The housing shortage on the island of Britain has existed for decades, but the current generations are taking a fresh perspective and using modern technology to address the problem directly and attempt to solve it once and for all.
One thing is certain; more people need more space, and they need space of all different types. Larger apartment buildings are not the entire solution. Although the famous architect Paolo Soleri proposed making giant arcologies, city-buildings that contained everything necessary for social life, the implementation of these concepts has shown enormous problems with the idea of enormous housing structures, and his beautiful vision has been found sadly wanting. Some level of separation between buildings and uninhibited green spaces are necessary components of a healthy life, and the endless corridors and cavernous mezzanines of such buildings, endlessly satirized in popular fiction, will probably be unliveable and unworkable. Here are 4 fresh new ideas for maximising the island’s capacity for population while at the same time keeping it natural and liveable.
New technologies that use mirrors and fibre optics to bring healthy, natural sunlight beneath the ground have combined with better artificial illumination and ventilation to make underground living spaces more airy and unencumbered than ever before. An open field could contain an enormous number of homes, and each resident would have tremendous personal space without infringing on others.
Another idea is to take a systematic approach to planting trees and cultivating rooftop gardens in cities. Although this is an incremental approach, it greatly increases liveability without requiring revolutionisation of existing structures. The benefits to air quality and nourishment are also enormous. One major advantage is that existing building firms like the Lagan Construction Group have the skills and ability to get started on this right now.
Construction of new land
This is actually a very old technology, but it has been enhanced and greatly improved in effectiveness. New land can be built out into the ocean, either by filling it in or by pumping some areas dry. This is a simple and intuitive process, requiring only the will and the expenditure of energy. However, it is by its nature disruptive to the environment.
Improved mass transit
The last idea is perhaps the simplest. New buildings can be built very far away from the city centre — so long as there is cheap and available mass transit to carry people to work. This solution is energy-intensive but extremely effective.