In recent years, there has been a growing trend in the number of small households: households of one or two people.
Concurrently, the average apartment size continues to rise. If in 1970 the average apartment size was 100 square meters, today the average is 180 square meters.
Therefore, nowadays, when that small household is looking to rent an apartment, it faces a housing market that is suitable for large households with a higher income than it has, and it is forced to rent an apartment that is also too large for its needs and does not fit its budget.
If in 1970 it was possible to place 20 residential units half an acre of land, today we would need twice that area to provide the same supply of apartments by current size standards.
Given the limited supply of land in Israel and the growing number of small households in need of smaller housing units, the solution lies in integrating into the existing built fabric and increasing its urban density. The project proposes to do this by identifying “residual” areas between existing buildings, which cannot accommodate housing units of the current size, but could accommodate small housing units planned accordingly.
In seeking to provide a greater supply of small housing units for small households, one must find a way to lower the price of these units (one of the main components of the cost of housing being the price of land on which units are built).
To test this strategy, the Tel Aviv Montefiore neighborhood, which is undergoing urban renewal, was chosen.
This neighborhood is characterized by an increasing number of small households that are interested in living and working in the city.
The neighborhood’s industrial zone contains several lands owned by the Tel Aviv Municipality, which provides us with the potential to subsidize future housing units for small households, to be built on these lands. In addition, the traffic infrastructure of the existing buildings is already available for use, thus providing more discounted housing.
Planning small housing units in small, dense spaces, between existing buildings, will provide an important solution for small households on the one hand, while increasing the urban density of existing textures and helping to change the growth trend of apartments in Israel, on the other.