The word ‘tenement’ can conjure up a certain sense of security, and the term ‘housing’ can evoke feelings of being under control, as in ‘the tenement house’.
But a new generation of architects and planners has begun to tackle the problem of what’s going wrong with tenement houses and have developed a series of strategies to tackle their ills.
These solutions have become the subject of much debate, as they often require the use of new technology, like ‘smart meters’, that can measure tenants’ movements, height and other properties.
The most controversial strategy is to replace the existing tenement system with a new ‘housing of the future’ – an idea that has been championed by architect Mark Sjodin, who has been described as ‘the man behind the first skyscraper in New York City’.
Sjowin has spent decades studying the problems facing the tenement sector.
He argues that the current system is not sustainable, that it has become a breeding ground for poverty, and that, in his opinion, it needs to be overhauled to become a ‘more equitable’ one.
“We have a housing system that is not only unsustainable, it is also dangerous, dangerous because it doesn’t take into account people’s needs and wants,” he told the Guardian.
“And we need to address that in the right way.”
The ‘smart meter’ The smart meter is a technology that allows developers to monitor people’s movements and heights and their progress in their homes.
In New York, the technology has been used to monitor and regulate more than 4 million households, including many of the poorest and most vulnerable residents.
The project began in 2012 when a group of architects, developers and community activists formed the Housing Collaborative, which now comprises more than 1,000 people from around the country, with the aim of improving conditions in New Yorker’s tenement homes.
The system uses cameras and sensors to track people’s progress on a digital map, and also tracks how much electricity a house consumes.
For instance, a person who is sitting at a desk for four hours a day might be counted as ‘over-consuming’ and be given a warning, or if they’re not doing their homework, a warning and a possible fine.
“This is not just about the physical, it’s about the mental health of the residents,” Sjogin told the Observer.
“It’s also about the quality of life for those residents.”
Sjotter has been working on the ‘smart home’ since 2011.
He has built two buildings in the borough of Brooklyn and in Washington Heights.
Each is designed to be ‘smart’ by integrating smart technology into the building, using the internet and sensors, such as heaters and thermostats, to keep people comfortable and connected.
But he believes that the best way to address the problem is to build smart infrastructure around the tenements.
“I think there is a real need for this kind of smart infrastructure, to be connected to the people,” he said.
“The smart home is going to become increasingly common in the next ten years, as it’s going to make housing more affordable and more efficient.”
A project to install smart meters in New Orleans has seen its installation spread rapidly, and is currently under construction in New Jersey.
“New Orleans has an infrastructure problem,” Sjaogin said.
New York’s problem has become so great that, as he explained, “they have been forced to abandon their traditional tenement architecture and make a lot of changes to the way they do things.”
For example, the city is using a new technology to monitor how many residents live in a building, so it can monitor its occupancy rates.
The idea is that this will help ensure that the system is fair to the residents, and if a building is under-occupied, then it can be upgraded to meet the needs of the people living in it.
The technology has also been applied to the management of the ‘living room’.
Sjaowin says that the idea of a ‘living space’ has been around for some time, but has only become more widespread in recent years.
“In my own personal experience, I know that there’s a huge amount of frustration among the people who live in tenement properties with their living space being so small,” he added.
“There’s not a lot that people are going to want to have in their living room, they want a bigger room.”
The living room was built to provide people with a space to meet, relax and eat, and has been popular with millennials.
“People are more likely to be living in tenements than in the city centre, which is why the living room is an important component of the system,” Sjoogin explained.
“They are much more likely, when living in a tenement, to use a living room as their primary residence, which means they have a lot more