The quality of life and housing in a city is primarily linked to a person’s income level. This fact is corroborated by high-rise flat developments: in the much maligned and monotonous, concrete suburbs of the 60s, rents are low, and people on low incomes tend to converge on these parts to find accommodation. In contrast, the new residential towers in city centres, with all their greenery, are more likely to be home to wealthier citizens who can afford a spacious flat with a view or a pied-à-terre in the city centre. Meanwhile, most of the population in Europe, the middle classes, still dream of owning their own home with a garden and garage. They save money, incur debts and sometimes have to commute a long way to achieve this goal. Even the others who choose a large, old flat in low-traffic-neighbourhoods make a conscious decision. After all, the greatest luxury enjoyed by the middle classes is the freedom to choose their living environment. This freedom includes selecting the extent of communal or individual living, of density or spaciousness, of rights or responsibilities, and it comprises a common, similar understanding of what constitutes good neighbourly relations. As they say: birds of a feather flock together. However, sustainable, socially balanced cities require the right levels of diversity, and they also rely on the middle classes to act as a social link within these dense environments. If it is to be successful, the city itself has to become more resilient, more flexible and to provide adequate space for changing and conflicting needs. In open spaces, functions, façades and floor-plans, the city of the future needs diversity coupled with quality. We are currently at the very beginning of this essential and exciting urban transformation. Keep reading to find out what urban living with façades made of ALUCOBOND® can look like.
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