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ESRC Seminar Six: Mainstreaming cohousing in urban development: barriers to knowledge transfer

The sixth and final seminar in the series, Collaborative Housing and Community Resilience: will take place at The London School of Economics and Political Science, Tuesday 21st June 2016, with registration at 10:30am, ending by 5pm.

Please note: the seminar is now full, registration closed, but will be livestreamed at from 11am until 4pm (with a break for lunch between 1 and 2pm). See the attached document for details of the schedule. 

This final event in the seminar series aims to reflect on the factors that enable or limit the mainstreaming of cohousing in urban development settings. In particular, it seeks to critically address questions regarding knowledge transfer between projects and the ‘professionalisation’ of the collaborative process between communities and expert partners.  We will discuss the following questions:

  • Under what conditions does knowledge transfer take place and flourish?
  • Can collaboration between groups and professionals take place without undermining grassroots autonomy and creativity? What mechanisms can be established to ensure this balance? 
  • How can the community-led and collaborative housing sectors influence policy?

We will begin by hearing about two European countries where co-housing has been notably successful: the Netherlands, from the perspective of a co-housing professional; and Germany from the perspective of a co-housing resident and activist.  After lunch, a panel of UK-based co-housing practitioners, designers and researchers will reflect on their experiences in the field and the constraints and opportunities they identify for development at the intersection of co-design, urban planning and community-building. They will be asked to suggest ‘game-changers’ that could lead to a shift in the policy paradigm for cohousing.

The final session of the day will be an open consultation with participants, chaired by Anna Kear from the UKCN, to gather feedback on our project report, to ask where research agendas and practice could be enhanced, and to identify the key policy requirements for moving the sector forward. This discussion will inform the team’s presentation at the Parliamentary Launch of our report, which will take place the following morning. All written and video outputs from the session and Parliamentary Launch will be available afterwards via the series website ( 

For general queries regarding this seminar or the series as a whole, you can email

Date & Time: 
Tuesday, June 21, 2016 - 10:30