Urban Fold

Are Americans Ready to Live in Smaller Homes?

As the world population reaches 7 billion some U.S. builders are working on smaller, compact homes.

According to Joyce, as the world population continues to grow and developing continue to consume goods on par with developed nations, resource availability shrinks. Zeta Communities in California is constructing pre-built homes that are as small as 300 square feet. The homes are built and assembled in a factory and are highly efficient, according to Zeta President Naomi Porat.

"The population all around the world is moving toward the cities," says the former real estate executive. "Land is a vital resource, there's not a lot remaining, so we need to think about creative ways to use space."

Thanks to Cathie Pagano

Full Story: As Population, Consumption Rise, Builder Goes Small



Irvin Dawid's picture

Great Population/Consumption/Energy news report this morning

thanks for posting, Cathie - this was indeed one of those "stop what you're doing and listen to NPR", also known by some as 'driveway' moments.

Christopher Joyce of NPR managed to combine so many key environmental challenges in one piece. Don Kammen/UC Berkeley filled the tail end with the need for renewable energy while the urban planning "living smaller" component was aptly illustrated by ZETA Communities modular, stackable, 900 sq. ft homes.

For me, though, the two key points are not to get caught up with the developing world's increase in population but to focus on how the developed world can set an example for livlng 'lighter' and more efficiently; and Kammen's first point that dirty, cheap energy is at the heart of the developed world's wasteful lifestyle (some nations more than others, of course).

Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

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