Home Sweet Shipping Container: NYC’s Secret Plans for the Perfect Disaster Apartments


If another Sandy hits a year or three from now, few New Yorkers should have to call tent cities and high school gymnasiums home.

Instead, they will be living inside shipping containers.

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For the past five years, the Bloomberg administration has been quietly developing a first-of-its-kind disaster housing program, creating modular apartments uniquely designed for the challenges of urban living. Carved out of shipping containers, these LEGO-like, stackable apartments offer all the amenities of home. Or more, since they are bigger, and brighter, than the typical Manhattan studio. It’s the FEMA trailer of the future, built with the Dwell reader in mind.

“It’s nicer than my apartment,” David Burney, commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction, said in a phone interview last week.
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