In this article, we explore a few highlights from the 2022 edition of Coliving Awards. Coliving Awards aims to honour and increase the visibility of thought-provoking and innovative approaches in the coliving industry.
This article is a selection of our favourite categories, winners, honorable mentions and lead judges from the 2022 Coliving Awards. To find the full publication with the complete list of winners, you can download the Coliving Insights x Coliving Awards 2022 Special Edition in the link below:
Coliving Awards is the first award ceremony dedicated to highlighting key innovators, actors and ideas that are shaping the coliving industry. It serves as a platform for the industry to stay up to date on the world’s latest shared living innovations, whether it be through interior design, proptech, user experience or discovering the ‘Coliving Operator of the Year’. The ultimate aim of Coliving Awards is to bring the most innovative and brightest minds together to inspire a new generation of real estate and shared living professionals.
Keep on reading to discover our top picks!
Coliving Awards 2022
In this article we highlight 7 categories (out of 15) of this year’s award ceremony. The categories focus on resident experience, impact and sustainability, different coliving typologies, emerging concepts, and of course, operator of the year.
Held on June 29th, 2022, at Kino Kosmos in Katowice, Poland, the awards cereony took place during the World Urban Forum (WUF 11), which was organised by UN Habitat, City of Katowice & Polish Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy from June 26th to 30th.
The results of this year’s ceremony were based on a culmination of evaluations from Lead Judges, a Jury Panel review, and a public vote on LinkedIn to over 6,000 industry stakeholders. The criteria created for each category were defined based on whether projects embedded elements of community, wellbeing, sustainability, technology, viability, impact and innovation into the core of their shared living businesses.
As a bonus, we also include a highlight from Dr. Penny Clark, Head of Research & Sustainability for Conscious Coliving and Lead Judge for the Impact & Sustainability category, who was also honoured with an award for her doctoral research.
1 - User & Community Experience
Community is the core value proposition of the coliving model: with a strong user and community experience (UCX), shared living businesses are able to retain guests, lower customer acquisition costs and create an ecosystem of loyal brand advocates. This category highlights operators that are doing their best to facilitate thriving shared living communities.
Campus Perth is managed by GCP Hospitality and they opened their doors in 2019 in Perth, Australia. Campus Perth has been designed to achieve a harmonious balance of study, social life and wellness. Campus Perth features uniquely-themed communal spaces, from solo or group study spaces to entire areas designated for socialising, fitness and even rooftop chilling. These spaces aim to foster a strong community spirit and encourage personal development – something that is at the very foundation of Campus Perth.
2 - Impact & Sustainability
Embedding ESG and social value into the core of your shared living business can support you to attract aligned investors, customers and staff, facilitate planning approvals and create engaging impact-driven marketing materials and branding strategies. This category highlights the shared living businesses that are ‘measuring what they treasure’, and embedding impact and sustainability throughout their business strategies, designs and operations.
Founded in 2014 and then acquired by AXA IM in 2019, KLEY has become the leader in the French private student housing market as an investor, operator and owner. From Paris-Saclay to Marseille, Gentilly, Angers, Montpellier, Rennes and Toulouse, KLEY offers over 5000 beds in 16 French cities.
KLEY rallies its entire ecosystem – students, parents, employees, teams and partners – to encourage their residents towards collective action around sustainability. Every year, KLEY students and employees vote for a social and environmental theme to support and choose an association to officially partner with.
They also organise impact-driven initiatives and partnerships: In partnership with the GoodPlanet Foundation and Yann Arthus-Bertrand, KLEY is encouraging its entire ecosystem to raise awareness through a range of initiatives including an ambassadors programme, Sing for the Planet contest and eco-responsible cooking classes.
Alongside their student coliving vertical, they are also launching KLEY Urban Village, a new purpose-built shared living brand in France.
3 - Student Coliving
Coliving is a housing typology that stems from other shared living models such as purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA). The PBSA and coliving sectors have grown close and both models are starting to inspire one another and even resemble one another more and more. This category showcases the PBSA and student coliving products that are proving to be some of the best inspirations in the wider shared living sector.
Winner: Nido Living
Nido offers living spaces designed to create communities that value wellness and sustainability, whilst making the most of living in a new city and making new friends. Nido ensures the physical and mental wellbeing, and living experience of its students remains the top priority.
Founded with a genuinely global mindset, Nido attracts students from more than 100 different countries, across 150+ academic institutions and is led by a management team with international experience managing student residences across the globe. As one of Europe’s leading PBSA providers, Nido has expanded rapidly across the continent over the past 18 months. In addition to the 7,000+ beds currently operational across the UK, Ireland and Germany, Nido’s development pipelines consist of a further 4,000+ beds in Britain, Ireland, Germany, Spain and Portugal. Nido’s core values are community, sustainability, wellbeing and technology … very aligned with The Conscious Coliving Manifesto!
Other finalists and honourable mentions in this category included:
- Scape, United Kingdom / Australia (finalist)
- KLEY, France (finalist)
- JinJoo, Vietnam (finalist)
- Canvas, United Kingdom / The Netherlands (honourable mention)
4 - Nomad Coliving
Digital nomads are people who can work from different places and so choose to travel and work. Firstly, they want to remain geographically flexible and location independent. Secondly, they want to have a social network. And thirdly, a place that feels like home. Coliving offers an ideal solution for digital nomads: flexibility and social life with more homeliness than a hotel or hostel. This category highlights the coliving operators providing the best spaces, services and experiences for nomads around the world.
Winner: Sun and Co.
Sun and Co. is one of the oldest coliving and coworking spaces in Europe, based in Javea, Spain. They are the only company to win the Coliving Awards two years in a row in two different categories (in 2021 they were the winners of the User & Community Experience category).
Sun and Co. is a home for location independent workers. Since 2015, they have been pioneering the remote work movement, bringing people together from all over the world to work remotely, grow personally, connect with others and take their lives and work to the next level. Sun and Co. is a place for freelancers, entrepreneurs, digital nomads, remote workers and anyone looking for a great work and life balance.
5 - Blended Living
New mixed-use developments are integrating concepts of coworking, coliving, hospitality, F&B and the likes to create dynamic hubs. These spaces can become neighborhood hubs that contribute a range of what we call ‘community capitals’ (e.g. human capital, social capital, political capital) to their wider neighbors and stakeholders. This category highlights the most innovative new live / work / play hubs the shared living sector has to offer.
The 21WOL experience is made up of all the people living in it every day, a community that sits at the intersection between social media and the italian ‘piazza’. Their aim is to fully satisfy our innate need to explore life by building a physical and digital space where people, ideas and stories can meet and grow. The first 21WOL venue is located at Via Enrico Nöe 24, in the heart of Città Studi, one of the most vibrant and connected neighbourhoods of Milan, between art galleries and showrooms, clubs and restaurants.
6 - Emerging Coliving Concept
As the coliving sector evolves and consolidates, more and more players are entering the market. By assessing the failures, successes and learnings of earlier models, emerging coliving concepts are bringing the newest insights and innovations to create inspiring new shared living projects. This category highlights these newbies and their latest concepts.
Winner: LIVING BY ALFA
ALFA Development is a privately owned Danish real estate company building environmentally-friendly properties meant for living, providing inhabitants with opportunities to grow, prosper and spend more time together. LIVING BY ALFA is ALFA Development’s first intergenerational and service driven coliving concept.
Among the first in Denmark, LIVING BY ALFA introduces a convenient, social and intergenerational rental community in an inspired serviced environment. They offer unfurnished apartments and hotel-like amenities – and a community team to guide and help their resident along the way. The LIVING BY ALFA flagship community offers 101 apartments in several configurations appealing to young families, singles and young professionals; along with 62 apartments designated for active 55 plus residents wishing to enjoy life in inspiring surroundings.
The finalists and honourable mentions in this category include:
- KLEY Urban Village, France (finalist)
- Anza, Philippines (finalist)
- Open, Coliving for Good, United Kingdom (finalist)
- COMENTS | student coliving, Germany (honourable mention)
- Ariv, Switzerland (honourable mention)
7 - Coliving Operator of the Year
As the coliving sector evolves, everyone wants to know who the most inspiring and innovative shared living businesses are. With the right balance of community, wellbeing, sustainability, technology and business viability, this category highlights the ‘crème de la crème’ of the coliving sector.
Winner: Gravity Co-Living
Gravity Co-Living provides cleverly designed, affordable rented accommodation in the U.K. (London and Reading). With flexible contracts, all inclusive bills and a community first mindset, Gravity is a fresh approach to renting.
Gravity is an aspirational asset-light coliving brand which aims to create a global community of young professionals by offering beautifully designed living spaces with a strong focus on delivering the best possible lifestyle experience for members. Their model is based on four ‘coliving community pillars‘: personal wellbeing, meaningful engagement, professional growth and unconventional design.
The finalists and honourable mentions in this category include:
- Living by Scape, United Kingdom (finalist)
- UKO, Australia (finalist)
- Urban Campus, Spain / France (finalist)
- The Cohesion, The Netherlands (honourable mention)
Bonus: Academia (Students & PhDs)
The coliving sector has been well documented throughout media, press and even academia over the years. Researchers and students are analysing the coliving sector from a range of different lenses including anthropology, business development, real estate, architecture, interior design and so much more. This category invites students and PhDs to submit the latest research diving into the ins and outs of the coliving sector.
Winner: Dr. Penny Clark
‘Practices of shared living: Exploring environmental sustainability in UK cohousing, community living, and coliving’ is a doctoral research study by Dr. Penny Clark for the University of Westminster (one of our co-founders!).
This research explores environmental sustainability in shared living, including coliving. It generates new knowledge on how and why shared living can produce lower-than-average domestic environmental impacts. This research explores the practices and infrastructures which enable pro-environmental outcomes within shared living. This aim was achieved through in-depth research in six shared living case studies.
The finalists and honourable mentions in this category include:
- ‘The role of co-living spaces in digital nomads’ wellbeing’, Jennifer von Zumbusch and Lidija Lalicic, Madul University Vienna (finalists)
- Savoiazen, Serena Ruffo, Giulia Marchetti, Sara Mariotti, Guiseppe D’Assisi and Giorgia Espa, Politecnico de Milano (finalists)
- MAAQ, Veronica Leoni, Politecnico de Milano (finalists)
The Lead Judge for this category was Virginia Scapinelli Board Member of Co-Liv.
It was hard to pick just a few categories to share in this article. Make sure to check out the remaining winners, finalists and honourable mentions on the Coliving Awards website.
It is inspiring to become aware of so many innovative projects. Certainly, the last few years have not had favourable conditions for these come come to life. Therefore, these projects can really expand the perceptions and beliefs that drive what is possible in the shared living sector moving forward.
It is also worth reviewing what happened in last year’s award ceremony, and in the next section we briefly highlight the results for Coliving Awards 2021.
Coliving Awards 2021
The Coliving Awards 2021 ceremony was held on May 6th 2021. The winners and finalists of each of the 11 categories were revealed during a live streamed event at the Co-Liv Summit 2021.
Building & Architecture, Interior & Furniture Design, Branding & Marketing, User & Community Experience and Impact & Sustainability were just some of the great categories included in the first ever edition of the Coliving Awards. You can get all the details in the Coliving Insights x Coliving Awards Special Edition 2021.
We are happy to share that we got to the finals for 2 categories, and won one of them!. It has been a true honour for the following resources to receive recognition from the industry:
- The Community Facilitation Handbook: Best Thought Leadership Piece winner. The handbook includes strategies, tools and more to make communities thrive and was written by 3 co-authors with valuable input from over 15 contributors from the industry.
- The Conscious Coliving Manifesto: Best Initiative Fostering Coliving finalist and public-vote winner. The Manifesto is an open-source framework for shared living players that promotes a culture of connection and flourishing at its heart and is enabled through strategic pillars.
What is next in your coliving journey?
It is amazing to see so much innovation in the specialist real estate industry as the shared living sector evolves. We hope it fuels you in your journey ahead, either as an active participant of the creation and operations of coliving communities, or as a resident.
We look forward to the next edition of Coliving Awards. Until then, you can subscribe to receive Conscious Coliving email notifications for more resources and insights on coliving.
And, make sure to explore the upcoming episodes of Coliving Conversations! 🎙️ 🏠 💚.
This article has been authored for you by:
Juan is a Communications Strategist, Project Manager, Systems Engineer, Team Coach and Executive Coach with an ontological/systemic approach. He facilitates connection for individuals, teams, and communities.