Two United Nations (UN) agencies have teamed with Yale University to construct an "Ecological Living Module".
Measuring just 22 sq m, the tiny house is made from natural, local materials and can be fully powered by renewable energy.
It is intended to "spark public discussion and new ideas on how sustainable design can provide decent, affordable housing while limiting the overuse of natural resources and climate change", according to the UN Environment agency.
The module’s built-in systems include: solar energy generation, on-site water collection, plant-based air purification and adaptable components for living and working.
Erik Solheim, UN Environment head, said: "We clearly need more housing, but the key thing is that we also need smarter housing.
"The housing sector uses 40% of the planet’s total resources and represents more than a third of global greenhouse gas emissions. So making them more efficient will benefit everyone, and it’ll mean lower bills too."
Deborah Berke, Yale School of Architecture dean, said: "Architecture must address the global housing challenge by integrating critically needed scientific and technical advances in energy, water, and material systems while remaining sensitive to the cultural and aesthetic aspirations of different regions."
The Ecological Living Module was located in New York’s UN Plaza from July 9-18, as part of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.
The New York module contained features relevant to its locale, while a module planned for Kenya will have features appropriate to that country, the UN said.
Images courtesy of UN Environment