In the midst of a bustling urban landscape, an innovative approach to living is emerging: coliving. With a fresh take on community and shared resources, coliving is changing the narrative of urban dwelling. It provides an alternative to traditional housing models, combating issues associated with city living and transforming our experience of urban life.
What is Urban Living?
Urban living refers to life in densely populated areas or cities. Defined by a dynamic lifestyle, high population density, and access to diverse amenities, urban areas provide numerous opportunities for work, education, and leisure.
However, life in these areas can also be challenging, with issues such as high cost of living, space constraints, and social isolation.
What are the Advantages of Urban Life?
While urban living often presents certain challenges, it also provides a multitude of benefits that attract millions worldwide. Here, we examine the advantages of urban life that are increasingly being enhanced by the advent of coliving spaces.
Cities are the engines of economic growth. According to Eurostat, cities contribute to 67.4% of the EU’s GDP as of 2022. Urban areas offer a wide range of job opportunities across various sectors, from technology and finance to entertainment and healthcare, attracting talent from all over Europe.
Diverse Social and Cultural Experiences
Urban environments are often characterized by their cultural diversity, providing a melting pot of experiences, perspectives, and cultures. The cultural richness is reflected in the myriad of restaurants, galleries, museums, concerts, and festivals available in cities.
Accessibility and Convenience
Cities offer unparalleled access to services and amenities. Healthcare, education, shopping, entertainment – everything is typically within a short distance in an urban setting. According to a study conducted by the European Commission, 80% of city residents in the EU have easy access to public transport. This convenience factor is a significant draw for urban living.
Innovation and Development
Cities are hubs for innovation and technological advancement. There was a 2.5% increase in patent applications at the European Patent Office from cities within Europe. Living in such an environment can provide access to cutting-edge technology, opportunities for collaboration, and a dynamic, fast-paced lifestyle.
Urban Living Challenges and the Coliving Solution
Urban living, although filled with opportunities, also presents unique challenges. A primary concern is affordability. Urban areas, particularly in major cities, are notoriously expensive.
According to Eurostat, as of 2022, 34.8% of the EU population were overburdened by housing costs, highlighting the significant financial pressure on lower-income households and young professionals commencing their careers. This puts substantial financial pressure on lower-income households and young professionals just starting their careers.
Social isolation is another concern. Despite the dense population, city dwellers often feel isolated and disconnected from their neighbors. The impersonal nature of city life can lead to feelings of loneliness and detachment, which negatively impact mental health.
Coliving offers a unique solution to these challenges. By sharing resources and spaces, residents can significantly cut down living costs, making city living more affordable. Additionally, the social aspect of coliving helps to combat social isolation. Regular social events and communal spaces provide opportunities to interact with like minded people and create a sense of community, making residents feel more connected and less lonely.
What is a Coliving Space?
Coliving spaces cater to the needs of contemporary urban residents, providing communal living environments that foster a sense of community and convenience. Within these shared spaces, individuals have the option to rent private bedrooms or shared ones, while also enjoying access to various shared amenities such as fully-equipped kitchens, inviting lounges, productive workspaces, and entertainment areas like movie theaters and music rooms.
This innovative approach to living is inspired by the principles of collaborative consumption and the inherent human need for connectivity. Residing in a coliving space fosters a feeling of togetherness among members and offers a cost-effective option for residents to split expenses.
The Advantages of Coliving
Coliving has several significant advantages over traditional living setups. The most obvious is the economic benefit; shared expenses lower the overall cost of living, making city life more affordable. This is particularly relevant given the escalating cost of urban living.
Social interaction is another key advantage; coliving creates a community that helps combat the isolation that often comes with city living. Additionally, shared responsibilities, fully furnished spaces, and flexible lease terms offer a convenient package for young professionals, remote workers and other digital nomads who value freedom and flexibility.
Exploring the Coliving Business Model
The business model of coliving companies is largely centered on revenue derived from rent payments made by residents. These companies often see higher income per unit area than traditional vacation rental properties due to their high occupancy rates, achieved through the implementation of shared rooms.
These coliving spaces are particularly attractive to millennials and members of Gen Z demographics that greatly value flexibility, community, and affordability. Moreover, they cater to the similar interests of remote workers and freelancers, as well as individuals who are on the move due to job opportunities or educational pursuits.
In order to elevate the living experience, a multitude of coliving spaces go above and beyond by offering an array of supplementary services. These may include housekeeping, laundry services, management of utilities, organization of social events, and in some cases, provision of coworking spaces.
According to a report published by the Urban Land Institute, the global coliving market is predicted to escalate to a staggering $650 billion. This substantial figure demonstrates the immense growth potential of this particular business model.
The Role of Technology in Coliving
Technology plays a crucial role in the coliving model, facilitating numerous aspects of the coliving experience. Many coliving spaces have digital platforms for rent payment, service requests, and communication, making the management of various tasks efficient and easy.
IoT devices like smart locks, facial recognitions, 24×7 concierge, energy-efficient lighting, and shared resource usage tracking systems, in-house management apps add an additional layer of convenience and security. In addition, digital tools and social media platforms help create a feeling of community among residents. They provide a space for communication, sharing experiences, organizing events and outdoor activities.
The incorporation of technology in coliving spaces has become a major selling point, attracting a demographic that values technological integration in their day-to-day lives.
Psychological and Social Benefits of Coliving
Coliving not only provides economic and practical advantages but also brings about psychological and social benefits. Living in such spaces promotes a feeling of community and helps to alleviate the loneliness and social isolation that can be prevalent in city living.
Residents in these spaces report feeling less lonely and more socially connected. Shared activities and communal spaces create a sense of belonging and allow residents to form meaningful relationships.
Furthermore, the diversity among residents promotes cultural exchange and mutual learning, enhancing social tolerance and understanding. In a study conducted on cohousing models, published on BioMed Central Public Health Reviews, researchers found that coliving can improve psychosocial health and emotional bonds within communities.
The Role of Coliving in the Sharing Economy
Like ridesharing platforms Uber and Lyft or coworking spaces like WeWork, coliving is part of the sharing economy, a socio-economic system built around the sharing of physical and intellectual resources.
Encouraging resource sharing and efficient use can lead to better utilization and significant cost savings in coliving arrangements. According to PWC, the sharing economy is projected to reach $335 billion by 2025, which highlights the continued relevance and growth potential of shared services.
Challenges and Criticisms of Coliving
The design of coliving spaces plays a crucial role in their success. Architectural and design principles for these spaces need to strike a balance between private and communal areas, providing spaces that encourage interaction and collaboration, while also respecting individual privacy.
Spaces are designed to be functional and flexible, meeting the needs of various activities and events. Aesthetic appeal is also important; a well-designed, inviting space can significantly improve the overall living experience for residents.
Conscious Coliving emphasizes the importance of prioritizing the wellbeing of both individuals and the community. This can be achieved by promoting human connections and sustainable construction methods. Designing spaces with wellbeing in mind plays a crucial role in the success of coliving communities.
Coliving Design Principles
Despite its many advantages, coliving isn’t without potential drawbacks. The limited private space in coliving arrangements may not appeal to everyone and can potentially lead to conflicts among residents due to differing lifestyles, habits, and personalities.
Another issue is the transient nature of some communities, with residents coming and going on a regular basis, which can impact the stability of the community. These challenges highlight the need for effective management and community building strategies in coliving spaces.
The Intersection of Coliving and Urban Living
The intersection of coliving and urban living is a match that perfectly complements the modern lifestyle. The fast-paced urban lifestyle requires convenience and flexibility, elements central to the coliving model. A study by JLL, a professional services firm specializing in real estate, suggests that the demand for coliving apartments in cities is increasing due to its alignment with the values and lifestyle of urban dwellers.
The urban dweller, especially younger generations, prioritizes experiences over possessions, community over isolation, and sustainability over excess. These priorities align seamlessly with the coliving model. Living in the heart of the city, the coliving community offers residents the excitement and convenience of urban life while simultaneously providing the benefits of a close-knit community.
Coliving and Sustainability: A Harmonious Relationship
Coliving’s emphasis on shared resources results in less waste and lower energy consumption, making it a highly sustainable model of living. In a study published in the Journal of Cleaner Production, shared living arrangements like coliving can reduce per capita energy use by as much as 30%.
In coliving spaces, it’s common to find green technologies like energy-efficient appliances, smart thermostats, and LED lighting to minimize energy consumption. Some places even have renewable energy sources like solar panels.
Many also promote sustainable habits among residents by implementing recycling programs and providing shared resources like communal kitchens and laundry facilities, which further reduce environmental impact.
Case Studies of Successful Coliving Spaces
The successful implementation of the coliving model is demonstrated in many flourishing coliving companies. A coliving company called Common, based in New York, has successfully implemented its model in several major cities across the United States. They offer fully furnished, amenity-rich communal living spaces that promote a strong sense of community among residents. In 2019, Common told Fortune that they will be partnering with real estate developers in Philadelphia, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and San Diego to construct new properties worth $300 million in these cities within the next three years. This expansion plan will quadruple their current footprint, providing over 2,200 beds for rent in four new markets. Common’s goal is to provide high-quality living spaces that prioritize community and convenience, positioning them as a major player in the coliving industry.
The Collective, another coliving and coworking space, is an extension of the successful coworking space company WeWork. The Collective combines living and working spaces, providing residents with a comprehensive solution that caters to all aspects of their lives. The Collective’s locations in London and other European cities have attracted a diverse range of residents, from entrepreneurs to students, further highlighting the appeal of coliving.
As we explore the innovative coliving landscape, it’s worth mentioning The Citylifer, an innovative force in the field set to revolutionize urban living in its own unique way. The Citylifer pursues a mission to redefine the concept of community living, creating spaces that go beyond mere accommodation. By combining comfort, convenience, and a vibrant social environment, The Citylifer aims to build a thriving ecosystem for residents to connect, collaborate, and grow.
Embracing the spirit of inclusivity and diversity, The Citylifer envisions its coliving spaces as catalysts for personal and professional growth. With a commitment to fostering a strong sense of belonging, The Citylifer seeks to create an environment where individuals from various backgrounds can come together to exchange ideas, share experiences, and build lasting relationships.
By leveraging modern technologies and innovative design concepts, The Citylifer aims to set new standards for urban living. From seamless digital experiences to thoughtfully curated amenities, every aspect of The Citylifer’s coliving spaces is designed to enrich the lives of its residents.
The Future of Coliving and Urban Living
The fate of urban living is intricately linked with the evolution of coliving. According to a United Nations forecast, by 2050, about 68% of the global population will inhabit urban regions, intensifying the need for affordable, community-centric housing solutions. Coliving is strategically positioned to satisfy this burgeoning demand. The anticipated expansion of the coliving market, coupled with a rising acceptance and preference for shared accommodations, suggests a future where coliving becomes an integral part of the urban fabric.
The performance of coliving companies such as Quarters, The Collective and The Citylifer affirms a positive trajectory for this shared living space model. The future landscape of coliving will likely witness an amplified incorporation of technology and sustainability principles, catering to the escalating demand for intelligent, eco-friendly living environments. As our urban landscapes continue to morph, coliving undeniably plays a pivotal role in shaping our urban future.
The transformative shift that coliving heralds is more than a fleeting trend; it symbolizes a foundational evolution in our comprehension and experience of urban living. As we navigate this ongoing metamorphosis, one thing is clear: the future of urban living is increasingly intertwined with coliving. The Citylifer, along with other innovative coliving companies, and the continuous emergence of new players in the industry, stands ready to shape the future of urban living, making it more sustainable, connected, and vibrant than ever before.
The Citylifer Perspective
The Citylifer truly believes in the immense potential and value of coliving. Our target audience consists of young people that are willing to live in urban centers. They are drawn to cities due to the economic opportunities, rich cultural experiences and high level of amenities. However, the rising costs made city living unaffordable for most people. Therefore, we have developed a housing solution catered to the desires and needs of young urban dwellers. What sets The Citylifer apart?
Great prices, better locations
Location, location, location. It’s paramount for this group. But the high rent prices are pushing many out. How do we counter this? We have a smart and space-efficient apartment design, enabling us to offer private studios – including private kitchen and bathroom – starting from €700 basic rent in Rotterdam.
High quality co-living experiences
There is a gap in the market for high quality coliving experiences. We bridge this with properties that meet new-built quality. We employ durable, high-end materials and superior finishes. Moreover, we integrate cutting-edge systems and technology to ensure seamless building and property management.
Community above all else
Community is key in our design. We truly believe the profound impact meaningful social interaction can have on individual well-being and social cohesion within the building. To cultivate this, we have included three different layers of community:
- Family room: We divide our buildings into community clusters, accommodating 15 to 25 people who exclusively share a fully-equipped family room.
- Shared areas: Our residences feature shared areas – like a rooftop or game areas – which are exclusively accessible to the resident community.
- Public areas: Strategically positioned, primarily on the ground floor, public areas are designed for resident and neighbours to meet and interact with each other, fostering wider community interaction.