How to Solve the Housing Crisis


This episode of Real Engineering is brought to you by Brilliant, a problem-solving website that teaches you to think like an engineer. We’ve been hearing about it for years. The 21st century is the era of urbanization. In almost every country around the world, people are packing their bags, and moving into cities at record rates. This is a global phenomenon, across the spectrum of developed and developing economies. Approximately 54% of people worldwide now live in cities, 30% more than in 1950. And projections show that urbanization, combined with the overall growth of the worlds population, could add another 2.5 billion people to urban populations by 2050. In many countries, the largest cities are growing faster than their smaller counterparts. Rural cities, towns and villages are being cannabalized to facilitate the demand for jobs in these urban centres. For better or worse, we are increasingly becoming an urban world. Thus, it’s no surprise that the demand for city housing is skyrocketing. Prices to rent or to buy are reaching, for many, unobtainable heights. Savos, a global property firm, published its list of cities with the highest cost of accomodation around the world, with the usual suspects ranking high. New York, Hong Kong, London, Tokyo, and Paris all consistently in the top 5. But even smaller cities, like Dublin, are experiencing serious housing crisis, with many people unable to afford to live near their places of work. With jobs flooding back into Dublin after years of recession there is an incredibly high demand on urban housing. In Ireland capital, housing prices has risen by average of almost 50% in 5 years and the number of listings are at a record low. Some attribute Dublin housing price increases to a lack of housing supply due to investors hoarding property, and increased AirBnb, or vacant land not being developed. while these are all definately factors even if they were resolved, Dublin would still be falling short of the 25,000 new units needed every year to meet the current demand. In recent years, construction in the city
has increased significantly but the return of cranes to the skyline, but many are commercial units and apartment buildings are simply not being built fast enough, and in enough numbers to make a dent in the demand, causing rent prices to rise to the point that many young Irish are once again having to consider whether Ireland is a place they can build a future. Continuing the ritual brain drain of our country’s youth to not so green pastures. The government has responded to this problem unsuccessfully, with ridiculous attempts to ban rents from rising, a solution akin to banning a sick patient’s temperature from rising. The only cure for this fever will be to increase the supply of housing, that is, increase the supply of housing while minimizing cost. Let’s first focus on optimum height. While some are calling for high rise buildings to Dublin with the idea that it while increase density and greater supply, buildings that are too tall don’t translate into affordability as they cost too much to build. In theory, taller buildings reduce square meter costs of floor space the higher you build, and increase the overall returnable revenue from a single plot of land. However, the cost increases as you build higher and higher. Lift systems, fire prevention measures, water supplies and pressurization and heating and cooling systems all add to the cost of high rises. Costs like these lead to a U-curve in regards to the cost per square meter and height, where the cost per square meter initially decreases with an increase in height, and then starts to increase after the height reaches a certain point due to the increased engineering demands. Every curve therefore has a bottom-out point. This bottom-out point is different in every city and varies widely even within the city. But on average the lowest cost per square meter in Shanghai and in the Netherlands for example, is around 8 stories. In Hong Kong, thanks to the limited land area increasing land costs, it’s around 12 stories. The additional cost of engineering can be marginalized by high costs of land, making in worth while to build higher. Take the extreme example of 432 Park Avenue, the tallest residential building in the world. Built on the site, the historic Drake Hotel once occupied, centrally located with Central Park views, the site became one of the most valuable plots of land in the world at $520 million. Now it goes without saying this building was not constructed for the average man. It has over 85 floors with 38,000 square meters of usable floor space, but only 104 units for people to live in, each costing millions of dollars each. But the point stands where there is exceptionally high demand, you can build higher. The cost of land in Dublin doesn’t come close to those of Manhattan or Hong Kong though. So in most cases, the bottom of our U-curve, ie. the cost effective height to build to, will be between 6 and 8 stories. With a recent Irish government report even suggesting as high as 12 stories in some areas. Let’s next focus on minimizing the building costs of these buildings. One of the primary causes of increase costs with increased construction height is the necessity of using floor space for the structurally integral building core, which keeps the building standing and houses elevators and other services. While there are many ways to design the shape of the building, certain floor plate designs end up being more desirable than others to maximize usable space. Say that the net area of the floor plate of this building is 1400 square meters The core of the building of this shape and size would need to be around 335 square meters This gives a gross area of usable area of 1,065 square meters and thus a net to gross ratio of 1.31. So a design like this is stylish, but when you analyze the space efficiency, it’s not great for maximizing floor space A building like this seems like it might have a bit more usable space but the building core is still taking quite a bit of space compared to the livable floor area. This design’s net to gross ratio is around 1.26. And a building with this shape may not be as exciting, but it’s core area is minimized compared to the usable space. Its net to gross ratio is only 1.14. Which is about as good as it gets and is exactly the floor plan of 432 Park Avenue. While variety and expression of building design are important, these elements invariably add costs and require careful design consideration. When affordability is an issue, simpler designs are better. Wall to floor ratio is also a critical measure of cost efficiency. It expresses the perimeter length of the wall that has to be constructed for every unit of floor area. So from a cost perspective, the lower the ratio, the better. Using simple geometry, we can see that a 3×3 square has a total perimeter of 12 meters. This would have a wall to floor ratio of 0.33. A cross shape with the same area of 9 square meters, has a perimeter of 20 meters. This would have a wall to floor ratio of 0.45. When constructing buildings, this simple principal is the same. The more perimeter wall needed per floor area, the more expensive things get. A comparison of Asian and London towers provides an interesting contrast in approaches wall to floor ratios. Tall Asian buildings score between 0.30 and 0.35, while London buildings score between 0.35 and 0.60 with the majority above 0.45. This is because the Asian buildings have larger, more regular floor plates with centrally located cores. So the design of our tower has huge effects on our cost but so does construction techniques. Traditionally, towers are built using repeating floor design with molds called formwork, being used to cast the concrete structure. Despite this essentially being an automated assembly line, it can still be labor intensive and slow, and is exposed to variabilities of site and weather conditions. Prefabrication and offsite construction is increasingly becoming an appealing option, but this can offer high precision solutions created in factory conditions and often reduce on site delays and help progress construction even in a market with a skills shortage On some construction projects in Dublin, already concrete products and timber frames are being fabricated offsite and assembled onsite. An extreme example of this idea of prefabrication is being used in China where a company called Broad Sustainable Building built a 30 story building in 15 days for a cost of $1000 per square meter. and later built another 57 story building in 19 days. The building pieces are fabricated in sections at two factories in Hunan. From there, the modules complete with pre-installed ducts and plumbing for electricity, water, and other infrastructure are shipped to the site and assembled like Legos, or flat-pack IKEA furniture The company is in the process of franchising this technology to partners in India, Brazil, and Russia. What it’s selling is the world’s first standardized skyscraper. One of the primary cost drivers for skyscraper are the labor costs for specialized workers. By outsourcing much of the construction work to safer, controllable environments like this, we can reduce the costs. In a country like Ireland, where many of its skilled construction workers were forced to immigrate to Australia, New Zealand, and Canada during the economic crisis, many of which have not come home. This may well be a solution that can help with construction. Regardless of building techniques, policies need to change in cities like Dublin to facilitate quicker cost effective builds. While not being completely blind to future implications of relaxing regulations. Currently, 1 car parking space per unit is required for every apartment. In a city center location, where we would hope to move toward public transport solutions, this is a completely unreasonable regulation to have in place. Especially when you consider the impact of costs it has, with some reports estimating that this adds 30,000 euro per car parking spot to any building. With our city populations growing more rapidly every year, we cannot hold onto past ideals. While the optimum height for minimizing the cost of apartments may be 6 to 8 stories, we’ve discussed the benefits of building higher beyond just the minimization of cost and how other cities have transformed themselves in a past video. Building higher facilitates cost effective public transport, reduced commute times, and creates a more livable city. We simply cannot continue allowing urban sprawl to be our solution. It is an unsustainable solution to a problem growing faster than we can keep up. We simply need to look at the ever growing rate of homelessness in cities like Dublin for proof of this problem In a city that lost hosting for the largest tech conference in the world, due to a severe lack of infrastructure, the Dublin city council deemed it sensible to refuse planning permission to this 22 story hotel on Tara Street, on the grounds that it would have a “significant and detrimental visual impact on the city skyline” A skyline dominated by two industrial chimney stacks while functional, modern building that are desperately needed in the city, are continually blocked. This isn’t a problem exclusive to Dublin. San Francisco. A city notorious for skyrocketing costs of accommodation has an average building height of just 3 stories. Mostly due to similar restrictions in building heights. Washington D.C. has some of the worst traffic in the U.S. and it has height restrictions blocking anything taller than its national monuments. In larger cities with restrictive height regulations, you can almost be garunteed socioeconomic problems will follow. In all reality, this problem has so many fascets beyond just engineering challenges. This is a problem that primarily effects young people, and those who already own their home, have little interest in devaluing it, by allowing high rise developments near their home and thus increasing supply. There are political motivations and many more factors that change why and how bubbles like this occur in different cities, but if we are going to build a sustainable future, we’re going to have to rethink how we build and plan our cities. Perhaps we can start using machine learning algorithms to analyze and suggest changes to optimize our cities. Machine learning is a fantastic tool for when humans fall short of a complicated challenge, and you could learn more about it using this course on Brilliant. The first three classes in linear regression, linear classification, and trees are already available to get you started on what will likely be one of the most in demand skills for future programmers. With other more advanced classes in things like optimization coming soon. Brilliant is a problem solving site that helps you think like an engineer, by guiding you through problems that are broken into digestible sections, that bring you from knowing nothing, to having a deep understanding of the topic. What I love is that when you answer something incorrectly, it even tells you exactly why, so you can correct your misconceptions. To support Real Engineering, and learn more about Brilliant, go to brilliant.org/RealEngineering and sign up for free and the first 73 people to go to that link will get 20% off their annual premium subscription. Just this month we crossed the 1 million subscriber mark, and to celebrate that, I release my first personal channel video from a trip I took to Guam with Sam from Wendover Productions, and Joseph from Real Life Lore. You can check that out with the link on screen now.

Comments 100

  • If you are interested, here's my new personal channel. https://youtu.be/h42tKSNmKCI

  • I just realised now that the the logo looks like a gear tooth

  • Buy from China. 😛

  • when China couldn't catch up with western society: "China is another hopeless undeveloped communist state."
    when China surpasses Western society in particular aspects: "Fucking commies treat their workers like donkeys and build shit buildings that nobody lives in."

    Motherfuckers please. Confess if you are jealous.

  • Why is his voice soothing

  • This is interesting. Maybe it would be the solution for the Dutch housing market to.
    Maybe not high rising, but prebuild houses and parts for housing.

  • Step 1:
    Stop importing massive numbers of immigrants and secure the border so your restrictions on immigration are enforced.
    Step 2: Profit.

  • In America kick out All the Illegals.
    That removes 20 plus million

    Problem solved.

  • Heighth

  • I live in Dublin. When I was last looking for a place to rent, I realized I can only afford to rent a room in a shared property. The reality agency asked me for a €500 bribe just to allow me to view a property – there were 58 other people interested in viewing.
    In a marina club where I am a member, they had to impose limit on hours spent on your own boat because people started to live on old boats and block all space for actual active, sporting boats. I saw children doing their homework in the marina office.
    Nothing will change because the hoarding landlords have a big word in both biggest political parties (FF, FG) and they decisively block anything that could even marginally decrease the value. I read somewhere that 20% of people in Ireland owe 80% of properties. Many people who managed to get ownership of a few properties during the poor times (ending about 30 years ago) are now doing nothing but collecting the rent and still living on a high standard.
    Also I read a calculation at what age a young couple, saving all (average) income except buying extreme necessities, can buy a small family house. In Dublin, it was 184 years, elsewhere in Ireland not much less more.
    I ended up living in a shared miniature room. Family? No chance.

  • Eliminating parking eliminates private vehicles which makes tyranny harder to escape.
    The cost of adequate parking is not the problem. Governments blocking construction of cost effective buildings is.

  • I just realized the A in the Real Engineering is replaced with an involute curve of a gear. Why am I so excited about this discovery?
    -Rising Senior in Mechanical Engineering at University of Evansville.

  • My house in Connecticut has not grown in value for 10 years. Interest rates are very low here and we have a sort of asset deflation . The obsession with lowering interest rates to benefit stock index appearances — while in the short term raises inflation rates — in the long term kills "natural" inflation I think. Permanently low inflation makes home ownership undesirable or impossible, since maintenance and other costs make it uneconomical when there is no ultimate retirement reward. In a way is is a mechanism by which corporations will finesse wealth from the public until land ownership becomes uneconomical and we all rent. The end game in a corporate world may be just that, to create smooth and predictable revenues flows and making ownership undesirable for the public.

  • With this apparent worldwide demand for urban accommodation, I also wonder if the consequences of realising this have been fully thought through in many instances. Where ever you dramatically increase the concentration of people, you also dramatically increase their negative impacts. While housing is important, you also need to consider the additional fresh water, electricity, heating/cooling, increased traffic, sewage treatment and other waste requirements like landfill, to name but a few.
    Politicians often concentrate solely on the head line grabbing aspects of more affordable urban accommodation, with little or no consideration for additional capacity to basic services an increased local population will also require. Simply tapping another thousand residential units onto the same existing, and often already aging, infrastructure is not a recipe for sustainable growth.

  • Housing is a problem because of greedy ppl investing in multiple houses and not utilizing it. I see so many apartments/flats empty in high rise buildings in India.

    In my point of view, better public transport will solve most of the problem that we face in major cities regarding housing. Right now there are too many cars on the road. If I stay far and can travel 30-40 miles in 20-40 mins via public transport rather than driving to my workplace, I will happily ditch my car and prefer living outside the city.

    Also, companies should encourage work from home concept if you are just working on a laptop or need a phone to make calls all the time rather than driving all the way. This will reduce company cost related to space and other costs involved plus save fuel and the environment.

    Right now my company has started partial work from home and I work 2-3 days from home in a week. Saves me commute time and fuel cost and doesn't require us to be living very close to our workplace.

  • Man i wish this was taken into account here in Arizona. I go from tempe to central phoenix for school and my commute is an hour long. Like jesus. Thats only HALFWAY across the city.

  • The important point here is that PEOPLE need to understand, learn and accept: every new convenience has potentially massive side effect when rolled out to mass markets. And technology will not solve all problems. So it is important that we understand: it is mostly going to be a change in behavior that will be required to prevent the total destruction of the environment. Wireless charging isn't really required. Without reaching a reasonable efficiency it should not be used.

  • There are more empty houses than homeless people in America

  • Are there any examples of cities completely without cars? Utilizing freight trains and bicyclers distributing goods? Where the only roads are major walkways for pedestrians? If not, please Real Engineering tell me how that can be possible 🙂

  • end the privatization on living

  • Basically regulations are the problem, thank you for saying what Libertarians have been saying forever. Take the government out if the equation.

  • An taisc is wrecking my head, claiming tall building will ruin the heritage of Cork, what, the heritage of deriliction, junkies and prostitutes? I'm referring to the prism building, we actually know what needs to be done, there's just too much money to be made from property law, planning and the oreichtas is full of landlord/developer TDs, so we're fucked.

  • I kind of agree with this guy in modulate buildings are functional, cheap and easy to build, the problem with that is that they are all the same. In the same way this things are build, almost everywhere there's a condo with an architype house that can almost satisfy a family else where. The problem comes in design, that's because limiting ourselfs to modules only make architects repeat the same thing over and over again, people get tired of the same old thing when it comes to living spaces. Might as well design architectonic composition without looking to much on how big the lots are, and more into how functional and cool they are.

  • How about, I dunno, making rent illegal, seizing the insane amount of uninhabited houses and give it as socialised housing?

  • Nice job. 😀

  • Why do you pronounce height as "haith"

  • Can you address some of the downsides to building high? You mentioned economics but there must be others. Shading, green areas, heat build up and psychologic factors are a few that jump to mind. Where I live (Wirral/ Liverpool UK), high rises became associated with crime and poor housing, they acquired a bad image. They where torn down about 20 years ago but I would imagine that the housing associations would be reluctant to revisit that era.

  • This video was duper good! Thanks for my thesis topic!

  • Why is Dublin so big?
    Cause it keeps on doubling!

  • I was loving your video until I noticed that was just a big advertising to sell me a virtual product.. anyway I appreciate the work put in this video.. cheers!

  • But if we give affordable housing to everyone, how do we control population density?

  • forget dublin. let the "new" irish figure it out with their free subsidized money. jst dont expect them to speak english or gaelic any time soon (in the next 90 years)

  • Just go underground. Problem solved.

  • land value tax. problem solved. no one wants to do it though because property values are virtually the only thing keeping most economies afloat

  • For the love of god, there's no "th" in "height"! It's a hard T!

  • There's a simple and effective solution: state housing. Singapore has shown it is feasible and it works and will not bankrupt a state. But try bringing it up and you'll hear the autistic screeching "HuRr DuRr CoMmUnIsM"

  • Greed has etched out the market..

  • YOU NEED TO SHUT THE FUCK UP AND TAKE IN MORE REFUGES, YOU HAVE 1ST WORLD PROBLEMS, THERE ARE PEOPLE DYING AND CAN ONLY LIVE THERE. BRING IN MORE AND GIVE THEM FREE HOUSING, YOU STUPID PIECE OF SHIT!!

  • Let's build groundscrappers, Dig 20 stories down. The properties will be affordable because there's no view.

  • The problem isn’t lack of housing. The problem is high rent and low wages.

  • People don't like giant high-rise towers in their suburbs, it's quite simple really. Personally I think they destroy the cityscape 🙁

  • The housing crisis is solved by Land Value Tax. LVT prods people to use land efficiently. This also has to be backed up by relaxed planning regulations. LVT near eliminates land hoarding and speculation in land. Anyone familiar with economics will know the devastating effects of these negative activities on an economy – and housing people.

    Technology will not solve the housing problem. It has not in over 200 years.

  • 6661
    305 West
    08/07/1982
    336

  • Tech has a solution for almost everything. But we have no effective solution for politicians

  • Or you can just redistribute all housing…

  • Get rid of government regulation, there I saved you twelve minutes

  • I can't listen anymore, you're driving me batty by putting a 'th' at the end of the word 'height'! That word ends with a hard 'T', not a 'th'!!

    This is as bad as people who put an 'R' in 'wash'

  • A great idea would possibly have to be to make a tower with lego-like rooms. They would be assembled off site and sort of snapped together to form an ever changing tower design. The city needs the building to get a floor taller? Snap on another set of floor and add a stairwell block and maybe an elevator block column. Making them out of cost-effective light but strong materials and perhaps insulating them with aerogel would further increase savings by simply building to what is needed. If you don't want to take that route or it isn't good, a car park that stores cars in vertical space might help eliminate large car parks.

  • You say "sustainable" far to many times for a politician to listen to you. The more times you say "sustainable" to a politician the more their eyes glaze over.

  • When it comes to building height there are other factors to consider.
    In order for the apartments on the lower levels and the streets to get a sufficient amount of sunlight you need to increase the space between higher buildings. No one wants to live in claustrophobic urban canyons. Adjusting for this can have the effect that in certain cases building lower buildings can actually allow to have a higher overall density.

  • Shits fucked. It's complex. The solution is not clear, and no one person knows all the right answers or is even aware of all the problems. Neither are all people motivated to improving society and the quality of life for all.

  • Less people = problem solved.

  • if you can no longer build "up" why not build "down"?

  • Also, as the demand for homes increases, the cost of land follows, and the bottom of the "U" curve shifts to favor higher buildings.
    So if you expect an increase of population, you should build a bit higher, than your cost efficiency calculations.

  • So housing crisis is referenced in one of the least pupulated city…. Bublin.
    Lack of inferstructure is not your problem lack of people is your problem.

  • Why not build into the ground? Make an underground living space

  • "urban sprawl" is code the wealthy elite use to make it harder for the peasants to own their own homes. They won't be satisfied until all the peasants are renting squalid hovels from the wealthy land owners.

  • There is no housing crisis….
    I could quote Buckminster Fuller here, but I won't.
    Do your homework.
    (there is a capitalism-crisis, though…)

  • Check out the Mouse Utopia – John C Calhoun. Also, finance is a huge problem for each opportunity,
    so it makes you wonder why he current financial system shouldn't be reworked…

  • I like height restrictions. Better think how make smaller cities more attrractive than how to pack more people in big ones. Big cities are doomed.

  • We live in truly extraordinary times don’t we?

  • Enjoy the show but I don't agree that we should get rid of building parking. Having a car is having freedom to travel anywhere, not just the roads most traveled. It is not up for debate in my book.

  • employers could contribute too by not being fucking idiots and placing all their work in cities… there are many MANY other places they could station their business where employees can live easier and doesn't come with hours and hours of commute, or fortunes placed in housing… in ireland specifically, dublin is not the only god damn city… and yet almost all of the bigger companies are located there… WHY?! there are so many fucking places in ireland where people live and would love to continue living while making a career at a larger company…

  • Why not make a build a giant apartment underground like a reverse skyscraper?

  • its not a housing problem its a housing ownership problem simple solution kill the 1% redistribute the property to the people and ban ownership of more than one home

  • ‘height’, not ‘heighth’

  • Deserts could be a good low cost option despite the high lands of Canada and Alas'kats!

  • The only permanent solution to the housing crisis is abandoning the system that caused it

  • I feel that too much of optimization has caused the companies to become overgreedy leading to reduction in quality in every walk of life. Too much cost optimization yeids notoriously bad quality products.

  • FFS why do people pronounce it "heith"????

  • As of 2014, Europe had twice as many vacant houses as homeless people. The disparity in the US appears even more stark. No amount of clever engineering will solve a problem created by capitalism itself.

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/feb/23/europe-11m-empty-properties-enough-house-homeless-continent-twice

  • Sure, you can pack more people in to cities like Dublin, but not without utterly DESTROYING the character of that city in the process. Who wants to visit Dublin when it's been transformed into a cookie-cutter copy of a Chinese or Japanese city?

  • People are too sentimental

  • I do not understand how the wall:floor ratio computation follows from the definition given in 6:02, e.g. with the square(6:19), how does one divide 9 and 12 to get .33? Could someone explain bitte? Sorry if it's a stupid question.

  • 10:38 THIS! Baby Boomers growing up in a historically unique phase of prosperity that will most likely never reoccur have used their favorable circumstances to buy affordable real estate and are now sitting on their hoarded wealth and block most change while younger people struggle.

  • Don't let stupid and poor people reproduce.

  • If your metric is quality of life then making cheap slum highrises like this guy suggests is a bad idea.

    Cheap slum apartments encourage nothing but extra concrete shit around it in the form of cheap substitute services for what a house would provide you with, especially when combined with long working hours. Think bad entertainment, bad food, shops with cheap stuff, services that skimp on quality in order to be affordable. few parks or natural exercise. and if those people have no time for their life, then those same shit services have to be repeated many many times on every single block city. That and yes cities can be too big which is what was papered over in this video.

    What if the solution is people needing to be paid a wage that would afford them the ability to build a house in within 5 years. Then they would be ammenable to build that house in an attractive growing regional centre where there can be a plan for growth based on the learned expierences from nearby cities.

  • Eliminate property tax. There's a good start. Don't pretend there's such a thing as public "education".

  • 10:31 Fuck the black & orange cars here. Driving like jackasses.

  • 5th Element futuristic housing ?

  • I just want to point out the asshole in the orange car at 10:37

  • So basiclly soviet houses

  • So, a major problem in the United States is house size. Housing is simply unaffordable for younger Americans BUT the average American home has way more square footage per person then they’ve ever had. The fact is, supply isn’t syncing with demand in the slightest because investors are artificially manipulating it since it’s a necessity.

  • guillotine the landlords

  • Why can't the young form a common unity and build homes together instead of just concentrating in computer jobs they need to be able to do manual skill work it is the only way forward

  • In about 20 years world population will peak and then start to fall. In 30 or 40 years most developed countries won't be able to bulldoze buildings as fast as they empty.

    The United States is going to look like one giant ghost town.

  • Can’t fix housing under capitalism.

  • In the RTP we just build neighborhoods outside the city, effectively stretching the city circumference.. problem solved

  • personally, i see zoning regulations and district regulations from cities as reasons why housing is unaffordable. the fact that you have to get permission from the city to use the land that you supposely own is astounding, and you have to change the "zone" in order to build what you want. this is very limiting on the markets ability and you can easily get denied if the people in the local government don't want a skyscraper to "preserve the cities history"
    theres a way to do that, its called a museum. another way of doing that is building another city centre, that way you have "historic dublin" and "downtown dublin". when you have no rights to do what you want, build what you want, it becomes challenging for developers to build anything that can lower the cost of housing in a specific area. this turns into serious economic and housing problems that you simply cannot ignore. and thanks to the free market its cheaper and faster now to literally build a skyscraper. (there is no way communists made that innovation, i simply don't believe in such.)

  • Why not political solutions to try and spread populations across many urban centers rather than single big ones, give more grant money to hospitals in strategic locations and encourage universities to build there, move goverment jobs there, create an easy means of travel between it and a big city, give massive first home buyers grants there. There are so many ways you can encourage people to live somewhere else, I honestly think this can be solved by policy not technology, except for some asian countries obviously.

  • So, we just need a few million people who are prepared to live on top of each other, don’t want their own personal transport, and are prepared to pay through the nose for the privilege,

  • I don't think that unlimited buildings height is a very good solution to housing crisis. While you want density, cities that are too dense, like Paris, have problems too. It can easily be alienating, and it often comes to the detriment of the quality of life. Yet, take the city of Vancouver, which has a lot of high rise appartement buildings and one of the highest density in North America, yet is still one of the most overpriced city in the world. As a comparison, Montreal is prehaps one of the cheapest big city in North America has a lot of 2-3 stories buildings (especially in the denser part of town) that are still somewhat affordable. The massive traffic problem mainly comes form the sprawl surrounding the city and the fact that *it's on a freaking island*. Housing prices in San Fransisco are problematic at the moment because the city is highly desirable : it's gorgeous; it's a technological hub; it's doing well economically; etc. Prehaps it wouldn't be so pricey if they destroyed everything and build high rise appartement… but it would also be super ugly (or at least less pretty).

  • Quot taxing people out of their homes

  • Give them houses that’s how

  • No mention of 3D printing?? In 30 years 3D printing will reverse the housing crisis and cheap property will be universally abundant.

  • You prefab concrete solution has a problem isn’t concrete and sand a finite resource and set to run out soon?

  • 2050 will see the re-introduction of 21st century communist housing blocks, built side to side, back to back, with organic circuitry roads connecting everything.
    Buildings will be layout-standardized, to the point where turning a 2x2x2 living block into a media viewing platform will be little more work than detaching floors and walls, and re-supporting pillars through substitution demolition.
    Building will never have been simpler, as parts are constructed mostly off site, and finished up in mere weeks.
    All parts of modern society, working together to provide everyone with individual and communal housing…

    … And it won't be enough.

    As a result, millions will die in poverty, likely from hunger.
    Not just 5 or 8 million either, hundreds of millions around the world will starve, at first.
    Overpopulation will push large populations over the brink, resulting in supply-induced death-waves.
    In some areas, it will get so bad that entire cities become rotting graveyards.
    A black death of our own making, only this one doesn't stop on it's own.

    As we ramp up energy-production and consumption to try to offset the systemic failure of global agriculture, we only worsen the problem.

    Governments will start falling one by one, and before 20 years have passed, the world is essentially a well-operated mega-corporation anarchy, as those in charge throw in the towel, not being able to control the very forces they required to maintain order.
    No government will be able to get anything done as people will be forced to live for themselves, and for each other, if they want to survive.
    Even though at first, we turned to violence, we soon learned to accept that a quicker death was still worse than the smallest sliver of a chance on survival… We kept trying…

    The only thing keeping the vast mazes of urban death-blocks running is the systems we put in place anywhere from a decade to 30 years prior.
    We've reached the tipping point.
    The point of no return, complete societal collapse.
    With no one to run production of power and goods, to operate factories and machines, we lose everything we built in the past 150 years.

    … And only 60 or so years ago, we worried about skyline pollution, social politics and the monetary impact of climate change.

    We're doomed by our own existence.
    Over-population, over-industrialization, over-pollution, over-exhausting land, sea and air alike.

    We shouldn't have the rights we have, because we abuse every loophole we find.

    Our humanity will be the end of humanity.
    Slowly dying off, because we decided our rights as individuals was more important than the preservation of the world as we built it.

    All this…

    … And those in charge are upset about the fucking view…

  • Shortsighted solutions. Raise interest rates to normality, tax speculators to oblivion. Pity politicians and central banks are clueless and lack backbone.

  • Well, skyscrapers can be beautiful if you create large, green spaces in between with lawns, trees, shops etc.

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