With rapid urbanization and uncontrolled population growth occurring more quickly than we can prepare for, there has been enormous pressure on the urban metropolises to accommodate the increasing number of people. Architects and planners all over the world face an increasing dilemma as the world’s population is expected to move to 80–90% urban in the next 30 years. The dilemma is how to accommodate so many people on limited land. We need sustainable options to accommodate the exponential rise in the population and the scarcity of resources.
The emerging trends of minimalism and downsizing have changed how we live and plan our cities. Also, the awareness about the environment and sustainability among people all over the world has changed people’s preferences when it comes to living. The buyer of today is environmentally conscious and makes choices that are in his best interest as well as the environment. Vertical living is the solution to a plethora of problems and the best investment in Pakistan. It is the future of residential and commercial design.
We are outgrowing our cities on a global scale. We have encroached on natural environments and disrupted the entire ecosystems on so many levels. This has resulted in irreversible damage to the environment. If we continue doing so, we will destroy our cities completely.
Growing cities horizontally poses a lot of challenges, such as those mentioned below:
- Scarcity of land for agricultural purposes
- Space wastage
- More energy consumption
- Energy wastage
- Environmental threats
- Reduction of green spaces across cities
- Wastage of resources
- Inequality and the gap between different strata of society
- Haphazard and uncontrolled growth of cities
- Lower standard of living
Vertical living can minimize the aforementioned challenges to a great extent. Vertical development can improve the standard of living, and urban metabolism could be greatly enhanced. The following are some of the benefits of vertical living:
The environment has been detrimentally affected by cutting down forests to create space for new residential properties and commercial projects. This has resulted in many cities’ being out of all proportion. Vertical living can minimize the detrimental effects on the environment by growing cities vertically. It is a far more environmentally sustainable and economical approach.
Allows cities to stay within geographical limits
Vertical living allows cities to remain within their geographical limits and not expand uncontrollably. Uncontrolled expansion of cities horizontally exacerbates spatial disparities and places a burden on economies and natural resources.
Horizontally developed cities require more land and are relatively expensive. Vertical living is an economical and affordable solution for major strata of society as it permits a limited amount of land to be utilized by many people. It is a cheap and futuristic model that can solve the housing crisis and provide housing to many middle and lower-income groups.
Families with lower incomes frequently relocate to a city’s outskirts in search of affordable homes. However, their lives may become more challenging the further they are from the city core. People living close to the city center have better access to all facilities and a better standard of living, whereas people living far away from the core spend a lot of time commuting to attain the same facilities.
Reduces overall burden on the city
The uncontrolled expansion of cities horizontally puts immense pressure on the city as more costs are added in a lot of areas, e.g. infrastructure, municipal costs, drainage system, transport system, waste collection, etc.
Less disruption to natural ecosystems
The rapid development of cities in areas that are water-stressed or coastal puts pressure on the natural ecosystem, affecting biodiversity and disrupting it entirely. This poses a lot of problems later on in the form of flooding etc., like the recent floods in Pakistan.
We are in desperate need of a solution as the issues of overpopulation and environmental catastrophe hover over us. The consequences of delaying action will be devastating for us and the environment. The solution to population and urban expansion lies in vertical cities. They can serve a variety of purposes while protecting the environment, as opposed to razing woods and marshes to make way for our urban developments. Considering the pace of development and population growth, vertical living is the way of the future to meet the needs of cities and their occupants.