The Atlantic has an article today that explores the health impacts of living in small quarters — and says living in tiny spaces can cause pyschological problems.
“The Health Risks of Small Apartments,” focuses on New York City, where policymakers — including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg — have been trying to address a perennial shortage of affordable housing in the city. One tactic used by the mayor was a competition to design an innovative micro-housing model. The rendering above shows a typical unit in the “My Micro NY” building, which won the contest. It was designed by a team that included Brooklyn-based nArchitects.
The Atlantic article quotes experts in environmental psychology who suggest that while small living spaces may be helpful for young people, they can cause stress-related problems for people in their 30s and 40s, as well as issues for children. You can read the entire piece here.
While the article talks about stress from being in cramped quarters, it doesn’t address the health impacts of financial-related stress that people experience as they try to afford larger living spaces, especially in urban areas. The article does quote one expert who points out that if housing is not available in New York City, people face longer commutes — another big stress producer.
We’re interested in your thoughts: Do you see health risks in living small for the long term? In your opinion, how do they compare to the stresses of commuting farther or trying to afford a larger place?
Photo Credit: Rendering of a typical micro-unit in the My Micro NY building, from the website of nArchitects.