Building Up For Space

Seven billion people in the world and counting. Seven billion aspirations, seven billion dreams…a largely common dream– owning a house.

However, with the population of the world expected to head towards nine or ten billion in the next few years, an individual house amidst sylvan sprawling acreage may not be possible. With more than 70% of the population in many developed countries already living in cities and continuing urban migration in developing nations, living space is a growing issue despite expanding cities.

High Density Living and compact cities seek to remedy this situation by creating sustainable living spaces for a growing population. In essence it constitutes housing with a higher population density than the average, by encouraging blocksof flats and towers– basically building up rather than building sideways.

Traditionally high density housing and developments have been seen as a dingy, cramped, dark “not for me” space. However, with detailed planning and sound infrastructure, high density living can provide one with the means to a well-rounded lifestyle that combines the need for one’s ‘own home’, livelihood, utilities and green spaces effectively.

Many cities are now incorporating high density living as part of their town planning as it has been proven to economically reduce per capita consumption and environmental footprint. It has been found that cities allow half of humanity to live on around 4% of the arable land, preserving essential, productive farmland and open country spaces without extending the urban sprawl.

Compact cities use fewer resources as basic infrastructure such as roads, sewers, and power lines are shorter and therefore, can be provided at a much lower cost per capita. The higher density essentially also means that people are living closer to their places, of work and leisure such that walking or cycling becomes convenient. Consequently, this reduces the number of cars, fuel expended, and pollution

The population density also makes supply and maintenance of public transport systems viable for governments. It also creates an opportunity to build a connected community that brings together people of diverse cultures, ideas and knowledge. Nowhere is this more apparent than within high density mixed developments wherein entertainment centers, residential complexes, recreation spaces, public utilities and amenities co-exist within an almost local economy.

As cities and incomes grow people will continue to want more in and around their homes. High density is the solution for the future,as it will provide homes with accessible services in a sustainable manner, within distances that optimize both resources and time.