The Common Agenda for Shared Living

Aitana de Jong, Matt Lesniak & Bart Sasim

Coliving Ventures is the world’s first venture dedicated to accelerating the growth and consolidation of coliving. Born from a collaboration between several coliving innovators and thought leaders, Coliving Ventures has developed into an ecosystem of initiatives that helps the coliving industry to flourish, including Coliving Awards and Coliving Insights. Through powerful and strategic partnerships with other key actors of the shared living sector, Coliving Ventures builds and co-manages ventures whose goal is to positively impact the coliving scene through research and development, awards ceremonies and more.

With The COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference  right around the corner, we as real estate professionals need to align our strategies  with global goals to secure net-zero in our industry by mid-century, and ensure climate mitigation and adaptation are at the heart of all that we do. 

We at Coliving Ventures are actively supporting the sustainable acceleration, growth and consolidation of the coliving industry. Shared living can be considered as an umbrella typology for multiple specialist residential real estate classes, including coliving, PBSL, PBSA, cohousing, hybrid hospitality, senior housing and other forms of communal living. As these sectors evolve,  we need a shared agenda for bringing various typologies together in sustainable and community-driven ways. 

This will require strong collaboration and resource/knowledge sharing between market players to ensure that primary and secondary stakeholders – residents, local communities, cities, governments and our planet – are put at the core of industry decision making, standards and strategies. 

Our vision for ‘The Common Agenda of Shared Living’  is a way of structuring impact, sustainability, experience, community and wellbeing in the following principles: 

1) Impact & Sustainability:

In regards to real estate and shared living, impact and sustainability can be considered as the environmental, social and economic value that developments contribute to wider society. Social value and ESG approaches should be applied throughout all the development phases, from design to construction to operations, in order to consider how our buildings positively impact local communities, economies and environments.

2) User & Community Experience:

After over a year of social isolation and quarantining becoming the norm, we need to vouch even stronger for a return to community and authentic connection. The potential of shared living developments will be defined by its streamlined operations, sustainable and natural design, but most importantly by the flourishing of their communities. This means embedding user and community experience at the core of the shared living business model.

3) Health & Wellbeing:

The impact of the built environment on our (and the planet’s) health and wellbeing is enormous, and it is our responsibility as shared living professionals to ensure high quality, healthy and happy homes. Throughout the investment, development, design and operations phases we must ensure the health and wellbeing of our communities and wider stakeholders are considered and supported.

Keeping these principles in mind, we are endorsing multi-stakeholder ecosystems of shared living professionals and businesses. The ultimate goal is to collaborate to foster economically, socially and environmentally sustainable shared living ventures that are both impact-driven and financially viable.

Ultimately it comes down to measure what you treasure. In order to deliver on this collective agenda, we know it must be embedded throughout our investments, strategies, activities, designs and communities; we must put in place structures and processes (e.g. KPIs) to make ourselves accountable to our shareholders and wider stakeholders.  In the end, our agenda is not just one for the shared living sector; it is a collective agenda that aims to secure the sustainability and prosperity of future generations while preserving the health and wellbeing of our communities, cities and planet as a whole.

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