A Home is Where the City Starts

The city is its people first and secondarily its location. However the people need places to live. If you look at the living situation for people in Indian cities currently, it is unacceptable. There are regular power cuts, no sewage connection meaning Asian toilets and water supply is intermittent. That is not even addressing the actual physical houses that people are living in. That ranges from multi-million dollar palaces to shacks on the side of roads. Hundreds of people a day die from poor drinking water. This is a situation we can have a big impact. Start up city isn’t just about building a city. It’s about spreading the information and forcing existing cities to compete by improving services. That’s why I intend to make much of our research and process open source so others can use the information to build their own start up cities across the world. It’s about people taking back the power from the elites.

Back to where people live. So we know the houses are inadequate. How can we come up with a house that provides the basics; water, power and sewage where the cost is affordable to local working class people and shows good design sense which I will insist on?

Well, I saw in my head, awhile back, such a house. It would be a square essentially, clothed in white material that is solid, but flexible so it wouldn’t crack easily. Windows are minimal so it wouldn’t get heated up in the Indian sun. The walls are panels that can be easily put in/replaced, etc. On the inside is past a sliding front door (better use of space) is a small kitchen which leads to a living/dining area. To the side of the living area is a space reserved for sleeping. In order to save costs, some buyers can opt to leave the sleeping area with no fixed walls. Others will opt for the walls which will result in two bedrooms. Between the bedrooms and entryway/kitchen will the only bathroom. It wall also be the only room with walls in every version of the house. The floor will be composed of panels some of which will be able to be lifted up and allow for storage. Pipes can also be run through the floor. Total square footage will be perhaps 900 square feet or perhaps a bit less. Weight of every single item in the house will be a heavy consideration. The reason is that these houses can be dropped anywhere (with a compost toilet) or in the city, they will be connected to building structures via a locking mechanism. In order to be supportable, weight must be managed.

My target price for selling the above homes is $3,500 so I have a lot of work to do. That cost is affordable even by a family earning a typical working class income of $125 per month in the city (based on a 10 year mortgage).

I need a drawing of the house described and then I will attempt to build a small model. Based on my calculations so far though, I believe it is possible.

The house will be one of the proving points of the city so I need help on this. Are you able to draw this for me? I’m not looking for professional level, just enough to give me an idea of what I’m trying to build.




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