Wednesday, 4 August 2010


So you think there's no urban trend going on? So you want to build pretty, grey houses out in the country, where you can escape the noise and life of the city? So you think the city centre is a place to live only when you're young and studying? Think again.

As some of you (I'm quite intrigued by the fact that there actually are people reading my blog) may I have noticed, I have passion for townhouses. This urban version of the single-family house, existing in different incarnations all over the world have, in my opinion, the potential of replacing the detached house. While the suburban detached house is known for causing overuse of resources and energy, destroying natural and agricultural landscapes by the way of suburban sprawl, not to mention very high emissions of greenhouse gases and local pollutants because of people driving their cars everywhere (gasp!), the townhouse takes up less space and can fit into almost any kind of urban situation, while still giving people the feeling of living in their own house.

I'm not the only one who likes them though. While reading the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten online yesterday, I discovered that the richest man in the world, Carlos Slim, had just bought the townhouse in the picture (Although they called it a villa. Amateurs.). According to the Forbes magazine article they link to in (where I didn't steal the pictures, I found them on Wikimedia Commons, thankyouverymuch), the house is only 9 meters (27 feet) wide, but around 33 meters (100 feet) long. Located at 1009 Fifth Avenue, it's just across the street from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in the middle of New York City. Although a house of this kind is far to big to be a sustainable alternative for everyone, I find it very interesting that a person like this chooses to live in the city, and buys a townhouse to live in, instead of just driving to work from some gigantic suburban villa every days. More of this! (Only a bit smaller.)

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