Over the past year I’ve spoken with dozens of Coliving companies across the world and every single one of them has mentioned “Community” as one of their unique selling points. The weekly happy hours, yoga sessions, and movie nights offered by Coliving spaces promise to build camaraderie amongst residents and provide each with an instant group of friends.
But what about the larger communities in which Coliving spaces are located? How will Coliving locations affect neighborhoods? Will Coliving perpetuate problems in cities or become a well-integrated, vital part of local communities?
If Coliving wants to be a long-term living solution, companies in
the industry will need to tackle these questions and learn to smoothly
incorporate themselves into existing communities. In order for that to happen,
Coliving companies will need to intimately understand the cities and
communities in which they hope to exist.
So what does the typical American community look like? How have
American communities changed over the past few decades and what will they look
like a few decades from now? Does Coliving play a role in ensuring we maintain
robust American communities?
In this four-part series, The Case for Coliving, we’ll take a deep dive into the above questions and see where Coliving fits into the American community of the future.
(This series will focus on the US, but many of the insights identified are true for communities around the globe)
Part 1 of the Case for Coliving series examines modern living trends such as the Big Sort and urbanization. We find that America’s metropolitan areas are growing and because it’s easier than ever for Americans to live where they want, they’re sorting themselves into homogenous communities.
Part 2 of the Case for Coliving series covers How We Live. We learn about the old American community called the Township and how it was built on a foundation of strong middle ring relationships. We then discover that many American communities have transformed to a new type of community called the Network that is based on strong inner and outer ring relationships.
Part 3 of the Case for Coliving series covers the Advantages and Disadvantages of living in Networks. We discover that changes to modern living have made our individual lives more comfortable in a variety of ways, but at the expense of isolating us from diverse perspectives and polarizing our communities.
Part 4a of the Case for Coliving series covers how Coliving can Magnify Advantages of Modern Living. We find that Coliving can help lead to more comfortable living, more efficient social movements, and increasing the positive effects of weak ties.
Part 4b of the Case for Coliving series covers how Coliving can Decrease the Network’s Disadvantages including political isolation, societal polarization, and curbing creativity. We also discuss how homogenous communities can affect Coliving and review strategies to ensure that Coliving companies create the best possible communities in today’s societies.