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    ‘’GET SMALLER’’? Emerging geographies of micro-living

    Harris, Ella and Nowicki, Mel (2020) ‘’GET SMALLER’’? Emerging geographies of micro-living. Area , ISSN 0004-0894.

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    Abstract

    Cites across the world are in the grip of an intensifying housing crisis, in which access to affordable, secure and appropriate housing is increasingly inaccessible for the majority. There is rising pressure on stakeholders to find solutions but, simultaneously, persistent opposition to housing models that contest the neoliberal logics that prioritise housing’s financialisation. In this context, many proposed and developed ‘solutions’ have focused on how housing can - in the words of one entry to an architectural competition - ‘GET SMALLER.’ Termed ‘micro-living’, a trend is emerging for housing models that shrink living spaces, either by providing self-contained units at below minimum space standards or by offering ‘co-living’ tenancies in small private rooms with access to shared communal spaces. Presented as innovative and aspirational, micro-living distinguishes itself from unequivocally problematic small housing, such as Hong Kong’s ‘coffin homes’ or the UK’s ‘beds-in-sheds’. While micro-living is transforming ways of imagining, producing and inhabiting cities it has, as yet, been little explored by Geographers. Responding to this gap, this paper traces the emerging geographies of micro-living in major Western cities and demonstrates the importance of the topic in Geography. As well as detailing micro-living’s typologies, we excavate the lineages of micro-living and consider the discourses it draws on in self-presenting as an aspirational form of homemaking. In doing so, we highlight some of the issues that micro-living responds to, exacerbates and entrenches, including the stunted opportunities of millennials since the 2008 recession and the precarity of contemporary labour economies.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the article, which has been published in final form at the link above. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Department of Geography
    Depositing User: Ella Harris
    Date Deposited: 07 May 2020 09:52
    Last Modified: 04 Jul 2020 17:01
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/31863

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