Aggravated by limited upward mobility and a dire housing crisis, LA County’s homeless population has shot up 23 percent to nearly 58,000 in the past year alone, according The Los Angeles Times. Their increased visibility recently guilted voters into passing (by a two-thirds majority) a sales tax increase (Measure H) and a $1.2 billion bond initiative (Measure HHH) to provide housing and amenities. With the city now better financially equipped to tackle the problem, a new issue arises: what to build?
WE architecture + Erik Juul's Urban Garden and Housing to Provide Turning Point for Copenhagen's Homeless
WE Architecture + Erik Juul have been awarded a commission to transform a vacant lot at Jagtvej 69 in Copenhagen into a urban garden and housing structure that could provided temporary accommodation for homeless people, helping them to turn their lives around.
The architects describe the project as a place “where housing and green gardens [create] a platform for the meeting between locals and homeless, and a path for a new beginning.”
To many, the harsh turns the modern city has taken are not apparent. We see benches and bus stops that masquerade as shelters, but Guardian writer Alex Andreou's sudden plunge into homelessness opened his eyes to the hostile realities of these and other structures. In "Anti-Homeless spikes: 'Sleeping rough opened my eyes to the city's barbed cruelty'," he sheds some light on misconceptions about homelessness and explains the unfortunate trend of designing unlivable architecture to deter those affected.
As the need for smart housing solutions rises, so does the appeal of tiny-house villages, not just as shelter for the homeless, but as a possible look to the future of the housing sector. The new article, Are Tiny-House Villages The Solution To Homelessness? by Tim Murphy, takes a closer look into the positive and negative aspects of these controversial communities, as well as their social and political ramifications so far. Through interviews with residents of several tiny-house villages, Murphy investigates the current impacts they have had on the homeless populations within major American cities, and questions how the lifestyle will evolve in the future. Read the full article, here.
The problem of homelessness challenges city governments all over the world, one which, despite many attempts by governments to curb the problems that lead to homelessness, does not seem to have a simple solution. What's more, with many countries still deep in the global economic crises, many governments and non-profits struggle to provide an adequate amount of temporary shelter for the homeless population.
But what if we could make temporary accommodation for the homeless pay for itself? And what if we could provide it by leveraging structures that would be built anyway? This is exactly the approach taken by Michal Polacek, Matej Nedorolik and Martin Lee Keniz of Project Gregory, whose design for small roadside accommodation built into an advertising billboard is currently on Kickstarter.