I was recently invited to write the forward of Coliving Insights, №4.
In previous editions, we have shown that coliving is here to stay and that it can and does have a positive social, economic and environmental impact. After just one year of releasing our first edition, our fourth publication will focus on a wider market overview by doing a deep dive into the different development phases involved in creating successful coliving communities.
Download the full publication here.
If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is how much we value human connection. It seems we’re willing to risk our life for it. If only we could have all stayed home and isolated ourselves, COVID-19 would not have spread as it did. But alas, our desire to connect is a fundamental human need that drives our action.
In an era where personal safety and wellbeing is at the forefront of our awareness, coliving presents an attractive opportunity to live in community while respecting our need for privacy and security; among others.
The sector has matured significantly from when I opened Pure House in Brooklyn, NY back in 2012. Back then, it was a niche movement of mostly millennial entrepreneurs and creatives looking to live in a nurturing community of peers. The key value proposition was the affordability and accessibility of an integrated lifestyle that supported their dynamic needs.
As this niche movement grew, we established Pure House Lab (now Co-Liv) in 2016 as a non-profit think tank and convening body. We quickly realised that this modern expression of communal living was spreading like wildfire across the planet and this new housing template was being applied to a variety of sectors, including student, senior and affordable housing.
Over the past few years, we have witnessed billions flowing into this sector, yet it struggles to deliver on the core value propositions that sparked the movement, which are affordability, accessibility, diversity and most notably, community. To a large extent, coliving today has evolved into a relatively exclusive housing product with a more extensive suite of convenience-centric amenities.
Despite our pure intentions as community-motivated entrepreneurs, as coliving operators we must interface with a marketplace that prioritises profit. Quality housing is no longer perceived as a basic human need, but rather a highly attractive tradable asset. However, in the age of coronavirus, loneliness and climate change, the future of living is revealing itself in a drastically different manner. The way we choose to live, work and thus utilise space is under deep and rapid transformation. This bodes very well for coliving, as we are already seeing systemic changes that make this living template a more attractive option for municipalities, policy makers, developers, investors, operators and ultimately, residents.
We are living in a truly remarkable time. If you’re reading this, you are uniquely positioned to facilitate the transformation of the coliving sector to prioritise human wellbeing that is accessible to all. Are you up for the challenge? I hope you find this fourth edition of Coliving Insights interesting, insightful and full of inspiration. Enjoy reading!
Ryan Fix — Founder of PURE
Ryan Fix is the founder of PURE, an incubator focused on building nurturing communities. He is also the co-founder of Co-Liv, the industry association for the coliving sector. His experiments in community building over the past two decades have been recognised as precursors for both the coworking and coliving movements. In sum, Ryan’s work aims to foster a culture of authentic human connection.