New York (SITU Studio and Cohabitation Strategies)

Glittering Manhattan high-rises and sensational headlines about real estate mega-deals obscures the other side of New York, a system of crowded housing rivaling that of the other cities in the exhibition. The New York team proposed new systems for cooperative living and adaptive housing to improve living conditions for workers. Cohabitation Strategies sought to alter perceptions of property and investment by introducing Housing Cooperative Trusts, which would build value while taking real estate away from developers. 

"We think housing can be a site of social production and reproduction," says Gabriela Rendon, whose team propose an affordable housing cooperative situated around a land trust, creating incentives that support tenants long-term instead of awarding developers for short-term affordable solutions. "There's been a massive loss of affordable housing, and architecture can't fix it alone."

SITU looked at how to better utilize housing stock and steer development towards more sustainable construction. Community Growth Corporations (pictured above) offer an alternative that isn't just about accomodating density, but taking these less-valuable neighborhoods and realigning the housing stock with those living there. The system of utilizing air rights and splitting up and reorganizing one- or two-bedroom family homes into multi-unit residences would better reflect the community and allow for DIY improvements. 

"It's not 60 stories or nothing, it's ways that better reflect the neighborhood," says SITU's Bradley Samuels. "We want to take the capital created with these developments and turn it over to the neighborhoods."  Photo 5 of 6 in Housing in Megacities is a Mess. What Can We Do About It?