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Old Posted Nov 15, 2012, 4:13 PM
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European Housing Question

On my recent trip through Europe we traveled exclusively by train. In several locations and a couple different countries, I noticed right along the train tracks there were these tiny houses, much smaller than the typical house of the area. They were one after the other, seemingly on their own tiny plot of land. They looked like little sheds for garden tools and such, but it looked like people actually lived in them. Usually, their gardens were very nicely manicured

Are these houses for garden gnomes? Why are they so small, prevalent, and usually right up again the train tracks?

Here are some in Munchen (to the left of the tracks):
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2012, 9:03 AM
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I can't help ya, sorry. I've never noticed houses like that. I've basically only really been in Scandinavia and London for any length of time tho.
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2012, 3:47 PM
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This seems to be little sheds for garden tools.
Some could have been converting in small house for students or other people with a low income.
Why Are Londoners Building Slums in Their Backyards?

Note that the many of those houses are likely to be small two/three storey apartment buildings or they live in really big house.

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Old Posted Nov 16, 2012, 4:58 PM
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They seem to be separated from the main house (or 2 or 3 unit housing building) by an alley or a street, so it seems like they are separate. I noticed many had chairs and things, so I don't think it is just for garden tools. Maybe they are just cheaper smaller houses for people that want to live a tiny house/gardening lifestyle.

Here are more around Munchen, this time not next to the train tracks, but in the middle of the city, near the Olympic park:



EDIT: It looks like they are "kitchen garden clubs" (maybe?) and popular in Germany (maybe?). Seems like maybe they are plots of land for people that have a serious gardening hobby. Would make sense because they were usually immaculately cared for, plus there would likely be a bit of spare land right up against the right-of-way of a train track to squeeze in some gardening. Possibly in some cases people live in them.
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2012, 5:38 PM
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That pic makes more sense to me than the first one. Looks to me a lot like what we up here call "kolonilott", basically a small garden for people who live in apartments. In the area i grew up there weren't many houses at all in those areas tho. My family had one, we grew mostly food in it (not so much with the flowers).
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2012, 5:48 PM
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From both pictures, they were basically the same structure/size. But what you posted makes sense. Thanks, my mystery has been solved!
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Old Posted Nov 20, 2012, 5:42 PM
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Those are garden plots for city apartment dwellers. They're on the outskirts of every German city, and are a big part of German culture.

They're called Schrebergärten.
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Old Posted Nov 24, 2012, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Those are garden plots for city apartment dwellers. They're on the outskirts of every German city, and are a big part of German culture.

They're called Schrebergärten.
Yup - we have those in Denmark too ( and I have on multiple occations met people online who thought people live in those houses too )

Typically the houses started out as toolsheds and the lots as gardens for apartment foks, but over time they have become more like gardens or summer homes - and while I'm not sure about the German counterparts many Danish ones are now build as large as small houses..

Example from Copenhagen: everything left for the large roads are gardens and not homes..

http://maps.google.dk/?ll=55.715158,...21951&t=k&z=16

A friend couple of ours have one of them and we have been out there a couple times for their kid's birthday and weekend BBQs etc..
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Old Posted Nov 26, 2012, 4:34 AM
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Garden Plots for city apartment dwellers.

I think it is a good idea to allow some sort of outlet for urban dwellers to connect with nature.

I currently live in Toronto, and there are a handful of places around the city where there are garden plots for city apartment dwellers. However, these are simply garden plots, with no buildings located on the plots. I think most have a connection to a watertap for irrigation purposes. Sometimes, the garden plot owner/renter will create an overhead trellis for shade, but that would be the extent of any building. Oftentimes these plots exist underneath an electrical grid right-of-way, or along a plot of land that is otherwise unsuitable for residential housing development. I drive by a couple of them on my way to work.

An example can be seen at this link, Example of Garden Plots in Suburban Toronto
Residential development is unsuitable at this site, as it is underneath an electrical grid, as well as being too close to oil storage tanks.
The only problem is the relatively isolated location, but avid gardeners are willing to take a bus or bike to the garden plots.

In Europe, I noticed "homes" on garden plots beside railways or canals, when I used to live in The Netherlands.
I was always curious about them, as I used to see people at some of them quite regularly, but it I was never sure if they were actually living there, or only simply visiting on a regular basis.

Are these European garden plot homes equipped with electricity and running water?
I'm curious if someone could live in one of these places year-round?
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Old Posted Dec 1, 2012, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brannelford View Post
Are these European garden plot homes equipped with electricity and running water?
For Denmark the vast majority yes..

Quote:
Originally Posted by brannelford View Post
I'm curious if someone could live in one of these places year-round?
Most Danes treat it as a second home, so there are insulation, heating, kitchens, TVs, bathrooms, bedrooms and guestrooms etc etc ( it depends on the individal assosiation how much is allowed, but typically you are free to do nearlywhat you want with the plot ) so technically one could easily live in most of them, but the same taxation laws that keeps the prices affordable also prevents officially living in them..

That said many seniors do spend their summers or even more time there.. and as long as they have a real home and adresse that is technically just fine..
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Old Posted Dec 4, 2012, 3:09 PM
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IN the UK they're called allotments, and in very high demand now in the big cities, especially with a resurganc in organic food.





In other parts of Europe you get little huts for holiday goers, akin to a permanent tent/ beach hut somewhere in the country. They can be small or rambling, in the case of oligarchs theyre proper houses (at which point I wonder why dont they just call it a holiday home??).

Russian dachas, increasing in scale







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