This week, the world population hit 7 billion. The number of people on the planet has doubled over the last 50 years and there are now 21 mega cities around the world housing 10 million or more. According to National Geographic, “7 billion people could fit shoulder-to-shoulder in Los Angeles”, but what if people want a home?
With 5 people born every second, and life expectancy on the up, the population is expected to reach 9 billion within 35 years. Where will they all live?
Here are 7 simple ways to house 7 billion people:
1. Live in space
Photo credit: Ken Banks
With space filling up on the ground, there's lot of room in space. A fixed home, or hotel, orbiting the Earth could house humans tired of crowded cities, while outer space has an unlimited capacity for new developments. As the race for space tourism takes off, living in space is looking like an increasingly sensible option. Inevitably, the Russians are already working on it.
2. Live in the sea
Photo credit: Andras Gyorfi / Seasteading Institute
Over 70 per cent of the Earth is made up of water. It seems silly not to build a home there. Indeed, The Seasteading Institute are an organisation dedicated to constructing offshore platforms to turn into island cities. Earlier this year, Paypal founder Peter Thiel was reported by many outlets to have invested in a flotilla near San Francisco’s coast, to be built next year. These reports were all incorrect, but Thiel has definitely donated money to the company. And as land space becomes limited, the tide may be turning for aquatic homes.
3. Live between buildings
As buildings run out of spare rooms, why not live between them? In Poland, Jakub Szczeny is already trying. His Warsaw house is just 4 feet wide, with its thinnest point barely reaching 28 inches. Is it the thinnest house in The World? It’s certainly the narrowest in Poland, although it technically isn’t classified as a house; officially, the project is an art installation to avoid planning permission issues. Designed as a workspace for writer Etgar Keter, the property proves that there is always space if you look between the lines. Construction will be complete in December.
4. Live in cars
Photo credit: If It's Hip It's Here
In 2009, there were 50,000 homeless people in Los Angeles. 10 per cent of those lived in cars, according to Time magazine. But if the prospect of an illegal vehicle home holds no appeal and you can’t afford the $2 million trailer that Simon Cowell has been living in, this VW Beetle-inspired house (and restaurant) in Salzberg provides a trendy alternative for those keen on automotive accommodation.
5. Live in a tree
For people looking to find space off the ground, living in trees could provide a green alternative. It’s not just the vertical forests under construction in Milan that offer forest-based accommodation: tree houses are located around the world, including this spiral staircased property in France, located in the Rambouillet Forest.
6. Live in mobile homes
Photo credit: Webecoist
Mobile homes are an increasingly viable option for densely populated areas. The flat-pack houses launched this year by The Tumbleweed Tiny House Company in the USA provide an affordable answer, with miniscule models available from just £61. Meanwhile, modular homes, such as Matti Suuronen’s ski cabin above, are flexible enough to be constructed anywhere in the world (even on cliff tops), making mobile living both a cost-effective and practical solution.
7. Live in Australia
Photo credit: Melody Tan
After Mongolia, Australia is the world’s least densely populated country, with just 6.4 people living per square mile. That’s a lot of space for new residents. And with an increasing number of expats returning back to the UK after moving Down Under, there’s even more room available. Given the main reason for Britons leaving Oz was boredom, though, outer space might be a more exciting option.
Where would you like to live?
Browse our extensive range of overseas property, which hasn't quite reached 7 billion houses yet:
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