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Thank you, Sophie, for informing us about the importance and the benefits of co-housing! I also think that co-housing could be the next idea of future living. Organisations SPACE10 and Urgent.Agency released a series of articles called IMAGINE and one article titled as “Exploring the brave new world of shared living”, investigate the reasons for needing to share.

Why we need to share:
Like you said there are barriers to co-housing and sharing facilities. However, SPACE10 and Urgent Agency spreads the message that shared living is not a trend but a possible solution to address emergency issues, such as:
  • The widening gap between income and house prices.
  • Increase of urbanisation.
  • Mental health and weak community bonds.
  • The booming age.
  • (SPACE10 and Urgent.Agency, 2018, pp.14-22).

   Furthermore, sharing and communal living is not new for example, below is a picture of a Rundling, a circular formation of houses with commonly owned green land and individual farmsteads (Ahn, Tusinski and Treger 2018, p.12).

A type of formation used by Slavic communities in the 12th century (Ahn, Tusinski and Treger 2018, p.12).
Why won’t we share:
Moving forward, SPACE10 and Urgent.Agency did a study to conduct why people will not share through a survey of 13000 people from 175 different countries (SPACE10 and Urgent.Agency 2018, p.68). The main reasons were:
  • Smaller communities were preferred such as 4-10 and those with children 20-25 people.
  • Not willing to live with small children and teenagers.
  • The lack of privacy, though would not mind co-living as a great way to socialise (SPACE10 and Urgent.Agency, 2018, p.68).
I also believe people are less willing to share because we have lost the skills to communicate effectively face to face

and socialise, but instead boxed up at home around technology. We become fearful and having to relearn how to communicate and reach out to people again. Another factor is people are on the move nowadays, loosing close ties and when new people arrive, we look at them strangely because we do not have that shared experience we once had with old communities.

Therefore, I believe co-housing can be a mainstream way of living… But we must relearn.


References:

Ahn, J., Tusinski, O. and Treger, C., (2018). Living Closer: The many faces of co-living. London: A Studio Weave Publication.
SPACE10 and Urgent.Agency., (2018). ‘Exploring the brave new world of shared living’. IMAGINE, Issue 2, pp. 1-159.

School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 208 6509

Email: nicola.rutherford@ncl.ac.uk


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