Aside from there being something aesthetically unsettling about micro-apartments, for some people anyway, it’s tough to make any kind of argument against them. People want to live in a coffin? Hey, fine, whatever, it’s your life. But The Atlantic talked to a few people who are concerned that while the micro-apartments might be alright for New York’s young and single population, we shouldn’t rely on them to house anyone but that. The apartments, these experts say, could lead to stress that makes older populations more likely to sink into substance abuse.
The Atlantic spoke to environmental psychologist Dak Kopec who noted that while 20somethings might not care about things like having to constantly pull your bed down to go to sleep, or rearrange your furniture just to eat breakfast, people in their 30s and 40s could get tired of it more quickly. According to Kopec, research shows that people who are stressed out about their cramped and crowded homes are more likely to turn to things like domestic violence and substance abuse.
They also talked with Susan Saegert, a professor of environmental psychology at CUNY, who said the micro-units would be a bad fit for families with kids. Saegert says her studies of children in crowded low-income apartments show that the kids become withdrawn and can’t concentrate in school, due in part to their total lack of privacy in those conditions. Which, combined with the alcoholic parents tired of having to put their bed in the wall when they wake up, wouldn’t make for a good combination.