More and more people in the city live in homes with small spaces or no outdoor areas.
Do you think it is negative or positive development?
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Rising urban population has made more urban dwellers opt for small living spaces. From my perspective, this trend in urban housing poses more threats than benefits.
On the one hand, tiny spaces offer homeowners a simple, frugal and blissfully stress-free lifestyle. First, given the limited space, one would have to make some hard choices about what to keep, and what to get rid of. They don’t feel weighed down by all the frivolous items they used to own or a huge mortgage, and they spend less time and money cleaning and maintaining their home, which allows more time and money for leisure activities. In addition, living in a tiny home can help save money in many different ways. People would be able to trim their monthly expenses on heating, cooling, property taxes, or home maintenance; and hence, put a little extra each month in the savings account.
However, opponents of this housing trend would argue that smaller spaces may be linked to health risks and privacy issues. Although micro-apartments may be fantastic for young professionals in their 20’s, they definitely can be unhealthy for older people who face different stress factors that can make tight living conditions a problem. Home is supposed to be a safe haven, and a resident with a demanding job may feel trapped in a claustrophobic apartment at night. Another main concern of putting people in tightly-packed living situations is the fundamental lack of privacy to all residents, exerting negative influences on their well-being. There might be a trickle-down effect for children raised in these spaces, who might find it difficult to find a quiet, private room to read and complete their schoolwork.
In short, living in a tiny home does have compelling benefits, but it is not without its challenges as well. Taking the potential health risks and crowding challenges, I believe micro-living may not be the urban panacea we’ve been waiting for. All in all, tiny spaces should be seen as a negative development.