‘PEOPLE have birthday parties here,” my mother-in-law mentioned when we visited her at Arlington Town Hall. “People don’t have the space anymore.” My husband and I looked out into the expanse of the auditorium where these parties can take place. I pictured balloons rising past the gilt of the room’s proscenium arch, ponies trotting by on shiny linoleum. OK, perhaps no one, not even someone with a lot of square footage, would have birthday ponies traipsing through their homes, but my mother-in-law had a point: How we use space has changed. How we think of space is evolving.
This is one of the driving forces behind micro-apartments — teeny living spaces designed to limit the amount of space a home requires to feel like home. The concept is getting attention from urban planners and developers around the world. Boston’s own micro-apartments, possibly 450 square feet each, are set to go up in the fast-growing Seaport District in the near future. They promise to solve many dilemmas at once by creating relatively affordable Boston housing while drawing young professionals to live in the city, filling now empty real estate, which in turn will create more opportunities for commerce.