As millions of people move to cities every week, placing a huge strain on space, city resources, energy requirements and infrastructure costs, a call for a next-generation way of living is required. Rapid urbanisation is also increasing demand for accommodation and work space, with micro-housing and co-working spaces becoming growing trends across the globe. To address this, we are seeing a surge in the number of smart city and micro-living initiatives taking place in many countries.
In particular, we see such initiatives emerging across the Asia-Pacific region, known for its fast-paced urbanisation, with countries such as China, Japan, and Hong Kong experiencing the challenges first-hand. In response, planners are tapping into the concept of micro-housing. Capsule hotels and micro-flats have gained popularity in mega cities such as Tokyo, due to offering space-saving and cheaper alternatives to usually overly expensive price tags that come with renting in such cities.
Space-saving pod concepts are being explored to make housing more affordable for today’s cash-strapped consumers. For example, the OPod Tube Housing project in Hong Kong, although still in the concept stage, is a forward-thinking approach to converting concrete water pipes into approximately 9m² homes, with doors that can be unlocked using smartphones, indicating that this residential concept is specifically aimed at the more tech-savvy younger generations.
Given that urbanisation is considered to have an overall positive impact according to 44% of global consumers (GlobalData’s 2017 Q1 global consumer survey), turning to concepts such as micro-housing will make housing more affordable and accessible to a larger part of the population.