One of the issues we face in Brampton is affordable housing. We tend to view this problem as a function of expanding our radiating housing stock. Which of course runs directly at odds with our “sprawl” problem.
Well, some very clever people have designed an alternative form of housing, highlighted by Tech Insider, which you can see here: https://www.facebook.com/techinsider/videos/674877726043920/
By rethinking “the house” altogether, the innovators behind this idea have created not only a new way to construct a home, but also reminded us that there are different ways to approach building living communities communities. Free of the paradigms of houses / condos with 2 parking spots per unit, we could instead start thinking about car free “Dome villages” to provide affordable Housing for hundreds of families. These would be affordable to build, to service and to heat. Build them on well serviced transit lines, and you have a real game changing approach to provide for people who either can not, or choose not, to spend 40% of their income on housing alone.
There are also Micro Housing units, shown above, and there are also Shipping Container housing units; which can be stacked and arranged to create communities as well in new and innovative ways.
Even shy of building “homes” for the economically disadvantaged, there are ways to improve the quality of life for people, all people, in the public sphere. When i was in Alexandria, Scotland, this summer, my daughter needed a bathroom. I was directed to pay toilet. I was surprised and impressed by this installation. A full sized room that self cleans after every use. If we could develop and implement self cleaning toilets and shower facilities in our public parks, we could provide an improved qualify of life for all users.
Research, technology and innovation are the keys to solving our suburban planning challenges. Grants for research to solve the problems we face should be an anchor for any municipal politician who seeks office.