I recently found an article about the “world’s largest and most expensive family home.” The home is worth $1 billion and is 568 feet tall with 27 floors, several high speed elevators, and a garage that can house over 100 cars. The home is called “Antilia” and belongs to the Ambani family, the richest family in India.
This home is extremely opulent and looks like a skyscraper that is common to see in major U.S. cities such as New York or Los Angeles. This home is the largest structure in its vicinity and is a symbol of wealth and power. It immediately prompts thoughts of inequity since about 77% of people in India live in poverty.
It is unknown what the social and environmental impact of “Antilia” will be. Will “Antilia” provide temporary housing for people who currently call the streets their home? Based on its size, the “Antilia” appears like it will be a large consumer of energy. Will the neighboring homes and businesses experience constant black-outs because abundant energy is needed to keep the rooms in “Antilia” cool or warm as the seasons fluctuate? How will resources be allocated if the city is in a state of emergency with an oncoming natural disaster?
The height of the “Antilia” home led me to think about the Titrus Towers in Ithaca. I see the Towers in the distance everyday as I am walking towards my apartment. The Towers stand out as they are taller than the surrounding residential homes and local businesses.
The Titrus Towers are offer affordable housing to seniors and have 223 rooms. These skyscraper-like forms of housing provide housing for several members of the community. Instead of creating wealth-based divisions in the community, the Towers aim to bring the community closer and serves as an equalizer. On the bus ride to Wegmens, the local grocery store, everyone on the bus, whether from Lansing, Cayuga Heights, Cornell housing, or the Commons, have exposure to the Towers and share space on the bus with residents from the Towers. Everyone sees the Towers and it is a subtle reminder of the diversity within Ithaca regarding age, income, and race.