How small is too small? Assessing the wellbeing impacts of nano suites on university students

Lili Shulman, Jordi Honey-Rosés

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As cities densify and more residents move into smaller apartments, there are questions about the wellbeing impacts of living in tiny spaces. To understand the wellbeing impacts of tiny living, we surveyed residents of new nano suites (140 ft2 or 13 m2) built for students at a Canadian university. Using a pre-post survey design, we measured the changes to social and subjective wellbeing, environmental attitudes and future housing expectations. After seven months living in a nano flat, we found no negative impacts on subjective and social wellbeing. We also found that tiny living may change expectations about where residents would like to live in the future, making them more open to the idea of living in an apartment instead of a single family detached home. This is particularly relevant in cities and regions where the expectation of living in a single family detached home serves as a barrier to densification and sustainable land use planning. Overall residents were highly satisfied with the nano suite and were motivated to live there because of its affordability. A prolonged housing affordability crisis may make tiny units increasingly a part of the housing mix in the city of the future. Our results are specific to young adults in a university environment and how these results may apply for residents in other conditions or life stages remains an open question.
Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)26-47
Número de páginas22
PublicaciónPeople, Place and Policy Online
EstadoPublicada - 25 abr 2024

Palabras clave

  • Environmental concern
  • housing expectations
  • social connections
  • tiny homes
  • nano flats
  • wellbeing


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