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Enermotive is tied to the idea of renewable energy, and creating components and systems that are functional, environmentally – friendly, and socially conscious. At this site, we highlight a handful of creative, unique urban solutions that use renewable energy as its backbone. To tremendous effect.

We will take a look at collective housing projects in Japan, where overpopulation and increasing smaller available housing space collide to create a unique problem – which requires a unique solution. We will also take a look at cutting – edge urban housing solutions in other parts of the world, including Málaga, Spain.

Urban housing solutions steer away from the conventional, and in the best of worlds, promotes a singular community spirit amongst its residents. For example, if an apartment building were built specifically for people with disabilities, it would be generally understood that residents that choose to live there would be be disabled in some way, requiring special features to accommodate their needs. The residence might accommodate both short term or long term stays. No doubt one might see a disability lawyer or members from a law firm specializing in social security disability cases visiting residents to help them understand the unfamiliar laws and the process of appealing a decision of rejection. Perhaps, for a number of the people being able to remain in such a special residence is contingent on receiving disability payments. Aside from family members or caretakers, all the residents would have a common bond. Get it? Community.

Sometimes this community delivers a serendipitous outcome. While looking for ways to raise funds to support housing needs, a Tokyo NGO found a chest full of antique posters, collected by a man with no living relatives who had just passed away in a community housing unit. Many of the posters were of old movies and when appraised by an expert, the group found they could sell movie posters to collectors for a large sum – enough to cover their expenses for several years. So those antique Kurasawa films indirectly contributed to the well being of many formerly homeless families and individuals via the value discovered in the promotional posters and other movie memorabilia that one former resident saved.

That is just one example of a community – based housing project. Common ground is not only found in like – mind ideas among residents. Sometimes, community housing is simply a physical setup where common areas are used by all residents, such as kitchens or living room space. In a word, if it is creative space, and built for groups of people to live in together as harmoniously as possible, we will try to cover it here.

These spaces inspires us, and we hope that we can play that inspiration forward to more successes.

Sustainable Housing in Malaga Spain

Netherlands – based firm Mecanoo Architecten has begun construction on an innovative green public housing project in Málaga, Spain. Specifically set on the outskirts of Málaga – in Universidad, one of the project’s key components is sustainability. This development is comprised of 170 residences – and designed with cutting – edge solar paneling to minimize energy usage, and additionally, has alternating heights of stories which allows for natural ventilation and national light to penetrate interior spaces.

Taking its cue from the “language of the patios” that are strongly rooted in the Mediterranean culture, Mecanoo’s housing plan fits in perfectly with the spirit of Málaga. The project has seven different types of housing plans, including duplex residences to homes designed for disabled individuals. The dwellings themselves are built around eight patios – four smaller, intimate and personal ones and four large, interconnecting, communal spaces. Every apartment connects to both the larger and smaller patio areas, so each resident has both public and private spaces.

The materials used in designing the housing complex is integral in its sustainability. As expected for a dwelling located in the south of Spain, architects employed local materials, such as olive colored tiles in the patio areas, and stucco was used to accent window frames in the main patio space and as cladding on the smaller patio space.