Young Families and High-Rise: Towards Inclusive Vertical Family Housing

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

Young Families and High-Rise: Towards Inclusive Vertical Family Housing

  • Lia Karsten Urban Geographies, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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Abstract:  In the near future, the vertical dimension of housing will become increasingly important. But high-rise housing is still being seen as not only inconvenient but also as inappropriate for young family households. This article aims to contribute to the vertical turn in the urbanism debate from a family point of view. The focus is on large western-industrialized cities. This literature-based article consists of two parts. The first part starts with the deconstructing of families’ position in urban high-rises. It is argued that young families have an “uneasy” relationship with urban high-rises due to the neglected presence of children. The dichotomous ways in which we define children and cities ultimately define city children and vertical living families as out-of-place. The second part of the article searches for ways to reconstruct families’ relationships with high-rises. Based on an analysis of the literature, problems of vertical family living are identified, and possible solutions are discussed on both the geographical scale level of the apartment and the building. The summarized conclusion from the literature is that vertical apartment living and happy family life are not necessarily at odds. The building of family-inclusive high-rises is both in the benefit of urban-oriented families and cities.

Keywords:  city children; high-rise housing; vertical family living; young families



© Lia Karsten. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.