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Topic: micro-apartments

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April 25, 2013 at 6:00 AM

What’s wrong with Seattle’s micro-apartments?

Had I known micro-apartments existed when I moved to Seattle seven months ago, I’d probably be living in one right now.

Instead, I rent a room in a Capitol Hill condo with a very nice roommate who allowed my temporary stay to extend by several months.  In the process, I’m learning about the city, saving some money and (slowly) making long-term plans.  Turns out I don’t need a ton of stuff or space to be happy. For now, this is my life.

I worry about the calls for city officials to put a moratorium on new micro-apartment housing, as reported in this Wednesday Seattle Times story by Lynn Thompson. Though they’re sprouting up around the city, rent for other units in those areas can be ridiculously high. I griped about this in one of my first posts for the opinion blog.

Seattle’s population is growing. Land isn’t. There has to be an option for people working and residing in the city who have smaller budgets and transient lifestyles.

Micro-apartments are not uncommon. In fact, they’re becoming a trend around the world. Let’s take a quick look at what’s happening in other large cities.

BAD: This Business Insider story profiles the rise of subdivided apartments and “caged homes” in Hong Kong. See what those look like in this NTD Television video titled “Hong Kong’s Cage Men”:

BETTER: In Japan, the micro-apartment boom mixes limited space with serious creativity. See this ABC News report from Tokyo Correspondent Akiko Fujita (a former reporter at KOMO-TV):

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