Touring Smallness in Hong Kong Housing

A recent tour through housing developments in Hong Kong shows that the large spaces Americans treasure in homes are not necessarily the best method for urbanizing areas, according to this post.
May 14, 2011, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Hong Kong takes smallness to the extreme. It appears to be driven more by high housing costs than by concern for the environment. Most new housing takes the form of high-rise apartment buildings with tiny units. A 430-square-foot apartment in the recently completed Ching Ho Public Housing Estate, for example, was designed to be occupied by a family of five. Ching Ho represents the state-of-the-art in public housing design in Hong Kong, and the 70 square feet per occupant is the most generous allotment yet by the Hong Kong Housing Authority.

By comparison, we Americans are veritable space hogs. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average size of a new single-family home in the U.S. swelled to more than 2,500 square feet in 2007, although it has dipped slightly in recent years. Average household size in the U.S. is less than three people."

The smaller sizes reduce consumption of energy and goods, but the author concedes that living in a 430-square foot apartment might be difficult to get used to.

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Published on Thursday, May 12, 2011 in Sustainable Cities Collective
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