The future of urban housing is energy-efficient refrigerators

News Detail




United States


New York


MIT Technology Review

The scars and pockmarks of the aging apartments and housing units under the purview of the New York City Housing Authority don’t immediately communicate the idea of innovation. The largest landlord in the city, housing nearly 1 in 16 New Yorkers, NYCHA has seen its buildings literally crumble after decades of deferred maintenance and poor stewardship.

Just as the physical infrastructure has broken down, leading to busted elevators, picked-apart playgrounds, and crumbling façades, the agency has weathered a series of scandals in recent years over mold infestations and faked lead inspections. Hurricane Sandy in 2012 just added to the toll, flooding electrical and heating systems located in building basements. All told, this forsaken subsidized housing is in the midst of what local planners have called “demolition by neglect.” It would require an estimated $40 billion or more, at least $180,000 per unit, to return the buildings to a state of good repair.

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