The number of young starters in large cities is rising. Project developers are increasingly incorporating the changing needs of this growing group of millennials into their work. In April 2017, construction started on YUST (Young Urban Style), an Antwerp housing project that effortlessly combines sustainability, sharing economy, and neighbourhood integration. In this blog post, you'll read all about how more communal spaces, (electric) car sharing, and a Bringme Box put this vision into practice.
Traditional housing principles often don't mix well with the way many young people today live. When they go to live by themselves for the first time, they don't stay in one spot for long. High time for a flexible housing alternative, according to the bright minds of project developer Gands; an alternative that makes optimum use of modern-day services that go hand in hand with “the new way of living".
That's how YUST was born. YUST is more than just a residence. It's a complete living concept, tailored to young starters in urban environments. Hence the name: Young Urban Style.
Why this focus?
Data from the FPS Finance show us that the number of young people in Flemish cities is growing. An important subgroup are the thirty-something bachelors, or so-called happy singles. According to the Federal Planning Bureau, this demographic will continue to grow in years to come. At YUST, they believe that the city's housing policy should cater to this group. Today's twenty- and thirty-somethings—aka millennials, digital natives, or Generation Y—like to take their time in life. Milestones such as graduating, moving in together, marrying, and having children are all postponed just a little bit. Millennials are not in a hurry to acquire property like houses or cars. Instead, they share those things in what's been dubbed the "sharing economy".
What is "the new way of living"?
Architect Patrick Lootens: "Today's 20- and 30-somethings have seen a lot more of the world than we had when we were their age. They'll easily go abroad a few times a year, if they aren't already living in another country for a while. That means they know full well what living in big cities like London or Paris is like: limited living space, which you often share with one or two people; but so much is going on that you live outside all year anyway." Living in a big city comes with a hefty price tag. One way of cutting costs is by living in a compact home and designing it cleverly. The space you give up, you get back in the form of communal areas and services.
In April 2017, construction started on YUST An. It should be opening its doors in early 2019. Stéphane Verbeeck, CEO of project developer Gands: "We firmly believe that the added value is not just contained in the bricks, but also and especially in the services we can create around housing." Residents can take their pick out of different living formulas. Someone who'd like to stay long-term (a year) or short-term (days, weeks, or months) can do so in a City Loft or in a City Loft XL. In addition to the lofts, there's also a hostel. Gands consciously chose this combination of short- and long-term stays. Stéphane Verbeeck: "The long-haul residents will act as a kind of tour guides for the 'new kids' coming to explore Antwerp."
An extra service for the whole neighbourhood
Certain spaces and services will be open to non-residents from the neighbourhood. There's a laundromat, a library, rooms that can be rented, a catering facility, and a Bringme Box for receiving and sending parcels 24/7. "I think we were just looking, as always, to add value to the building," says Stéphane Verbeeck. "We're taking it a step further, by using the Bringme Box for a whole neighbourhood community of locals. I really believe in Bringme's story, because it meets the needs of a new generation, and is a solution to mobility issues and delivery times." Has your curiosity been piqued? You can ask for more information via firstname.lastname@example.org.