2m and 2.5m high) but when fitted on the tracks expands to create extra meterage to include a small living/sleeping area, kitchenette and separate bathroom. Furniture is flat packed and can fold and be stored in the walls when not in use.
Finally, we had to acknowledge the impact of the humble shipping container! There are numerous examples of how these have been transformed into comfortable low-cost homes. This stunner is by Poteet Architects in Texas U.S for guest accommodation and even has a roof garden.
Low-cost housing will be a significant part of our future - whether for people needing to establish new lives for themselves, or for us to challenge traditional thinking on exactly how much space we really need.