Global capitals were the first to kick-start the urban trend, led by projects like Brooklyn-based Common and London’s WeLive, from the founders of billionaire dollar co-work community WeWork.  But, let’s face it, life in the Big City is both expensive and increasingly high pressured, and while our reliance on digital has led to the growing alienation of the individual, it has simultaneously provided a key to freedom, inspiring a new breed of roaming modern entrepreneurs known as digital nomads.

Hot on the heels of the ever-growing demographic of global creatives and entrepreneurs able to work from anywhere in the world, is a fast-growing trend in work-cations and alternative living models in rural locations springing up. Why chose to tap away in a tiny studio in Soho when you could be sat overlooking a spectacular surf beach, recharging with dips in the ocean rather than double shot espressos?

A laundromat in the We Live community. Photo: WeLive

From grassroots vegan communities in Portugal where residents construct their own off-grid properties to elaborate multi-use residential and hospitality projects, such as Turkey’s Kaplankaya, where homeowners have access to the Six Senses spa facilities and properties are rented for them when they travel, the spectrum and scope is a vast and varied as mankind itself, yet all seek the same at their core: the creation, or fostering, of a community of people who prefer to share resources and experiences rather than go it alone. The creation of alternative communities is as old as time, yet in our modern instagram-obsessed world, how much of its success comes down to marketing and how much to the values that root it, to the way of life it offers and to the people who hold the space and its everyday dynamics?  With multiple projects popping up across the globe, co-living is a trend set to define our way of life for the coming generations and already, competition is hot.


Photos: Athena Archive

Sea Ranch: The original blueprint, this artists’ community in Sonoma County was built by a collective of leading American architects in the 50’s and still leads the pack.

Photo: Athena Archive

Etosoto: Due to launch in 2019, Etosoto is a creative residential community, eco-hotel and farm project located on a special stretch of natural reserve 20 minutes south of Lisbon from French entertainment entrepreneur Julien Labrousse.  Ahead of the residential community launch, check out their precursor project in Formentera.

Roam: This global network of co-living spaces counts London, Miami and Bali amongst its destinations and combines sleek central rooms for 100 USD a night with membership managers to orchestrate your social life, a chef’s kitchen for communal dining and co-working spaces.

Photos: Athena Archive

Auroville: A universal city in Southern India, Auroville is regarded as one of the world’s leading intentional communities, built on the vision of Sri Auribindo and The Mother as an experiment in human unity.