Last week's headlines were marked by Common announcing its new development and social media went wild after this guest post from the World Economic Forum page. While it's a big symbolic step for coliving to be mentioned on that website, let’s now hope that WEF creates its own “future of housing” initiative (not there yet) and that more people hear about coliving.
In the meanwhile, let's dig into some yummy news picks 😋
Capitalism is buying into loneliness
Taking a more hostile point of view, this article analyses how coworking spaces, friendship apps, and coliving spaces are tapping into the market of human connection (read here). The author describes how social pain changes the way our mind works and how while those initiatives are great, they’re not a solution for the chronically lonely. The question now is - what can we coliving operators improve or change to have those join as well?
Why not reuse abandoned buildings? Well… (it’s the ⚖)
One out of 10 high street shops in the UK is empty. In a study across the UK to discover how to repurpose unactivated properties, the biggest burden to utilize them is the law (read here). While government initiatives such as Open Door in the UK allow abandoned high street shops to be used as pop-up stores, the legal status is still rigid to deal with extensive unused buildings. And that might take a bit longer…
Are you raising coliving funds?
If you're struggling, you're not alone. Coliving could be where student housing was 20 years ago in terms of investment friendliness. As coliving founders explain, major developers and real estate investors still don’t understand the concept and longevity of coliving (read here). While it seems that the curve is slowly bending, I believe that coliving becoming its own investment asset would be a first step towards unlocking more willingness to invest.
Poll: 61% say “co-living should be banned”
The proposal of Bartra Capital Property Group to build a five-story coliving building in Dublin turned sour. First, it got heavily criticized (and for some good reasons, such as having 40 people share one kitchen). Now, more than 10,000 people have participated in a survey by TheJournal.ie whether “co-living accommodation should be banned” (read here). In my opinion, the 61% who voted “yes” is neither a reflection of the general population nor is that group educated about other forms of coliving (which can be totally luxurious). Hence, take this poll in its regional and present context in Dublin only.
Are you from New York?
If yes, then read Brick Underground’s guide to co-living spaces in NYC (read here). An in-depth analysis of more than 10 spaces including minimum stay, audience and demographics, the “co” factor, company history and how people are vetted. Interesting fact: regarding the vetting, half of the coliving spaces only run criminal background checks, while the other half includes a customized application and only two make in-person member visits mandatory.
Baby Boomers are ready - let’s invite them in?
While we saw this week a design for a multigenerational housing project that could be adopted in major cities (see here), we also saw two coliving spaces in the news: Phoenix Commons and WowFifty. Simply put, both focus on baby boomers - the generation that was born between 1964 and 1946 (now 50 to 70 years old). While coliving is currently often labeled with “digital nomad” and “coworking" terms, such initiatives can prove that a wider market size than the millennial and Gen Z await coliving. Matthias Holwich, author of New Ageing, agrees “because their interests are very similar - about experiences, about community, about safety and security." (read here) Well, then let’s 💥!
Coliving 3.0 - What does the future of coliving look like? 🤔
I sat down with Matt Lesniak from the Conscious Coliving team to discuss a fundamental question: how will the coliving spaces of tomorrow be different than today? From sustainability to personal adaptability and shared ownership, this is a must-read if you're into building coliving spaces: read here.
Major Learnings from the Coliving Hub Conference ⚡
It was incredible to see that much knowledge being sharing in two days. So I had to re-shared it. For all those who didn't attend the conference two weeks ago, these are the key insights from coliving operators: read here.
🏡 Project Interim (see here)
What do you do with an abandoned building? Furnish it, reuse it, rent it out. That is what Projekt Interim is up to. The team transforms old hotels and abandoned warehouses alike into temporary coworking and coliving spaces - for cheaper rent than you can find around.
📕 How We Live Now (see here)
This is the next one on my list. Author Bella DePaulo traveled across America to interview people experimenting with the paradigm of how we live - from cohousing to multigenerational and communal living, it offers a deeper understanding of the new values the 21st-century family lives by.
“I suspect that even the communal living apartments of Soviet Russia had more generous spatial standards than are apparent in this Planning application.”
- Councillor Ciarán Cuffe on the controversial Niche Living project in Dublin
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