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Thread: The shape of things to come?

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    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Default The shape of things to come?

    Get ready for high rises and disposable futures
    24.02.06
    By Anne Gibson

    New Zealanders will live in more high-rise blocks like vertical villages in the next two decades because of the sheer impossibility of getting through grid-locked city traffic systems. We will also demand disposable "glorified shanty" housing, built for environmental sustainability and able to be remodelled, extended and recycled as needs change. This new futuristic modular housing will appear more flimsy than today's houses but it will also use less energy, be cheaper to build and allow owners to escape the mortgage noose. Although the housing might be "characterless", often on leasehold land and maintenance free, owners will not have all their wealth tied up in property.

    These are just some of the findings of a new report out yesterday which examines the shape of housing in 2030. An independent association, Building Research, and the Government's Centre for Housing Research commissioned the report from Susan Bates of Scion - a Crown research institute formerly called Forest Research - and Chris Kane of the Building Research Association. They found that 70 per cent of the housing stock in 2030 already exists but were keen to find out about the 30 per cent which has not been built. They outlined five scenarios to "stretch our imaginations" about housing and said this would give a vision of the future.

    Falling global oil production and rising fuel and transport costs would force more of us into city centres in the next two decades. A shortage of land to expand motorways and policies like Auckland's to encourage more highrise apartment blocks would mean more people would live in "vertical villages". Poorer people would move further out into the suburbs while the wealthy would increasingly regard inner-city apartment life as an option.

    Those blocks would have more communal activities and their communities would become well integrated. The poor would increasingly live in trailer parks because these would be the only affordable housing for them. Apartment life offered more freedom from commuting and onerous home maintenance, but the trade-off would be less physical space for people. The report asked if people would accept the sacrifice. The new style of recyclable, temporary housing predicted would have a use-by date, be a series of cubes joined together and able to be removed or added to as residents' lives changed.

    Older people would criticise this housing as "tinny" but its advocates would value its design, low cost, orientation towards the sun, low energy use, good layout and flexibility. The report also predicted more gated communities, saying the US had six million, Britain at least 1000 and South Africa an increasing number.

    Housing in 2030

    Possible scenarios
    * Vertical villages: More apartments on the rise.
    * Change of heart: Cheaper, more temporary housing to be built.
    * Sunrise, sunset: Fluctuating regional fortunes will push up transience.
    * Gates of heaven: Gated faith-based communities are on the march.
    * Status quo: Today's style of housing dominates and little changes.
    Mother Bear

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  2. #2
    Pulsarblu's Avatar
    Pulsarblu is offline God like figure
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    Default The shape of things to come?

    I like the cheap recyclable housing, imagine being able to point the living room towards the sun in winter saving huge amounts of heating costs.

    If I do not like staying in one area, pack up and move... [smiley=icon_wink.gif]

    However, it is still far before we see these housing appearing in every town..

    The vertical villages is so much like Singapore, 80% of us stay in high rise buildings. However the down part as pointed out is lack of physical space and that is one of the reasons I am moving out!

    My apartment costs NZD$250,000 in Singapore and it is only 104m2 and government subsidised part of the costs. [smiley=icon_neutral.gif] So those private apartments in Singapore can go up as high as NZD$450,000 to $1.8 million easily depending on size and town. Not to mention houses (Which I dream of owning one finally in NZ) that can go for sale from minimum NZD$1 million to the sky the limit.

    pulsarblu

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