The Need for Space


Could you imagine living in a Soviet-era one-bedroom apartment in Moscow? What if you lived there with your parents, your siblings and your grandparents? It would get really small, really quickly. This is the reality for many young Russians, even college-age Russians.  

What community need did I learn about?:

The biggest struggle of living in Moscow is the lack of space. Apartments are small and very expensive, but also not very nice. A lot of them were built during the Soviet period and have one or two bedrooms with multiple generations living there. Without large homes, people typically spend more time out in public and in social settings. Parties rarely occur in people's homes, with most celebrations happening in restaurants and bars. 

Why does the community have this need?:

City living exploded during the Soviet period. People needed and wanted to move to the city for the first time, due to new job opportunities and the increasing internationalization of Russian society. As a result, apartments went up quickly. Buildings were crammed with as many apartments as possible, made small to force people to meet their neighbors. Some apartments were built without kitchens, forcing people to use a community kitchen or to eat out at every meal. By making apartments small, the Soviet Union ensured that a person's private life would be almost non-existent.