The games have just begun and we’re barely scratching the surface here, but it’s safe to say this nascent co-living movement of the past few years is quickly emerging as a new asset class (as the business folks among us like to say). Some might argue that co-living has bright prospects of becoming a primary typology for the real estate sector as a whole; and according to the successes and expansion of the sector so far it already seems like it should. With the global majority flocking to cities at an ever increasing rate (some stats show 60% living in cities by 2030), we must drastically rethink how we live and share resources. Then there’s the loneliness epidemic infecting modern society en masse, and studies are showing that individuals in social isolation have disrupted sleep patterns, altered immune systems and higher levels of stress. As this publication seeks to demonstrate, appropriately designed co-living spaces can provide alternative lifestyles and support systems that respond directly to these health epidemics.
If it’s not already clear by the disparate manifestations of co-living, it’s important to highlight that co-living is not limited to housing, but rather it seeks to integrate various aspects of our life into a cohesive, convenient and collaborative communal experience that offers a higher quality of living for all. And on the topic of ‘all’, the greatest opportunity for co-living is its potential to offer a quality lifestyle that prioritizes affordability, equitability, diversity and accessibility for all. With this social sustainability in mind, there is also a strong potential for the hybridization of shared living spaces that are designed as eco-systems to include co-working, fabrication labs, cultural and green spaces, urban agriculture, social housing, holistic health and education centers and co-living accommodation under one roof. These types of hybrid spaces can become neighborhood hubs and contribute positively to their neighborhoods while reducing their footprints of their cities through social and ecological sustainability measures.
To this end, we at PUREHOUSE LAB intend to drive this narrative of ‘affordability, equitability, diversity and accessibility for all’ through our activities. We believe it’s a priority to engage government as allies and partners in the efficient adaptation of policy that promotes co-living and other forms of micro-housing and sustainable community-based living. In doing so, incentives should be created to attract entrepreneurs, operators and developers to innovate in this attractive space. Through the collective intelligence embodied in our knowledge network, our members collaborate to advance solutions that can be shared and disseminated globally with urban planners, architects, designers, policy makers and beyond.
We hope you find this publication a useful resource and would welcome you to become a member of the lab. Please join at purehouselab.org.