Mapping Collaborative Housing in Europe – Towards a Systematic Categorisation

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


In the face of societal challenges such as decreasing housing affordability, population ageing, individualisation and climate change, Europe has seen a rise in collaborative housing. Such housing comprises a wide range of
collectively self-organised residential projects, which have in common collaboration between groups of residents and professionals aiming at providing affordable and sustainable housing. Despite increasing research on these
practices, existing data about collaborative housing are currently scattered across national and regional levels, preventing a comparative understanding of the challenges and opportunities that these new housing forms offer.
Furthermore, comparative data are needed to facilitate mutual learning and communication amongst users across countries and regions. This leads to the following research question: how can we categorise different collaborative housing forms that exist across Europe, in a way that helps compare and analyse the most salient characteristics, and so bring current scientific and applied debates further? To help fill this knowledge gap, we develop a scientifically validated categorisation of collaborative housing. To do so, we applied a mixed-methods approach including the development of a Delphi study drawing on insights from academic and practitioner experts across Europe. We provide an overview of different collaborative housing forms in Europe on the basis
of data collected from Belgium, Denmark, England and Wales, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. The resulting evidence-based and theoretically-informed categorisation aims to contribute to the debates about the role that collaborative housing can play in solving the above challenges. We find local differences combined with international similarities, and observe tensions between generalised meanings and regional understandings.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusSubmitted - 2021


  • Systematic categorisation
  • Collaborative housing
  • Europe
  • Delphi method
  • Comparative research


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