Making Cities More Accessible
The second chapter posits that cities should encourage diversity, inclusion, and equality among their residents. That means ensuring that everyone has equal access to urban amenities, health care, education, employment, culture, leisure, sport, nature, and—perhaps most important—affordable housing. The authors note that 1.5 million people move into urban areas around the world every day, but many cannot afford to live close to urban opportunities and end up pushed to the fringes.
“I stumbled upon this statistic recently that in the urban areas of America it takes the median-income person 27 years on average to save up the 20% down payment to be able to buy a median-priced-owner apartment or condo in a city,” Ingels said. “So that means that hard-working, well-educated, by all standards successful and contributing citizens actually have a hard time getting access to owning a home, which of course is not the only way to have a life, but it’s been a good way to be anchored in a community, have a sense of ownership and belonging, to make a community less transient and therefore more sustainable, and to eventually make possibilities for later generations, so I think there’s something to be looked at in this entire value chain that provides the spaces we live in and that we call home that could need a 21st century upgrade.”
5 Definitive Ways to Create Better Cities
A new book by IKEA’s research and design lab surveys projects that improve urban areas around the world