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Micro-Apartments...could you do it?

Posted by on Dec. 22, 2013 at 9:22 AM
  • 97 Replies

I know in Japan they're even much smaller than you think you could live in one of these? Or would you go insane? Do you think this is a bad environment to raise a child or would this be better/more affordable for lower income to prevent them from being out on the streets?

Micro-Apartments Could Be Hazardous to Your Mental Health

Dream house? A model of a 300-square-foot apartment. (Matt Chaban)

Apparently, living in a small New York apartment can cramp more than your style.

Even though Mayor Michael Bloomberg has championed the micro-unit, some experts are concerned that living in 250 to 370 feet spaces could be risky.

“Sure, these micro-apartments may be fantastic for young professionals in their 20’s,” Dak Kopec, director of design for human health at Boston Architectural College, told The Atlantic. “But they definitely can be unhealthy for older people, say in their 30’s and 40’s, who face different stress factors that can make tight living conditions a problem.”

According to Mr. Kopec, the space-saving trend of tiny apartments can lead to increased claustrophobia, domestic abuse, and alcoholism.

On top of that, researchers believe that children need bigger spaces to flourish. “I’ve studied children in crowded apartments and low-income housing a lot,” Susan Saegert, Director of the Housing Environments Research Group, said to the publication. “They can end up becoming withdrawn, and have trouble studying and concentrating.”

Ms. Saegert said that cramped living environments could have an even worse effect on a child’s psyche than an older individual.

Questions over the dangers of micro-apartments have surfaced at the same time as the construction of a residential tower of micro-units at East 27th Street. The tower, known as My Micro NY, was described by City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden as a “tangible new housing option, which has the potential to broaden housing choices for New Yorkers.”

The apartments are supposed to enable single city dwellers access to a cheaper alternative to sky-high rents, but tenants might be choosing between their sanity and their salaries.

Here's an example of a Japanese 'coffin apartment' just for shock and admiration:

 Sexy If its unladylike, fattening or fun, I'm in!

by on Dec. 22, 2013 at 9:22 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Member on Dec. 22, 2013 at 9:23 AM
3 moms liked this

If I were alone I could, but not with my family.

by on Dec. 22, 2013 at 9:25 AM

I'm sure I could, but I don't want to.  The idea of sharing one of these with a  kid or another adult is terrifying.  

by Member on Dec. 22, 2013 at 9:26 AM
If it were just me, I definitely could.
by on Dec. 22, 2013 at 9:27 AM

I could do I if I lived alone.  In fact I did live in place smaller than the top picture at one point.  It was a cute little cottage on a farm and I would wake up to cows peeking in my windows.  

by on Dec. 22, 2013 at 9:27 AM
Absolutely not!! We have a 5 bedroom full basement 3 full bathrooma and I still feel like we need more room! Lol
by on Dec. 22, 2013 at 9:27 AM
2 moms liked this
I couldn't do it. I would feel far too claustrophobic. I get anxiety just looking at the Japanese version.
by on Dec. 22, 2013 at 9:30 AM
If I lived alone, yes.
by Gold Member on Dec. 22, 2013 at 9:30 AM
I could do it alone. This isn't uncommon in NYC to see apartments that are 300 square feet and smaller. I knew a couple who had a 100 sq. ft. apartment and they were definitely not poor. The difference is the Japanese version doesn't have enough space to stand up which I would think would never be allowed in the US because of our fire safety and building codes.
by Member on Dec. 22, 2013 at 9:36 AM
I"ve lived in apartments in NY that were only a tiny bit. Bigger than this. The problem is that you probably could do it with adequate storage, but you would not build shelves, etc, in an apt you don't own. It's very stressful because the place gets messy within minutes, for example, someone gets home from work and takes a shower. Also, kitchen space is ridiculous, so if you like to cook, it's frustrating and depressing.
The thing that bothers me about Bloomberg's plan is that people with these apartments will marry and have children and I do not believe it's a feasible or healthy space to raise children. And many people would be stuck in those apartments. I would be happy if they presented a parallel plan to expand housing for families, but those spaces are only declining in number. I like the micro apt idea, but what about families? Micro apts will be for young, educated transplants to nyc. Those of us who live here and have made the city what it is, are hung out to dry.
by Gina on Dec. 22, 2013 at 9:41 AM

If it were a choice of being homeless or living in a tiny apartment, I'd deal with it, but I do like having space. My kids are loud!

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