Agrihoods: housing for millennials

Nobody can deny that millennials are an important cohort nowadays. Growing up in an increasingly online and socially-connected world, idealism, consciousness and diversity’s tolerance seem to be the most common traits. Nonetheless, it is the first generation that is less economically successful than their parents. Consequently, millennials are dealing with dilemas such as the need to own a home or even to have a mean of transport that is in their name.

In one hand, many can not afford to buy a house. In US, although wages are not as low as in Spain (where the crisis and the real estate bubble have hurt the economy a lot), the price of homes has skyrocketed to unsuspected levels. There, millennials haven’t resigned themselves to paying an increasingly higher rent for an increasingly smaller space. Therefore, they have taken the plunge and created their own kind of neighbourhood: the Agrihoods (short for agricultural neighborhood).

An interesting example of Agrihood is “Rancho Mission Viejo”, located in Orange County, California. It offers houses to both young people and retirees, these last ones wanting to ditch the typical golf-community retirement complexes around the US and have an active old age.

Agrihoods combine the charms of a farmers’ commune with the benefits of living in a modern suburb. Many of the neighbours have private gardens with orchards for cultivating their own food as well as public ones with greenhouses and community kitchens. The homes are typically built to high environmental standards, with solar and photovoltaic panels and composting systems.

(Photo source: Rancho Mission Facebook)

What do you think? Is it a good solution for both people and the planet? Although the idea of suburban with single houses is not the most ideal one, adapting it to more compact buildings and vertical farms could be a good alternative. I believe it’s a good start to live more sustainably. So, shall we start promoting it more ? It’s hip to be green!

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