Tuesday, October 11, 2011
During my wanderings of the internets recently I found this example of a relatively inexpensive housing project that's under construction somewhere outside of Houston. The idea is to use 500 shipping containers outfitted with solar panels and other green technologies as affordable housing for whoever feels like experimenting with a different community lifestyle. My first thought was that it looks a lot like the Alamo and would probably be just as easily defended but to what purpose is anybody's guess - except perhaps as a retreat during the zombie apocalypse. The executives in charge of the Hive project describe it thus:
The containers will be easily affordable for working artists and creative professionals. Rents will range from $300 to $500 a month, and purchase prices from $10,000 to $50,0000, depending on how built out the container is — many of the containers will be offered as just shells with electricity and plumbing to give tenants creative freedom in their design. A variety of tenant uses will be offered in the square 288-container perimeter, including office, studio, retail, restaurant, entertainment, and residential. The goal is to have everything a regular village has: a farmers’ market, a veterinarian clinic, a daycare, a health clinic, recycling centers, art studios, coffee shops and more.
On the one hand it's kind of a cool idea but there are a few problems that immediately occurred to me and its sustainability is certainly questionable. For one thing, it's going to be built miles away from town on 6.5 wooded acres of land. Cars won't be allowed inside the perimeter but I saw no mention of grocery store, school, post office, movie theater, roller rink, museum, or any place where someone might go to earn a living. Wouldn't it make a lot more sense to place such a development close to where people already live? If they built it instead on some huge area of urban blight or rehabilitated the soils of an abandoned industrial complex and placed it there sustainability would be much more realistic.
Oh, nevermind. Let's just watch a little movie I found instead.
In The Fall from Steve Cutts on Vimeo.