5 niche Coliving spaces to look out for
As Coliving continues to push boundaries, the interest for niche spaces and values within the industry has increased. Coming up with innovative coliving concepts not only helps one gain a foothold in the market, but also provides opportunities to stimulate creativity, solve social problems, and simply bring together like-minded individuals.
This is why we have compiled a list of our 5 favourite niche coliving spaces, each with their own unique characteristics.
Haven: A community for wellness and personal growth
An unreasonably high rent to income ratio, experiencing loneliness despite spending hours on social media, and not finding the time in the day to exercise or meditate are problems experienced by many. These kinds of modern problems are precisely what the founders of Haven wanted to solve.
Providing a place to live at half of the regular rental price in Venice Beach, LA, Haven offers its residents an opportunity to spend their money on experiences, rather than rent or furniture. Communication, a healthy lifestyle, and going carbon-free is encouraged at this coliving space, where each resident is also required to spend two hours a month dedicated to community service.
Haven’s wellness-oriented quarters are designed to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to exercise their body or mind. The communal areas include a yoga studio, a gym, and an outdoor meditation area, as well as a movie theatre and a coworking space. It also offers an impressive range of activities, ranging from motivational talks and vegan community dinners, to star energy healing events and sound baths.
Its mission is to make larger cities more accessible, as well as to create a balance of the need for housing with community growth. As most of their residents work in the health or wellness industry, Haven also provides the opportunity of networking and mutual professional advancement.
Nest Copenhagen: Coliving for the creators of tomorrow
At first glance, Nest Copenhagen seems like most other coliving spaces. Residents engage in communal activities such as movie nights and dinner parties, and developing close friendships while still maintaining their private bedrooms. However, what separates Nest from the others, is that they only accept entrepreneurs.
Founded in 2014, Nest is one of Denmark’s first coliving spaces. A non-profit run by the residents, it is composed of four connected apartments, each containing five or six bedrooms. Nest encourages entrepreneurial discussion and sharing innovative ideas, but emphasizes that it is neither a coworking space nor a “second workspace”. Networking is highly recommended, and they welcome visits by foreign entrepreneurs.
Only people who fit their values are accepted into Nest. The tenants must be trustworthy, creative, supportive, and warm-hearted. They must be social, as they say, that Nest is not a place where people can come and go without speaking to anyone. Each resident must actively contribute to the community, socially and as an entrepreneur. Sharing successes, failures, and advice to help each other grow is what Nest is all about, as well as creating the best home possible for people who understand one another.
G|Code House: Closing the gender gap in the tech industry
G|Code House is a brand new addition to the world of coliving, as it hasn’t even officially opened yet, but its purpose is important enough to be mentioned in this list! Two women, Bridgette Wallace and Carolle Nau, bought a 5,000-square foot Victorian house in Boston, with the purpose of combining affordable coliving, technology instruction, industry placement, and post-secondary education. Tired of the skyrocketing rents and increasing homelessness, they want to use this house as a means to contribute to society.
Realizing that many educational and professional triumphs are owed to people having stable homes, they will recruit young women of colour who have an interest in technology. They will welcome women who don’t have the stability in their lives required to follow their technological ambitions. Their two-year program, provided at the house, will include technical education, internships, and speciality training.
Despite not being opened yet, G|Code House has already started providing their services. They launched a 10-week “Intro to G|Code” program in February 2020 where they taught young women the fundamentals of coding. Originally hosted by the Boston Public Library, the course started providing online lessons when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Currently, they’re in the process of collecting donations and renovating the house, while also celebrating their first graduation; they have a bright future ahead of them.
New Ground: A community built by older women, for older women
As waiting lists for retirement homes are steadily increasing because of the ageing population, and many senior citizens have had to relocate away from their loved ones to find appropriate accommodation, it is perhaps not surprising that some have started to take matters into their own hands. Enter the Older Women Co-Housing group, which founded the UK’s first senior cohousing community, New Ground, in 2016. Their mission was simple: developing a community that cares for one another and is actively managed by the women themselves.
Refusing to be confused with sheltered housing or a retirement village, these women look out for each other instead of relying on on-site care. They eat dinner together once a week, and have schedules for cleaning and tending to the communal garden. They even carpool to shops and doctor’s appointments!
Besides the financial benefits of sharing costs and utilities, cohousing also benefits the mental and physical health of its residents. Loneliness and social isolation is a common problem among retirees and is linked to health risks such as depression, anxiety, and cardiovascular disease. Coliving can help alleviate these problems by providing opportunities for social interactions and helping retirees feel valued, independent, and a part of a community.
Suderbyn: Self-sufficient, sustainable, and socially positive
Whether it is intentional or not, there is no doubt that Coliving spaces are contributing to sustainability. Due to the sharing of food, furniture, and amenities, coliving frequently leads to less consumption and food waste. It also takes up less land space and is more energy sufficient. Some Coliving communities are taking the adoption of a sustainable lifestyle even further, and are trying to become entirely self-sufficient. One of those communities is Suderbyn.
Located on a small island in the middle of the Baltic Sea, Suderbyn was built on an old farm property. Their goal is to live in a way that creates a prosperous living environment while minimizing their environmental footprint. They place an emphasis on living close to nature and each other, creating a new model of society where everyone has a part to play.
While growing most of their food on their property according to Permaculture principles, they also buy organic, local, and seasonal food in bulk from farmers or wholesalers. Only biodegradable products are allowed, to avoid chemical residues in the soil where they grow their food. They live a vegetarian lifestyle and distance themselves from mass-consumption. Entrepreneurship is encouraged, but only when it stimulates sustainability.
Ecovillages such as Suderbyn are resilient and are not as affected by the goings of the outside world as others might. While the COVID-19 pandemic has made its mark on the world, Suderbyn claims that their daily lives have “barely changed” despite many of their projects and events having been cancelled. They attribute their resilience with their proximity and relationship with nature, as well as their access to a supportive and nurturing community.
Looking at these 5 diverse homes, it seems that there are endless opportunities for creativity while designing Coliving facilities. Does the future of Coliving lie in niche spaces? Only time will tell, and we can’t wait to find out!
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