Every new house an outdoor space and a bike shed

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Ella Vogelaar, Minister for Housing, Neighbourhoods and Integration, wants to force builders to produce an outdoor space (balcony or garden) and bike shed for every apartment built. An earlier obligation to do so was dropped in 2003. Vogelaar claims the market insufficiently provides the need for outdoor living space and bicycle storage, and so she is making the provision of this part of the building code, the complex set of rules governing the construction of buildings.

The ministery’s press release refers to an extensive study into how the Dutch live, the Woningbehoefte Onderzoek (Study into Living Needs), suggesting that this research was somehow the basis of the minister’s decision. Although I could not find anything about a shortage of bike sheds or balconies, I did find this interesting little pie chart (with small typos original typos introduced by me, now removed) on page 11 of the results of the Woononderzoek Nederland 2006, entitled “Types of outdoor spaces that houses have”:

Balcony plus garden 15%
Garden 58%
Balcony 23%
Communal garden 1%
No outdoor space 3%

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