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Financial pressures and climate change will influence how we live

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Tiered high-rise buildings with balcony and rooftop gardens and community farms will become a “viable option”.

The micro-economic challenges for the average South African will drive the trend towards co-housing in the near future, predicts local futurist psychic medium Belinda Silbert. Shared resources and communal living will also be tackled in “novel ways”.

“In the short term, buying large properties and turning them into boarding houses would be an excellent investment. These boarding houses would have rooms to let on a long-term basis with shared amenities.”

In the medium term, Silbert believes sustainable living in tiered high-rise buildings with balcony and rooftop gardens and community farms will become a “viable option”.

There will be a strong emphasis on downsizing, and micro-units will “stretch the ingenuity of architects”. “Interlinked buildings that are built around a central leisure area will become popular. Eventually there will be micro-cities where schooling and clinics will adjoin these apartment blocks in addition to shopping and sporting facilities.”

The policy of densification will be a non-negotiable, she says. For those not living in apartments, there will be an increase in the construction of estate living on tiny properties.

Mixed-use areas are also on her radar: “Company housing will become a sought-after perk with on-site housing on offer. Workers will be accommodated in converted factory warehouses with loft housing and even dormitories available. There will be an increase in migration to the cities and non-gentrified conversions of mixed-use areas.

An emphasis on affordable accommodation for employees will be a sound choice for those choosing to invest in property in 2020. This will provide investors with an asset that will appreciate considerably over the next decade.”

Upmarket trailer parks could be a “welcome solution” for those battling to rent accommodation as the demand for a few months’ rent as deposit is a precluding factor for many.

The trailer park could provide for this market as the units could be let by the owner of the land, or individuals could own the trailers and pay reasonable rents for allotted space in the park. Over the next decade Silbert says there will also be an emphasis on revisiting indigenous South African structures.

“There may well be an architecture award for the next generation of architects who can build sustainable homes using natural traditional building materials that were used in the centuries prior to colonialism. These structures will be shown to be adaptable to climate change.” Low-cost housing using recyclable materials will increase dramatically.

She says: “Over the coming decade, there will be marina-like communities with artificial waterways that will be used instead of highways for transportation, while the water source will be used to power homes through hydro-electric power with synthetic wave machines.

“Sustainable fishing will become a cottage industry in these aquatic villages.” Buckminster-Fuller-type domes will be the inspiration for homes that will be built partially above ground with most of the structure consisting of underground chambers. This will be necessary as temperatures continue to rise on the planet as a result of climatic fluctuations, Silbert says.

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