Coliving: An Old Idea Is New Again

Zoning Practice — November 2022

By Kelly Cousino, AICP


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Coliving communities are an emerging land use with roots in the sharing economy. Rapid advances in technology, particularly mobile technology, continue to influence the way we work, the way we obtain goods and services, how we travel, where we stay when we get there, and now, with whom we choose to live

Contemporary, purpose-built coliving facilities share a common set of basic characteristics. They are comprised of one or more buildings where residents have a private bedroom and (usually) a private bath, with shared common rooms including a kitchen, laundry room, and one or more living areas. Few zoning codes acknowledge coliving as a distinct use, and many include standards that effectively prohibit coliving.

This issue of Zoning Practice defines and describes coliving and its benefits, distinguishes coliving from other similar land uses, and identifies barriers to the production of purpose-built coliving communities. It then provides recommendations for changes to local zoning codes to accommodate and encourage coliving.


Page Count
Date Published
Nov. 1, 2022
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American Planning Association

About the Author

Kelly Cousino, AICP