It Takes a Village
“It takes a village to raise a child.” This phrase provided the framework for the design of this new co-living paradigm within the homogenous culture of wealth, luxury, and gentrification that is occurring in the West Village of Manhattan. According to a 2015 study from Address Report, only 7% of households within the West Village contain children. It is too costly of an area for many families and single parents to live due to costs of childcare and other necessities drawing away funds from rent or mortgages. This is how our project seeks to restore cultural and socioeconomic diversity to this New York neighborhood. By bringing families and individuals who seek opportunities for upward mobility into a “village” with neighbors of greater privilege who can provide those opportunities. Additionally, a shared economy will provide a more level playing field for underprivileged families with more privileged singles who currently inhabit this area. Our unique co-living units will provide underprivileged families with an enriched status of life.
House Rules of our village prioritize the best interest of the children. One of the most significant financial burdens of parenthood and opportunities for social development in children is childcare. The number one house rule would be a rotating childcare schedule. One parent, or set of parents, would be responsible for caring for other families’ children in times of need. This would help build a sense of community and foster inclusion, while allowing for children to build invaluable social skills, and providing families with free childcare. This system would build a shared economy, saving families from having to pay for expensive nannies and babysitters. In addition to this crucial and fundamental house rule, others may include respecting others boundaries, foster inclusion despite differences of race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or any other factors that historically divide individuals.
With our new co-living model of housing, we aim to create a more sustainable style of living with regards to density and consumption. According to a 2019 study by the Center for Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan, the average U.S. home holds 2.53 occupants per every 2,559 square feet of area. According to these statistics, each occupant takes up over 1,011 square feet of living space. Within our new co-living housing model, we house 45 people in 25,487 square feet of area. This comes out to approximately 566 square feet of living space per occupant. By creating a new model of shared living spaces, paired with private bedrooms, we reduce the amount of floor area per occupant nearly in half. By improving spatial efficiency, we are contributing to environmental and resource sustainability by providing more with less. By providing this new co-living paradigm of housing, we aim to create opportunities for upward mobility for underprivileged families, improve socioeconomic and cultural diversity within the West Village, and optimize the use of space and resources by doing more with less.