The Urban Village
Project

Introduction

A vision for liveable, sustainable and affordable homes

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Approach

A new way of living together

The Urban Village Project rethinks how we design, build, finance and share our future homes, neighbourhoods and cities. The aim is to allow for cheaper homes to enter the market, make it easier to live sustainably and affordably, and ensure more fulfilling ways of living together. Here’s how we envision that to happen.

1

Liveability

A liveable environment needs to suit our unique needs, adapt to the pulse of daily life and offer us the support systems and social life we seek. The Urban Village Project aims to do that by unlocking the multiple benefits of living in a tight-knit community, offering flexibility and cultivating a sense of belonging. Here’s how.

Liveability

1

A liveable environment needs to suit our unique needs, adapt to the pulse of daily life and offer us the support systems and social life we seek. The Urban Village Project aims to do that by unlocking the multiple benefits of living in a tight-knit community, offering flexibility and cultivating a sense of belonging. Here’s how.

Livability

Community at the heart

As humans, we long for meaningful relationships with those around us. That’s why the Urban Village Project envisions cross-generational shared living communities in the hearts of our cities. It combines private living with shared spaces that enable people to be part of a vibrant community and enjoy a social lifestyle where they live. After all, the quality of our relationships often defines how happy we are—and shared living is found to boost both health and happiness.

1.1

Community at the heart

Liveability

Flexible homes for life

One size doesn’t fit all. That’s why we propose offering multiple apartment types instead of standard, family homes. Whether you’re single, a family of four, a retired couple or a group of students, you have options. And if life happens and you need a different living space, you could simply stay in your community by swapping apartments with others also looking for a change.

1.2

Flexible homes for life

Liveability

A fulfilling daily life

The Urban Village Project would give access to shared facilities and services that keep you close to what you need on a daily basis. Communal dinners, shared daycare, urban gardening, fitness, groceries, and shared transportation; these aren’t simply perks that would come with The Urban Village Project. They're building blocks for creating a thriving community and a supportive everyday life for people of all ages, backgrounds, and living situations.

Shared Kitchen

Sensory Gardens

Fitness

Health Clinic

Farm

Co working

Event Space

Maker Space

Ebike Station

Retail

Shared Living Room

Playscape

1.3

A fulfilling daily life

2

Sustainability

Living a sustainable life shouldn’t feel like a burden, but like a natural part of life. The Urban Village Project makes living sustainably a no-brainer by rethinking the design, management and life cycle of our built environment.

Sustainability

2

Living a sustainable life shouldn’t feel like a burden, but like a natural part of life. The Urban Village Project makes living sustainably a no-brainer by rethinking the design, management and life cycle of our built environment.

Sustainability

Sustainable living made simple

The Urban Village Project make sustainable living a seamless part of your everyday trough integrated solutions like water harvesting, renewable energy, local food production, and localised composting. And bonus: instead of every household having to buy and store the same items—like that drill for that once-a-year job—the Urban Village Project suggests we share one between many. This would help your living costs go down and your care for the planet go up.

2.1

Sustainable living made simple

Sustainability

Built entirely from sustainable wood

We envision our homes to be made out of cross-laminated timber—a wood that comes with huge environmental advantages and outperforms steel and concrete on multiple levels. Besides helping you take care of the planet, cross-laminated timber also keeps your own wellbeing in check: it’s been found that wood homes help promote better mental health for those who live in them.

2.2

Built entirely from sustainable wood

Sustainability

Designed for disassembly

The modular building system of The Urban Village Project unlocks a circular material loop: almost all building components and materials can be disassembled and replaced, reused and recycled over the lifespan of the building. Not only would this benefit the planet by minimising waste: it would also give people a lot more freedom and flexibility. You would be able to add to and edit your home as you see fit—which would make integrating a floor-to-ceiling window, balcony or new kitchen that much more doable.

2.3

Designed for disassembly

3

Affordability

To make truly affordable homes a reality, we need to bypass the interests of short-term investors and challenge existing models of development—the two culprits behind rising housing prices in almost every major city. Here’s how we envision to change that:

Affordability

3

To make truly affordable homes a reality, we need to bypass the interests of short-term investors and challenge existing models of development—the two culprits behind rising housing prices in almost every major city. Here’s how we envision to change that:

Affordability

High quality housing for less

The standardised modular building system of The Urban Village Project would be pre-fabricated, mass-produced and flat-packed— all of which would help drive construction costs down. But just as importantly, we seek to finance the construction through partners looking for long-term investments—like pension funds, future-oriented companies and municipalities—and combine it with more democratic setups inspired by community land trusts and co-operatives. This would allow for cheaper homes to enter the market and secure the interests of the community.

3.1

High quality housing for less

Affortability

Subscribe to your home

The Urban Village Project seeks to make everyday life more affordable. The idea is to maximise the advantages of living in a community that can pool and share resources. First, we’d introduce a monthly rate for all your essentials: rent, electricity, water, heating, maintenance and shared facilities. Secondly, we’d unlock better deals on daily needs like food, media, insurance, transport and recreation through flexible add-on subscriptions. Thirdly, each month every resident would have the option of buying ‘shares’ of real estate—to access ownership progressively.

Equity Investments

(Ownership)

Add-on Subscriptions

(Services & Facilities)

Compulsory Base Subscription

(Rent)

3.2

Subscribe to your home

Affordability

New ways to own your home

The Urban Village Project would enable more people to become homeowners by creating a form of housing co-operative. With significantly lower monthly rents and more disposable income, this unique legal setup would allow residents to buy ‘shares’ in the property—when they want to and when they can. This would get rid of expensive down payments upfront alongside interest rates which limit first time buyers from entering the housing market. Over time, the property would be owned by the community, and residents would be able to cash in on the profits.

3.3

New ways to own your home

Digital Platform

Your home at your fingertips

Technology can keep you connected to your community and help you feel more in control of your home and finances. The Urban Village Project envisions a digital tool that enables you to nurture your real-life communities and connect you to your subscriptions, services and facilities.

Feedback

Tell us what you think

SPACE10 have spent the last two years exploring the concept of shared living. We have been searching for ways that allow for more affordable homes to enter the market, make sustainable living easier, ensure more fulfilling ways of living together and ultimately enable a better everyday life for the many.

Together with EFFEKT Architects and IKEA we now launch The Urban Village Project. We want to receive input and feedback from people, before deciding on the next steps. So please tell us what you think?

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About

The Urban Village Project is developed by SPACE10 and EFFEKT.

SPACE10
SPACE10 is a research and design lab on a mission to create better and more sustainable ways of living. SPACE10 is proudly supported by IKEA.

EFFEKT Architects
EFFEKT is a research-based, multidisciplinary architecture and planning studio. Their aim is to create a lasting social, economic and environmental effect which ensures societal value in a local, regional and global context.

Why The Urban Village Project?
Our cities are facing some of the biggest challenges to date—from rapid urbanisation to ageing populations, from a climate emergency to increasing feelings of loneliness and anxiety in our urban environments. On top of that, we experience rising and unpredictable housing prices in cities all around the world and the prospects are bleak. We need to almost double our cities in just a few decades to house a rising urban population—which creates a strong link between how we choose to evolve our urban areas and the fate of humanity. Therefore, we need to rethink our built environment, starting now.

Resources

Dive into our research