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Living space per person increasing

A commonly observed trend in European cities is an expansion of the amount of per capita living space. Here are some data from Munich as an example.

Between 1970 and 1995, the amount of living space increased from 20 square metres per person to just over 36 square metres. In 1998 it was forecast to reach 41 square metres by 2010.  

The reason, in Munich at least, was linked to the large growth in single person households. In 1970 these accounted for 42% of all households, whereas by 1995 they accounted for 53%. 

Some implications for city development include:

  • Lowering of population density, with impacts on the demand for and therefore provision of services;
  • Tendency for population growth to be accommodated outside the city boundary, in the wider region, with impacts on commuting and other transport;
  • Increased demand for land in the city, and consequent rise in land prices, and consequent impact on affordability of housing.

Between 1970 and 1995 the population of Munich (city) more or less stagnated, but more than 200,000 new homes were built to satisfy the demand for more living space.

Source: City of Munich, Department of urban Planning, "The Munich Perspective: 1998 Urban Development Strategy", September 1999. This document is not available online.

LocationMunich Germany


Living space, houshold size, urban growth, per capita space, Munich. München

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