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Urban Designer Is Turning Used Shipping Containers into Affordable Work Spaces

With Urban rentals on the rise and low-income earners wages remaining largely sluggish, an urban designer, landscape architect, and city planner, has been working for years to find a reasonable, realistic solution to the affordable housing challenge troubling cities across the country.

The Vision

Wanona Satcher started ReJuve, an Atlanta-based non-profit urban design firm that is working on a plan that will turn shipping containers into residential and commercial dwellings for low-income families, small businesses and small start-up companies.

Satcher’s research estimates that the United States will need an additional 4.6 million new apartments by 2030 just to keep up with demand. However, though owning your own business it is possible that individuals can ensure a stable income and rise out of poverty. With office rentals in cities going up, it is leaving small business owners in need of an alternative.

Satcher originally began studying how to push sustainable urban development when she was a city employee at the Durham Urban Innovation Center in Durham, North Carolina. Part of her job there was to help develop neighborhood revitalization strategies, including turning damaged or abandoned properties into community spaces.

She began a mission to figure out how to involve communities in the rehabilitating properties process. As she worked through the thinking process, she started looking at the idea of re-using shipping containers because of their mobility, easy access, availability and affordability. Also, she discovered they were small enough to rehab and modify.

The Vision Takes Flight

The idea for the Plug-in-Pod — a rehabilitated shipping container that has been equipped with plumbing and electricity was launched. Plug-in-Pods can be office and entrepreneurial space for small businesses. They can be used to create spaces and communities that are reasonable, and the shipping containers can be a tool for short-term innovation that will ultimately lead to permanent development.

Though shipping containers are cheap, they aren’t free, and they still need to be turned into usable dwellings. ReJuve launched a crowdfunding campaign with an initial goal of $20,000 by June 30th. With almost $15,000 raised so far, ReJuve plans to complete the 20-foot prototype unit this summer and launch the program that is located in Atlanta’s West End.

The Future

ReJuve is also exploring how, in the near future, they can implement a tech-enablement component into the Pods. They desire to implement a cloud system that would allow residents to connect with other small businesses to share services and search for information. In doing so, they believe this will also shrink the digital literacy gap that is prevalent and debilitating to low-income communities.

Your Vision

ContainerOne loves the entrepreneurial spirit that resides in so many people that contact us about purchasing shipping containers. With the affordable and easily accessible storage units that we help you purchase, you also can accelerate the process to make your dream come to life.

To see our growing product line and creative ideas, visit us at