Wednesday, May 4, 2016

For those who can pay the most

Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York quotes a prescient observation from Jane Jacobs about how cities are destroyed by their success. In part:

so many people want to live in the locality that it becomes profitable to build, in excessive and devastating quantity, for those who can pay the most. . . . not simply people who can pay the most in general, but people who can or will pay the most for the smallest space.
I thought of the recent New York Times article about New Yorkers living in tiny, expensive spaces: 250 square feet for $425,000, 675 square feet for $660,000, 350 square feet for $825,000. Granted, these are pre-existing small spaces, and they are hardly numerous. But there’s also the new trend of micro-apartments: say, 355 square feet for $2910 a month.

comments: 2

Diane Schirf said...

I look at the McMansions and the big houses in the suburbs here and think about the relatively small houses my friends grew up in. Someone I knew raised seven children in a house whose living room was probably the same size as mine (when they moved to an in-law apartment in a son's house, they sold it to a retired couple — that is, today it probably wouldn't interest anyone with a family). Then I thought about how you could do that — invariably in the good weather the kids were outdoors, and in the colder months they were off at activities or with friends, etc. I always liked their small house. It never felt small.

At Naperville Settlement there's a tiny house from the 1800s, with a single room and a loft that would have housed a family, perhaps even a large one. Now that I'm not so sure about. But then everyone worked, outdoors or in, and I'm not sure how much time or energy they had to get on each other's nerves.

Michael Leddy said...

I guess the model now would be each person off in a separate room and on a device.