Skip to content

Helping citizens design cohousing models for Nottingham

Nottingham Civic Exchange helps citizens design cohousing plans

Nottingham Civic Exchange hosted a creative problem solving event on 7 February for Nottingham Co-housing, to help provide concrete ideas for developing a co-housing community locally.

Co-housing is an intentional community of private homes clustered around shared space. Each home has traditional amenities, including a private kitchen. Shared spaces typically include a kitchen and dining area, laundry, and recreational spaces. Shared outdoor space may include parking, walkways, open space, and gardens.

Nottingham Civic Exchange hosted a creative problem solving afternoon for three teams brought together specifically for this event. Having never met before, these members of the community successfully worked together over the course of the afternoon to produce a proposal for Nottingham Co-housing, that built on their design brief and input from three potential residents.


Our three teams 'Inside the Box', 'Unity' and 'Fun with Magnets' tackled the challenge and developed three compelling proposals. An audience and expert panel reviewed the proposals and heard from teams at the end of the day. Expert judges Councillor Jane Urquhart, Professor and Architect Julian Marsh and Head of Commercial Development for Nottingham Building Society Su Snaith, were impressed by the breadth of information shared and considered by the teams. They felt that Unity provided the most workable and comprehensive solution.

good event yesterday, exhausting but excellent process.


As facilitators for the day Nottingham Civic Exchange were impressed by the knowledge and willingness of all our participants to join together as a team, take part in our process, offer ideas and work together to co-create three meaningful and workable proposals. They have all given the Nottingham Co-housing team much to consider and will be used as they develop their plans for a co-housing community here.

Borderless Productions at NottsCohousing

Throughout the day we were filmed by Nottingham Trent University’s MA in Documentary Film Making students and alumni who work under the Borderless Productions title are creating a short video of the event for use by Nottingham Co-housing to tell their story and broaden the network. We are looking forward to seeing the finished edit from Lara and Roseanna.

Nottingham Civic Exchange got involved in this project because it resonates with our research on Ordinary Working Families. This research highlights the challenge faced by working households to purchase a home. Our analysis of housing affordability paints a stark picture for the average earner which has spurred us on to explore alternative solutions for local citizens. Co-housing is one possible route to developing secure and affordable accommodation for a range of citizens that develops stronger community connections.

Nottingham Co-housing will be meeting again on the 27th February, details of their next event and further news updates can be found on their Facebook page.  If you’d like to discuss how Nottingham Civic Exchange can help your idea grow do get in touch.

Further information about our work on housing led by Professor Michael White is available via the Out of the Ordinary webpage.

To view our interactive housing affordability map please click this link which highlights where the average house price is out of reach for the average household's budget across the region.

About Nottingham Civic Exchange

Nottingham Civic Exchange has been established by Nottingham Trent University to maximise research, policy and practical impact by bringing together university expertise with partners seeking to address the needs of local communities. Nottingham Civic Exchange acts as a resource to look at social and economic issues in new ways. This means facilitating debate, acting as a bridge between research and policy debates, and developing practical projects on a citizen, city and regional level.

Visit our website - Contact us - Follow us - @NottsCivicEx

Helping citizens design cohousing models for Nottingham

Published on 13 February 2018
  • Category: Nottingham Civic Exchange

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418