New York City More Like Sardine Can Than Previously Thought

by Liz Colville

Remember those dear ones of the New York Times who shared their stories of living in the smallest New York City living spaces imaginable — spaces so small that there might even be a housing code lying around somewhere saying the people really can’t live there, but if you told the dwellers about it, they would probably scream, “Nonononono, please don’t take my air duct away from me”? Well, Robert Kunzig, who wrote an article about population growth called “Population 7 Billion” for the current issue of National Geographic, says that he’s made some calculations and, if ever necessary:

the entire world could fit in Texas if each person were alloted the same average square feet of living space as in New York City.

It’s hard not to imagine the world making one big chaotic migration to Texas, some kind of “safe zone” in a harrowing Children of Men-like future, but instead, try to see at as admirable and positive: think of all the things people accomplish while knowing full well that at the end of the day they have to go home and sleep in a “loft” otherwise known as the upper shelf of someone’s closet. “All I was trying to do was make sure I spent as little time as possible on that shelf,” some great web entrepreneur of the future might say, in explaining how she or he became so great.