Vitacon é destaque na BBC
However, not everyone believes that the solution to the urban housing crisis lies with technology.
In 2001, Brazilian designer Alexandre Lafer Frankel grew so exasperated with the traffic in Sao Paulo that he abandoned his car and started to think about how to solve the mobility crisis in his city.
“People spend three hours a day in their cars. There is no public transport in Sao Paulo and I wanted to created a better lifestyle in the city,” he told the BBC.
The answer he came up with was to build tiny apartments (130 square feet in some cases) in the centre of the city, close to where people worked.
“People like to live and work in the same area and they are prepared to trade off a large apartment far away from the city for a small one in it,” he said.
To compensate for the lack of space internally, each apartment has shared areas – cafes, gyms, storage for deliveries and rooms where users can borrow tools and other pieces of equipment they can’t store in their homes. The apartments – which have a starting price of only £15,000 – even offer spare rooms for when relatives or friends come to visit.
They also have shared bike, car and motorcycle schemes running so, like Mr Frankel, residents can also give up their cars.
In the last six years, Vitacon, the construction firm he founded, has built and sold 10,000 apartments, suggesting that his gamble has paid off.
Now he is leading a campaign to extend the idea of small apartments that eliminate the need to own a car to other cities around the world.