New Zealand has a city development problem. Its landscape, coastal attractions, preference for cars and job opportunities makes its sprawl inevitable. But New Zealand isn’t alone in this problem. New York and capital cities in the UK are dealing with the very same burden, too.
The solution to this issue officials worldwide are finding difficult to curb: smaller residential units. BaselineGroup.co.nz, a land development consultant, are working hand in hand with other city planners towards flexible city plans to accommodate diverse and changing community needs.
But where does flexible end and too small begin? The problem with the current proposition of micro living is that it neglects a lot of other factors in favour of city development. While city planners can stack tiny apartments after another, it’s about time to talk about the risks that come with the whole notion of ‘living small’.
The Crowding Effect
Crowding and affordable housing involve the possibility of a few potential health risks. Honestly speaking, these might even outweigh the benefits of micro planning. Micro apartments may be fantastic for working professionals in their 20s, but a report explains it can be detrimental for older people.
People in their thirties or forties face different stress factors, which could make tight living conditions a problem. Instead of the home as a safe haven, it can become a claustrophobic stressor due to the constricted amount of space the city government allows.
According to research, crowding-related stress increases rates of domestic violence and substance abuse. The inconveniences, the hassle that comes with reconfiguring the tiny apartment to fit daily activities and a fundamental lack of privacy all add up to stress, anger and even violence.
What’s Tiny is Not Healthy
Unfortunately, the negative effects of stacking one apartment after another do not only affect older residents, but kids as well. Children who grow up in tiny and crowded apartments are said to be more withdrawn and less able to concentrate in school or in other activities.
Despite the modern amenities that make micro-apartments appealing to independent business executives, the children still need their sprawling backyard or spacious patio to exhaust their childhood years and experience all that they can.
Homes are not simply a roof above your head. It’s also a form of self-expression, and so, must fill psychological needs. You tend to feel happier and healthier if you can bring others over to your personal space, which is not exactly easy nor appealing if you are in a highly cramped space.
But then again, in a world where spacious means costly, all that matters sometimes is you have space for the fridge.