This page offers an overview of coliving research, trends and insights that support the different areas and pillars of The Conscious Coliving Manifesto v3.0. You will find a curated list exploring geographies, social value, environmental value, community engagement, business models, policy & regulations, technology and more.
Research into coliving, a nascent residential typology, is important. This is given its growth trajectory and potential for helping solve some of the key global challenges we face today.
So let’s dive right in!
The Coliving Industry: Growth, Trends & Data
Coliving research across different geographies
- For a focus on the European market, see JLL’s European Coliving Index 2019, which explores the opportunities within the coliving market across Europe. It provides insight into the key factors driving demand. See also CBRE’s 2020 report Europe Co-Living: Key Trends and Key Cities. CBRE’s report covers 40 markets that either already have a coliving presence or present strong opportunities.
- For UK-based information on what is important to shared living residents, consult The Shared Living Survey 2021, prepared by Matt Baker. Plus, Knight Frank’s 2019 UK Multihousing PRS Research report investigates PRS trends, renter personality profiles and priorities. Also, it explores investor appetite.
- For research of the Indian coliving market, see Co-Living: Reshaping Rental Housing in India, a 2019 report by JLL. Also, Knight Frank’s report “Co-Living: Rent a Lifestyle”.
- For a look at the US market, see Survey of the Coliving Landscape. This 2019 report by Cushman and Wakefield that explores key drivers for coliving and coliving players within the US. In addition, Diana Lind’s 2019 book Brave New Home tells the story of the rise of suburban housing in the US. The book explores how housing options such as coliving may provide answers to changing lifestyles.
Research on Coliving's Social & Environmental Value
- Our Head of Research & Sustainability, Dr. Penny Clark’s 2021 PhD thesis is called Practices of shared living: Exploring environmental sustainability in UK cohousing, community living, and coliving. It is a detailed exploration of how shared living models (including coliving) can lower environmental impacts in comparison to single-family households.
- Some coliving operators have led the way in showing their social value through impact reporting. Hospitality/PBSA/coliving hybrid The Student Hotel, for instance, focuses on both their ecological footprint and social footprint. TSH have aligned their impact with some of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. You can read The Student Hotel’s 2019/2020 impact report here.
- Coliving Insight’s third edition, Impact & Sustainability in Coliving, has over 20 articles on the topics of social value, public policies, social impact and technological innovation. Two articles featured in this edition can also be found in the Conscious Coliving blog. One of them is Matt Lesniak’s cover story on embedding social, environmental and economic value into coliving. The second is Penny Clark’s article on creating environmentally sustainable cultures.
- COP26, and how coliving can help mitigate the climate crisis by Dr. Penny Clark. Learn more about environmental sustainability and coliving.
- The 2018 collection of essays on Coliving and the Common Good, commissioned by the RSA, explores how coliving might solve modern living challenges, with a focus on urban spaces.
Research on Coliving and Wellbeing
- Venn have focussed on resident and neighbourhood engagement, and on creating a sense of belonging and urban wellbeing. You can download Venn’s 2021 report into US renters and their sense of belonging here.
- Official findings from the IKEA’s Life at Home Report, reveals how home shapes people’s lives and wellbeing around the world. One statistic shows that 67% of people living in coliving experienced a positive impact on their mental wellbeing thanks to strong community connections.
- Conscious Coliving also provides blog post articles relating to fostering wellbeing in community. For instance, see the article on Challenges and Strategies to Enable Wellbeing in Coliving, and on Designing for Wellbeing in Coliving.
Community Facilitation & Engagement
- The Community Facilitation Handbook offers strategies, tools and practices to help make communities flourish. This resource, which won the 2021 Coliving Award for best thought leadership piece, is available to download for free here.
- Technology also plays a key role in facilitating community and creating a great resident experience. Explore the Coliving Apps, Software & Tech Guide to learn about tech best practices and key tech players in coliving.
- Coliving Insights’ sixth edition, Fostering Thriving Communities in Shared Living brings together coliving research from: operators, experience designers, consultancies, tech platforms, community builders and more. Its focus is an exploration of how best to foster authentic communities in coliving.
- The Community Building Report 2021 report from Co-Liv reveals the top five challenges facing community managers, and insights from 20+ interviewees about the role of the community manager.
- Responding to the Rise of Solo Living, an article by Anwyn Hocking based on her master’s thesis research, looks at the experience of community in large, purpose-built shared living. Hocking’s explores the nuances of community life, depicting its positives and negatives.
Coliving Architecture & Design
As shared living grows in popularity, there are emerging resources and research on how best to design with sharing, socialising and privacy in mind.
- Coliving Insights’ seventh edition, Spatial Design & Architecture for Coliving, explores innovative coliving design principles and best practice.
- Naomi Cleaver and Amy Frearson’s book, All Together Now: The co-working and co-living revolution, takes a broader look at different shared living typology case studies, including a section on purpose-built coliving, and a best practice design toolkit.
- For understanding how the built environment shapes behaviour, check out architect Tom Manwell’s blog post on Designing for Social Interaction.
Coliving Research on Business Models
- For an overview of coliving business models, common challenges and best practices, check out the Conscious Coliving Coliving Business Model resource.
- Industry magazine Coliving Insights’ fourth publication, Invest, Develop, Operate and Scale, explores and showcases best business practice through the voices of those in the sector.
Coliving Policy & Regulations
- Coliving Insights’ fourth edition has a chapter on Developing Coliving With/Out Government Regulations.
- Citizens Housing & Planning Council (CHPC) is a non-profit organization focused on housing and planning policy in New York City. Their simple guide, Making Shared Housing Work, pulls out core themes. According to shared housing practitioners, these themes should be considered by operators and regulators.
- Zoning for Co-Living in Alexandria: A Case Study Examination of Denver and Salt Lake City. This coliving research looks at how zoning ordinances can be modified to accommodate coliving as more affordable housing solution. It describes the policy and development context for coliving and case studies of coliving in the USA.
- Explanation of Intended Effect for a new Housing Diversity SEPP. A research by The New South Wales Department of Planning, Industry & Environment. This report focuses on updating policies to facilitate the delivery of diverse housing types that meet the needs of its population.
- The Large-scale Purpose-built Shared Living (LSPBSL) guidance developed by the Greater London Authority provides information on how to apply London Plan Policy H16 to ensure the development of these spaces in a way that is of good quality, well-managed and integrated into their surroundings.
Coliving Technology, Software & Apps
Technology is a key enabler of the coliving movement.
- The Coliving Mobile Apps Survey is a collaborative research project to understand how operators are using mobile apps to optimise resident user and community experience. You can fill out the survey here.
- The fifth edition of Coliving Insights, Co-Tech: Innovating Coliving with Technology, focuses on innovative technology solutions within the real estate sector.
- The open-source Coliving Apps, Software & Tech Guide offers an overview of key tech players and the role of technology in creating communities that thrive.
- And chapter two of the book, Perspectives on Coliving, is called The Role of Technology in the Coliving Movement, which gives a short overview on developing apps and open-source tech for coliving.
Publications & Media
Many media channels are now focusing on coliving. We share a few of these below.
- Coliving Insights releases quarterly publications that explore innovative initiatives throughout the coliving sector.
- The Art of Coliving: Gui Perdrix, director of Co-Liv and founder of Art of Co., carried out extensive coliving research for years. Recently, Gui released a fantastic workbook, guide and companion. This wonderful book helps understand, think and create life-enhancing coliving spaces at scale.
- Many established media platforms have dedicated pages of their websites to coliving, including Dezeen, Frame, and The Real Deal, amongst many others. Conscious Coliving has been featured in the Frame #131 – How Co-living Can Expand its Appeal issue, as well as on platforms like The Centre for Conscious Design.
- Remote Work & Stay: Modern Living Solutions Beyond Urban Spaces. This SPX Lab whitepaper explores the growth of remote working and the impact this has on living solutions.
- The One Shared House 2030 survey, by Anton & Irene and Space10. It is a playful coliving research project in which users are asked to imagine what they are willing to share with imaginary housemates. Results of the survey are open-source, and can be segmented by: nationality, age, gender and life situation.
- Running from 2018 to 2021, The Coliving Code podcast by coliving tech entrepreneur, Christine McDannell, has interviews from over 120 coliving industry leaders, founders and investors.
- Non-profit coliving powerhouse, Co-Liv, began turning their numerous online meet-ups into podcasts. Co-Liv’s meetup are a great way for you to deepen your coliving research. You can listen to The Co-Liv Podcast here.
- The Go Out and Talk to Strangers, School of LYFE, WiFi Tribe, and CoCity podcasts have also hosted many players from around the coliving and real estate scene.
- Coming soon! Conscious Coliving’s podcast and YouTube show, Coliving Conversations, will shine a light on projects, people and places that are pioneering the coliving movement. The show will highlight common challenges and innovative solutions regarding: community, wellbeing, sustainability, technology, and business models of coliving.
Further Coliving Research
We hope you found this overview of coliving related research useful! Feel free to share with us any latest research developments you find relevant. This page will evolve over time.
Looking for support? We can provide you with specific research for your shared living endeavors and/or work with members of your team to offer additional research capabilities and expertise.
In addition, we also offer research based speaking and content engagements. We specialize in carrying out, summarizing and presenting top-notch research for events, conferences, studies and reports.
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This guide has been co-authored for you by:
Penny is passionate about the potential for shared living. She has a doctorate in sustainability and shared living, and an MSc in social research methods. She conducts research and consults on shared living projects.
Transformational Coach and facilitator. Trainer in mindfulness, sharing circles, and how to live and lead more consciously. Co-author of the Community Facilitation Handbook and the Coliving Apps & Tech Guide. Facilitates community engagement strategies.
Matt is responsible for designing community experience and impact strategies and measuring the social value of coliving communities. Matt is also a founding member and current Head of Community of Co-Liv and has worked for The Collective on their Impact Team.