Architect Michael Green’s new house in Kits Point, Vancouver was recently featured in the Globe and Mail. He and his family went from a 3,500 square foot home in the suburbs to a 1,500 square foot semi-detached home in the city, close to downtown. The house is simple, sparsely decorated, and about 13-feet wide.
Here’s why he decided to do it: “I didn’t want to have to commute by car any more,” he says. “I wanted to be able to bike everywhere. I also wanted my kids to be able to bike everywhere. I wanted them to develop a sense of freedom, to have mobility, something too many kids don’t get these days.”
As we all know, there is typically a very real trade-off in cities between space and location. The further you move out from the core (a generalization), the more affordable space usually comes. But at the same time, your transportation costs also increase — both directly and indirectly if you factor your time and your quality of life.
Depending on how you value each of these items, you might be inclined to pursue more space or pursue more reasonable transportation costs. A 2,000 square foot reduction in space might seem like a lot. But if you’re heavily weighted toward freedom and mobility, as Green clearly is, it could be a perfectly rational decision.
Photo: Ema Peter via the Globe and Mail