Do you ever dream of an entire city filled with Swedish meatballs and do-it-yourself furniture? That dream could soon be a reality.
IKEA, the Swedish furniture company known for its Billy bookcase and eccentric instruction manuels, is entering the world of city planning, building and management, via its real estate division, according to The Daily Globe and Mail. In 2013, IKEA will begin construction on a self-contained neighborhood in the largely neglected area of East London, which will be called Strand East. Plans include 1,200 apartments and houses to accomodate 6,000 residents at a range of income levels, in addition to commercial space.
You won't have to deal with rows and rows of parked cars in the Ikea town either. The underground parking lot will take care of that, according to TIME. Nor would this be the first pre-assembled town in the history of the world. Far from it.
IKEA, which has recently launched a number of projects beyond its home furnishings business, may be looking to take advantage of recent government efforts to solve London's problematic housing situation. Last month, the UK government agreed to simplify urban planning laws in order to encourage sustainable urban planning projects, like IKEA's.
IKEA has launched efforts into more sustainable projects stateside, too. The first IKEA pre-fabricated home debuted last month in Portland, at a cost of just $86,500. Likewise, IKEA recently installed 4,620 solar panels on the roof of its Paramus, New Jersey store, building further on its efforts to promote renewable energy sources.
See plans for IKEA's Strand East urban planning project below: