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Spain’s new digital nomad visa is finally here making it one of the most attractive destinations for remote workers. The goal is to promote Spain as one of the leading countries in attracting entrepreneurs, investors, and qualified workers in the greatest living conditions.

Spain has long been a popular destination for travelers, with its rich history, stunning architecture, beautiful beaches, and world-famous cuisine. Data also proves that Spain is considered one of the top 20 healthiest places to live in the world by analyzing factors such as life expectancy, cost of healthcare, air pollution, obesity rates, safety, sunlight hours, and more! However, the country has faced challenges in recent years due to a high unemployment rate, making it difficult for nationals and expats alike to find work. Expats often face the additional challenge of limited job opportunities under government programs, which primarily require English teachers. This results in highly skilled individuals, such as engineers, being unable to work in their field and being urged to teach instead. This leads to the heartbreaking decision to leave the country despite falling in love with its culture and way of life.

About the Digital Nomad Visa

The digital nomad visa is available to self-employed individuals or those working for a company based outside of Spain. Applicants must demonstrate that they have a steady income and provide proof of adequate health insurance coverage. The visa is valid for one year and can be renewed annually, providing remote workers with the flexibility to live and work in the country for as long as they wish.

We will provide you with the insights to better understand if you can apply for this visa and what it is you will need to provide to receive it. 

Who can apply for the Digital Nomad Visa

All citizens who are non-EU nationals that work remotely for non-Spanish companies are able to apply for the new visa.

How to apply for the Digital Nomad Visa 

The latest steps that we have researched are the following: 

  • Ensure you have a contract with the current company you are working with for at least one year
  • You must submit your criminal records certificate with a minimum validity of 90 days, they must be legalized and apostilled. You will also need to provide a sworn statement that you do not have a criminal record within the last five years
  • Fill out the application form which can be found here 
  • Pay the administrative fee for the visa
  • Contract private health insurance with full coverage throughout Spain
  • Provide a bank certificate proving the possession of at least €28,000 for the main applicant, which is 200% of the minimum wage in Spain
  • A letter of authorization from your company allowing you to work in Spain

We want to also mention this article from Planet Nomad because they are constantly updating their blogs with the latest protocols. Planet Nomad also provides insights into other visas from neighbouring countries in case you are interested. 

Where to live in Spain?

With your visa in hand, it’s time to decide where to call home in Spain. Madrid, the capital city, is a thriving metropolis that offers a vibrant lifestyle. For seamless integration into your new surroundings, consider residing in a coliving space. Urban Campus has five prime-located coliving buildings in Madrid, all fully equipped with everything you need to make your move as stress-free as possible. Our unique coliving spaces offer ample opportunities for socializing with neighbors through a variety of common areas.

Valencia is another highly recommended destination for nomads, with several articles singling it out as the top place to live and work abroad. Luckily Urban Campus Ayora Valencia Coliving is set to open in July 2023, offering 41 fully equipped studios and 200m2 of common spaces, including a gym, coworking area, cinema room, shared kitchen and dining area, laundry room, and rooftop barbeque, showers, and chill-out zone. This is the perfect opportunity for you to join our international community and experience Valencia’s vibrant culture.

Stay connected with us on our Instagram page to keep up-to-date on our latest openings, current properties, and events. We don’t want you to miss out on finding your future home in Spain!

Acting on behalf of one of its investment funds, Primonial REIM has signed the acquisition of two build-to-rent buildings, located in Massy and Marseille, with Nexity. This transaction is part of the partnership between the developer and Urban Campus, whose architects will design the spaces to optimize them for BTR use.

“After a first successful operation in Saint-Louis, we are proud to extend this partnership with Urban Campus and to have the confidence of Primonial REIM as an investor in this operation,” says Fabrice Aubert, Nexity’s Deputy Managing Director in charge of institutional clients. He adds: “The real estate market is undergoing a major change in usage, which is why we have chosen to make the managed real estate offer a strategic development axis; build-to-rent is one of the major vectors for us.

The Massy Atlantis residence (NF Habitat HQE level excellent, Biodiversity) will be built in co-promotion with Novaxia and will develop 100 units from one to five rooms in a landscaped “quality” block with a shared rooftop. The Marseille development (NF Habitat HQE level, BDM bronze level) will include 75 units from one to five rooms, all with balconies and terraces, both private and shared. They will also feature furnished common areas: game rooms, fitness areas, coworking spaces, etc.

“These two residences will provide all tenants with a quality living environment, in line with new lifestyles and work methods (telecommuting, sharing economy, local roots),” says Maxime Armand, Urban Campus’ COO.

In this transaction, Nexity was advised by 137 Notaires (Mathieu Simon) and Primonial REIM by Lexfair Notaires (Annamaria Brogna) and Ikory Project Services. The marketing was carried out by JLL (Florence Semelin) and Savills (Mathieu Guillebault).

To view the original article in French written by Business IMMO click here. 

Are you ready to discover the best things to do in Lille, France? Look no further! Our Coliving Residence Manager, Louise, who is an expert on the city, has created a list of must-see places, from the best restaurants, bars, and cafes to unique experiences that will give you a taste of the vibrant Lille lifestyle. Whether you’re a new resident in our coliving or just visiting, Lille has something special to offer you. 

Lille is known for its charming architecture, delicious cuisine, and lively atmosphere. Take a stroll through the historic Old Town and marvel at the beautiful Flemish-style buildings. Indulge in some of the local specialties such as traditional “carbonnade” or “potjevleesch” and enjoy a glass of local beer in one of the many cozy bars and cafes.

For culture enthusiasts, Lille offers a wide range of museums, art galleries, and theatres, such as the Palais des Beaux-Arts, one of the most important museums in France outside of Paris, or the Opera House, which is considered one of the most beautiful in Europe.

Experience the local nightlife and catch a live music performance at one of the many bars and clubs in the city center. 

For a unique experience, why not take a day trip to the nearby Belgian towns of Ypres, Bruges, and Ghent, which are just a short train ride away? Wondering how to do that from Lille? Take a look at this blog for more details on how to make this trip a reality. 

Make the most of your time in Lille by inviting your fellow colivers to join you on your journey of discovery. Whether it’s trying new restaurants, visiting local landmarks, or exploring the city’s nightlife, there’s always more fun to be had when shared with friends.

It is time to get ready to experience the best of Lille with our curated list of must-visit restaurants, bars, cafes, and unique experiences. 

Restaurants
Octopus

The dining atmosphere in Octopus will drive you in, but their cuisine will keep you coming back. They offer original dishes and recommend you begin with some starters and later one main octopus dish. If you take a look at their unique wine list, you will find local/small producers that may end up being your new favorite.

Location:  2 Pl. Sébastopol, Lille, France 

Bloempot

In Bloempot offers dishes that stay close to their origin. Made local with organic and wild farming, you know you are in for a treat. When you arrive you have the opportunity to choose from the ‘experience menu’ which allows you to have your “eyes closed” and have the chefs take over and choose what it is you will be enjoying that evening or or you may ‘stay in control’ and decide on your own. This is an added element that can excite people as soon as they are seated, which we are a huge fan of.

Location:  22 Rue des Bouchers, Lille, France

Estaminet Au Vieux de la Vieille

Estaminet Au Vieux de la Vieille is known for their welcoming staff, setting, and selection. Their prices are very reasonable, and it is here where you will be savouring the typical dishes of Hauts de France. If you are interested in visiting them, be sure to book in advance, they are usually full which of course is always extremely promising! 

Location: 2 Rue des Vieux Murs, Lille, France

Restaurant Sébastopol

If you are interested in perfectly pairing wine with your meals, Restaurant Sébastopol is the place to visit. The staff is extremely friendly and have exquisite taste in wine, we suggest you ask for recommendations to match each course to highlight your tastebuds.

Location: 1 Pl. Sébastopol, Lille, France

Bars
Artchives 

What a location! If you are looking for an experience that has it all, in Artchives you will find yourself in a bar, restaurant, and art gallery! We suggest you grab one of the drinks at the bar (known for being very generous) and explore. We must also mention that their signature cocktails are very original. Overall the experience is chic, and unique. We are sure you will enjoy yourself.

Location: 74 Rue Jacquemars Giélée, Lille, France

La Biche & Le Renard

La Biche & Le Renard is a well-known cool little bar in Lille. Known for their incredible craft beer selection, their staff is extremely knowledgeable and are there to help guide you through the variety of savours they offer. 

Location: 14 Rue de Gand, Lille, France

Quai Des Bananes

Quai Des Bananes is overall a small spot in the heart of Lille, but their menus are huge! Their cocktails list is so extensive, you will have difficulty choosing, meaning you will simply have to come back to try more next time! 

Location: 84 Rue Royale, Lille, France

Delirium Café

One of the most essential bars in Lille, is Delirium Café. Here you will have a choice of 500+ beers from all over the world, it’s quite the experience. The decor within the bar is captivating. You may choose from seating in their heated terrace or within the deep decor!

Location: 50 Rue Masséna, Lille, France

Cafés

Elizabeth’s Tea Rooms

We have written but the cafes of Lille in another article, but because we live in Europe and coffee is essential, we wanted to bring some key partners back and recommend them to you at least one more time. Elizabeth’s Tea Room is a cute little cafe located right behind the corner of what most believe to be the most beautiful streets of the city. They offer some delicious pastries, made fresh every day, and gluten-free options as well.

Location: 69-71 Rue Basse, Lille, France

Pâtisserie Méert

Méert is the oldest coffee shop in the city, making it extremely well-known! It is here where you will find Ladurée of waffles which are a must-try. “Whether for the taste buds and also for the pupils, everything is beautiful and delicious”. 

Location: 25-27 Rue Esquermoise, Lille, France

La Clairière

If you are looking for a vegan brunch in the city, La Clairière is your spot. The staff is friendly, the food portions are outstanding and the value for your money will turn you into a regular. 

Location: 75 Bd de la Liberté, Lille, France

Briocherie Sylvana

Discover the flavor of the moment of the brioche every week at Briocherie Sylvana. They offer superb coffee and delicious sweets in a beautifully decorated space. One of the must-go spots in the city of Lille. 

Location: 24 Bd Victor Hugo, Lille, France

Experiences

Le Zénith

The indoor arena, Le Zénith in Lille will be holding 69 concerts in 2023 that you should definitely look out for. Do not be worried about where your seat is, all who attend have explicitly mentioned that there is not one bad seat in the house. The arena is also very easy to get to from any part of Lille. 

Location: 1 Bd des Cités Unies, Lille, France

Gare Saint Sauveur

For alternative music and cultural events, you must visit Gare Saint Sauveur. The company organizes plenty of exhibitions throughout the year for the citizens of Lille to enjoy, and some events are even free, so keep an eye out!

Location: 17 Bd Jean-Baptiste Lebas, Lille, France

Wazemmes Market (Marche de Wazemmes)

Experience a sea of colors and smells on your next Sunday morning in Lille in the Marche de Wazemmes. You will be able to purchase fresh local produce as well as clothing and accessories like other markets often have such as El Rastro in Madrid. Marche de Wazemmes is where you will find the real Lilloise.

Location: Pl. Nouvelle Aventure, Lille, France

Palais des Beaux Arts 

Within Palais des Beaux Arts, one of the largest art museums in France you will find fine art, modern pieces, and antiques. The exhibitions are temporary which is great, allowing you the opportunity to immerse yourself in many collections.

Location: Place de la République, Lille, France

You might be moving to Lille and are excited to make it your new home but also a little nervous about what’s to come. This article is to make you feel confident with your decision of moving into Urban Campus Saint So’ Lille Coliving. We will explain all that you will find in your new apartment or studio, how it is that you will have your friends literally at your doorstep, the cool spaces you will be making memories in, and just how easy this whole move is going to be!

What is inside your new home? – Apartments, Standard & Mezzanine Studios 

In Urban Campus Lille Coliving you have the option of moving into a one-bedroom apartment, standard studio, or mezzanine studio. All are completely furnished and equipped. What exactly does this mean? Upon arrival, you will not have to purchase anything. At Urban Campus our spaces are “toothbrush ready” and we pride ourselves on that. Your private unit will have everything from plates, glasses, mugs, wine glasses, teatowels, kitchen appliances including a microwave, toaster, coffee press, a bed, pillows, duvet, side table, hangers, cleaning supplies, and even some decor to make you feel right at home. The list goes on and on, but we recommend prior to purchasing anything for your new flat, on the first day you should explore every drawer there is. We are sure you will not be disappointed.

What are common spaces? 

Aside from having your newly renovated apartment, you will have access to 300 sqm of common areas. Why do we have this? We have comfortable shared spaces so that you are encouraged to have more encounters with your colivers, for you to truly feel like you are part of a community. This is why in Lille Saint So’ Coliving you will find; a coworking space to step away from your desk at home, a fitness area equipped with everything you need to be healthy, an additional shared kitchen to encourage you to spend time with your fellow colivers and share a delicious meal, a cinema room for the ultimate experience, a lounge to have the space to chill, a terrace to enjoy the beautiful outdoors, and a laundry room.

COMMON KITCHEN
Coworking
Fitness

What is included? 

There are plenty of things that are included in the monthly rental. For example; wifi and all utilities are included, meaning water, heating, and electricity – you won’t have to worry about it! Which gives our colivers peace of mind. The maintenance of your flats is also included, so if something happens you can tell our support team right away. Weekly cleaning of the common areas and monthly cleaning of your private unit is also included. If you wish to have the cleaning done bi-weekly, or once a week you can let our team know and an additional service charge will be added each month. The best part of “everything included” would definitely be the community events we hold. The activities our Head of Community puts together can vary every month, but they are designed for you to turn your neighbors from strangers into friends. You will also have a monthly dinner sponsored by Urban Campus for the entire building. If you are curious about what some community events may be, take a look at our Instagram!

We are extremely excited for you to join our Lille coliving community! In Madrid, we have had people in our spaces build genuine friendships, some have become partners, not only in business but also in love. Coliving is to bring like-minded individuals together, to provide you with the best service possible and for the ultimate convenience when moving to a new flat.

Are you ready now?

We have provided 3 things that you should consider to make 2023 a great year.

New Year, New Me – we have heard it all before, but what is it that you plan on doing to achieve this and truly feel the “new me” concept this year? Why is it that people wait until the new year to make those changes that they think about the other 11 months of the year? This is known as the “fresh start effect,” which suggests it is easier to adopt new habits and make the changes at natural transition points. This idea of a “new beginning” can be defined by several occasions such as the start of a new season, a birthday, or in the case of many a new year.

We want to get you on track for 2023 and have three recommendations that can help have an impact on you. 

It is officially January 5th, so we may be a little late, but it was the holidays, you had family and friends over at your new coliving, events in and out of the city, and lots of food to eat. So we know you are just starting to wrap your head around the idea of making changes to your life, and we wanted to give you some time to rest.

Be Smart 

We believe one of the most crucial things you should consider while making a goal for this year is to be smart. In a 1981 issue of a Management Review magazine, a writer explained that all goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-related). The purpose behind this is for each one of your goals to have meaning and weight. 

Specific: Your goal should be clear, you cannot vaguely state what you want because it won’t be enough. For example, saying “I want to lose weight this year” should be changed to “I want to lose 20kg by the beginning of March 2023”. 

Measurable: When it comes to losing weight, this may seem obvious because you would be seeing the numbers on the scale, however, this is also your opportunity to take it even further. Writing down your progress or taking pictures can reinforce your goal and your commitment to it. Another example may be, if you have a bad habit of biting your nails, take a picture every three days and track how you are doing. 

Achievable: We recommend that you make realistic goals. Why? We don’t want you to be frustrated or angry at yourself when you do not achieve them. Saying that you will save 700 euros per month when perhaps your salary is 1,200 may not be realistic as time passes. Perhaps you can start by saving 150 euros and if the goal becomes easier, slowly increase it. 

Relevant: Ensuring that this goal really matters to you is important. You should be making these changes because you know you will be happy about the outcome. 

Time-related: Your timeline towards achieving this goal or any you have set should be realistic as well. It’s all about the small wins, so set yourself up for success. 

Focus on Your Life Force 

Phil Stutz, is a well-known psychiatrist who speaks in-depth about this concept of your Life Force in his book “The Tools”. He says that when you constantly work on your life force, everything else will just fall into place.

Stutz recommends you think of your life force as a pyramid, with key relationships being formed: the base is the relationship you have with your body, the middle section is the relationship you have with people and the top section is the relationship you have with yourself. 

The Relationship with your Body
Sleep, exercise, and diet, we have heard it all before but the impact that this has on your day-to-day well-being is astonishing. As soon as you begin to have a positive relationship with your body and genuinely care for it, you will notice the mood change in you almost immediately. This portion of your life force has 85% control of your happiness and inner peace. 

The Relationship with People
Sometimes it is easier to stay home, escape from the world, and turn on Netflix, but human connection is important. Take the initiative to call your friends and family and make those plans happen. We learn so much from others, both good and bad, but the act of physically being with people and sharing experiences is such a critical element of having a happy life. Humans are social animals. 

The Relationship with Yourself
This relationship, for most, is the hardest. Stutz recommends in order to properly build a relationship with yourself you must get to know your unconscious, and the best way of doing that would be to write to yourself. By writing, you discover things you may not have realized you have been thinking about. This may be the most difficult because you need to dedicate the time to write. Perhaps it is not an everyday activity, especially when you are first getting started, but put yourself in the position to be open-minded about the process, it is said to be the most surprising out of the three. You owe it to yourself, to know who you are. 

Take Time to Meditate

Meditation is a discipline on its own. Some people find it extremely difficult to keep focused throughout the session or to even find the 5-15 minutes needed to do it. However, the benefits are huge.

Scientifically speaking, when you meditate you reduce stress, control anxiety, promote emotional health, enhance self-awareness, lengthen your attention span, reduce age-related memory loss, improve sleep, decrease blood pressure, and much more. 

Being mindful is something many struggle with, and meditation has a way of helping you stop, slow down, take it all in and be there. 

Some of our team members at Urban Campus use HeadSpace for their daily meditation needs. It is an app that offers meditation courses, daily meditation exercises, podcasts, sleep guides, and even some mini-movement workouts, all designed to help you feel better and more connected.

To get a two-week free trial to Headspace, and begin your meditation practices, click on this link.

We hope this article inspired you to begin this year off on the right foot, take control of your goals and work on being happier, because in the end that’s all we want. 

Happy 2023! 

Before the clock strikes midnight, countries around the world get ready and prepare their unique New Year’s Eve Traditions to ensure that the start of their new year is done right. 

We wanted to make sure this December 31, you not only are celebrating with family, friends and your new colivers but that you consider adding in an element that you may not have known even existed, just to give yourself some extra luck with 2023.

Here are some countless traditions that have been passed down through the generations across several countries on how to welcome in the New Year:

It is important to note that all the countries we will be sharing with you today, typically start off their last night of the year, at a party or some sort of get-together. They get dressed up, eat great food, have a few drinks, and enjoy each other’s company. However, prior to midnight people get ready for certain things to happen. 

In the USA and Canada, since 1907 the tradition has been to do the countdown while watching the ball drop (typically the one in Times Square). However, as part of English and German folklore, some people even kiss at midnight as a sign of good luck. 

In Scotland, there are many street parties that take place on New Year. Some areas may even have parades, fireworks, and torchlit processions. One of the most famous traditions done by the Scottish is known as “first footing,” where people go door-to-door to wish each other a happy new year and bring gifts such as coal, shortbread, or whisky.

In Spain, people eat 12 green grapes, with each sound of the bell representing each month of the year. We recommend you do this safely and try to get seed-less grapes. 

In Denmark, they do two things: the people believe it is critical to leave their aggression behind in order to move forward, so to achieve this they throw plates (they say the best would be china) at your friend’s and neighbour’s front doors. Once that task is completed, prior to the countdown the Danish hop up on chairs, couches maybe even tables, and once the clock strikes midnight they jump into the new year. 

In Italy, people eat cotechino, a type of sausage, and lentils, which are believed to bring good fortune. In some regions, the Italians also recommend you wear red underwear. 

In France, when the clock strikes 12 you must drink champagne, and as the night continues, you continue to drink champagne. 

In China, New Year’s Eve is known as “Chuxi” where the dragon dance is performed in order to scare away evil for the coming year. Dragons signify wisdom, power, and wealth and are believed to bring good luck. The dragon’s costumes come in various colors, all with different meanings. For example, green symbolizes a great harvest, yellow is respect for the empire, gold or silver is for prosperity and red represents excitement for a promising future.

In Costa Rica, in order to ensure you travel for the following year they recommend you take an empty suitcase and run around the block with it. This is also encouraged in other Latin countries. 

In Greece, they recommend you put onions outside your front door as it is the symbol of rebirth. The idea is that the onions will help people grow and experience a rebirth of their own in the upcoming year. 

In Brazil, they throw white flowers into the ocean as gifts to the Water Goddess Yemanja, for her to fulfill their New Year’s wishes and bring them luck. An extra tradition some Brazilians do prior to the countdown, is to have a folha de louro (bay leaf), also known as the Priest’s leaf, in their pocket. It is known as a very spiritual token and is said to sharpen your intuition. 

In Germany, an 18-minute-long video replays all day on New Year’s Eve called, “Dinner for One” on almost all channels of the tv. It is a tradition to consistently watch this show while preparing for the party, having dinner, and even just before midnight. 

In Portugal, they follow the tradition of putting money in your shoe as a sign of good fortune in the coming months.

We hope you discovered a few interesting traditions, that can easily be incorporated in your New Year’s Eve parties that may even bring you that extra luck next year you are hoping for. 

Happy New Years! 

We are going to inspire you to go from Lille to Brussels!

You wake up one morning in your new coliving and inspire your fellow colivers to go on a trip with you. Where do you go? We recommend you visit Brussels, known for its cuisine, numerous types of beers, and its history. 

In less than 17km you could find yourself at the Belgium border, but to get to the city of Brussels it would only take you 35 minutes by train from Lille with Thalys. Whether you go for just one day to discover the nightlife or you escape for a weekend, you won’t regret this trip.

When is the best time to visit Brussels?

Speaking in terms of weather forecast they say the best times to visit would be March and May and September and October. However, as we are currently in December now, this article is written with winter in mind. We believe you should take advantage of the incredible Christmas Market the city offers until January 1, 2023. However, the Winter Wonder Woods will be available until January 8, 2023. 

It’s time to get lost between the 200 booths that offer an array of artisanal products, food, fine wines, and cheeses. You must go ice skating in the rink they have set up while enjoying the light show and the 18-meter beautifully decorated Christmas tree. You may even want to bundle up and take a walk to enjoy the brass bands, parades, concerts in support of Ukraine, or the Crystal by Cirque du Soleil. The city truly gives it its all every year as the city expects with every passing year approximately two million people to visit during this time of year.

This year’s Christmas market is located a two-minute walk from the Mont des Arts. The exact address for your google search is Carr de l’Europe. 

What should you see?

The Grand Place is the most visited and most famous square (plaza) in the town. Once you make your way to the center of it, you will be surrounded by great architecture. We believe the streets located near the square look like the “Vieux Lille”. 

We also recommend you pass through the Place du Sablon. This is known as the luxury district, it is here where the high-class boutiques and antique dealers are located. From here you can also admire the impressive Atomium, a landmark created for the Brussels world’s fair in 1958. 

If your goal is to avoid the most famous tourist streets we suggest you go for a walk in the Marolles District, locally known for its daily high-end flea market (located in Pl. du Jeu de Balle 79) as well as, modern galleries showcasing work by Belgian and international artists. 

You cannot miss Manneken Pis, he is located between the Rue du Chêne and the pedestrian Rue de l’Étuve. He was designed in 1388 and is easily one of the most loved symbols of Brussels. His small bronze statue measures 50cm tall and is of a small naked boy urinating in the fountain. The legend claims he saved Brussels from disaster. 

We also want to share with you his feminine version, much less known Jeanneke Pis, she is located on Bouchers street. Created by Denis-Adrien Debouvrie with the idea of restoring equality between men and women, as well as bringing more tourists to the street where Jeanneke is located, a street where he has many restaurants. 

What should you eat?

Now that you are in Brussels you need to taste their culinary specialties which include; beer, french fries (that are actually Belgian), and waffles. Sounds great doesn’t it? It is. 

Our recommendation is finding the little pubs around the streets, and enter in any one that strikes your attention. If you are a beer drinker, ask the bartender to recommend you one that they like or see if you can get a flight (between 3 – 4 12 oz beers) to try. This is also a great idea for tasting with your fellow colivers. Typical Belgian beers are very heavy in terms of alcohol, you may not be used to this so just be careful! 

Right in the Grand Palace you will find Maison Dandoy, a well-known waffle house. However, if you are just wondering around the city you will find more of Maison, so don’t worry if you miss the one in the center!

Friterie du Miroir, is not in the heart of the city either but it is said to be the best spot for Belgian-French fries. They are made fresh and have just the right crisp to them.

What should you expect?

The Belgian people are known worldwide for their kindness and generosity. They are extremely welcoming.

If you don’t speak French or Dutch? Don’t worry, you will find a lot of people speak English as there are a lot of expats in the city making it extremely easy to communicate and feel comfortable. There are also a lot of “international districts” such as Ixelles and Saint Gilles. The neighbourhood of Ixelles is known for its artsy feel, trendy restaurants, and boutique hotels. While the neighbourhood of Saint Gilles they say feels like a village, known for its colorful terraces, beautiful arching architecture, and a paradise to fellow artists. 

It’s your time to enjoy Brussels, wander the streets, and strike up a conversation with the people of the city! Enjoy yourself, be safe, and remember that your home in Lille will be waiting for you when you come back! 

 

Les Echos featured us in their article about coliving, shared housing, and intergenerational residences, read more below:

Coliving, shared housing, and intergenerational residences. …these collective projects have a bright future ahead of them. Carriers of social ties are often better accepted locally than real estate.

Urban Campus and In’li have just announced the construction of a co-living residence in Ivry-sur-Seine (Val-de-Marne). Bringing together 165 individual and shared studios, the building will also house shared spaces (kitchen, lounges, coworking, gym, rooftop, etc.) as well as a coworking room for local entrepreneurs. Delivery is expected in 2025.

This project is typical of these alternative forms of housing which are multiplying in urban areas in the same way as intergenerational residences or shared housing.

Promote a sense of belonging

The trend of “co-” in housing is sustainable, according to Damien Robert, chairman of the board of In’li, a subsidiary of Action Logement specializing in the rental of intermediate housing. “Young workers, who make up 80% of our new arrivals, are looking for apartments in lively neighborhoods close to transport. But giving them access to a set of friendly spaces and events promoting the feeling of belonging to a community is a big plus for them, “specifying In’li’s commitment: 2,000 housing units in the coliving sector will be delivered within three years.

“This responds to known societal changes”,  supports Amaury Courbon, co-founder of Colonies, one of the main building managers in coliving. His company has just announced a partnership of 200 million euros of investment with CDC Habitat to create twenty large residences with common areas. “Young people stay single longer and not finding themselves isolated is a real challenge.”

Participative housing booming

Getting out of “everyone at home” and creating more social ties is also the ambition of shared housing , governed by the Alur law (2014). The reason? Groups of residents come together to create their own residences by sharing certain spaces and activities. A way to promote exchanges between generations and eco-responsible lifestyles. Currently, an average of 300 housing units of this type are created per year, according to the Habitat Participatif France movement, which predicts that their number will exceed 10,000 within five years.

Even if these projects take time to materialize, four years on average, several communities such as Strasbourg, Nantes or Lille encourage their development. In the most tense areas, these participatory habitats carried by ordinary citizens would have little chance of seeing the light of day without the upstream intervention of the municipal authority, via calls for tenders aimed in part at this type of file. In general, elected representatives’ reluctance towards these new models is fading.

Because these collective projects stand out advantageously from the standard constructions often rejected locally. Christine Leconte, President of the National Council of the Order of Architects, assures us: “Mayors can be driving forces provided they develop available plots in a logic of common good. These new-generation housing units are much better accepted than low-quality projects by bringing something to the neighborhood and its inhabitants, such as a shared room or an open garden.

An alternative to nursing homes

“Intergenerational” residences are also beginning to arouse great interest among cities faced with the aging of their inhabitants. This is the observation of the social landlord Seqens (Action Logement) which has given rise to nine real estate projects over the past five years in the Paris region. These sets of 90 to 170 housing units include shared spaces and activities generally coordinated by a local association.

When allocating the apartments, the lessor ensures that there is a balanced mix between families, young workers and seniors to avoid a situation of isolation. For Damien Cacaret, president of Silver Valley, a cluster bringing together economic players serving the elderly , “baby boomers are more open than their elders to these new living spaces that promise social ties, designed in the heart of cities and adapted to autonomous seniors.

A welcome alternative to nursing homes which must be reserved for serious addiction. However, according to a Silver Valley study unveiled on November 29, these innovative formulas remain poorly known to the target audience. Two-thirds of the 1,000 seniors surveyed do not feel “at all informed about alternatives to living at home”.

To read the article in its original language (French) click here. 

 

We wanted to find the best ways to give back this holiday season, as this time of year is known for bringing people together and lending a hand. With the year ending, and everything winding down, you may feel as though you have a moment to catch your breath. Many take this period to reflect on all that they have accomplished in the last twelve months, and everything they have planned for the upcoming year. You may spend it with your family, from afar, or your friends in your coliving

We believe this season has a way of making everyone a little more kind, which think is wonderful. Many shop until they drop for their loved ones, but we asked our staff to do the opposite.

Last year at Urban Campus we donated books to Libros Melior. They sell second-hand and used books, donated by individuals as well as organisations, and give them a new life in solidarity. The funds raised are used to finance projects such as delivering textbooks and school supplies to families with limited financial resources.

This year in our Paris office our team came together and donated to Emmaüs, an international solidarity charity to help out this season. They are known for fighting against social exclusion and supporting the reinsertion of people in need by finding them a job in one of their various structures. The company regularly organizes big fund-raisers and resells all the donations they receive in their vintage clothes shops and furniture stores. The donation was made just last week to ensure the kids would have it in time for the holidays.

While in Madrid, we will have worked with our Head of Community to have a box donation set up inside each of our five colivings and our coworking for those who can and would like to donate canned goods and non-perishables to Foodie Angels. Their organization specifically helps families with economic difficulties by offering them surplus food. 

So as you know, Our coliving along with our coworking community and staff are getting ready for the season and love finding ways of doing these initiatives also throughout the year. If you have any recommendations or connections of more acts like these and how we can be a part of it, we invite you to get in contact with us and let us know. 

Happy Holidays! 

Chritmas Markets in Madrid are not as popular as others in central Europe, but they are actually quite spectaculal. So it is time for you to bundle up, and take a walk through the city and experience not one, but at least seven Christmas Markets this year. Below you will see the best guide, to ensure you have solid plans every weekend this holiday season. 

Plaza Mayor Christmas Market 

The most famous holiday market in the city takes place in Plaza Mayor, located a 10-minute walk from Malasaña Madrid Coliving . Right in the center, you will find more than 100 wooden booths that offer an array of Christmas decorations and ornaments. It is here where all the things that you need to complete your Nativity Scene can be found. 

When: November 25 – December 31, 2022
Location: Plaza Mayor

Handmade Artisan Market of Madrid 

This will be Madrid’s 36th edition of the Crafts Fair which can be found between Colón and Cibeles, a 5-minute walk from Urban Campus Jerónimo. There will be 155 stands for you to discover throughout your walk, some may include pottery, jewellery, leather goods, engraved gifts, glass products, and more.

When: December 1 – 30, 2022
Location: C. Timón, 27

Plaza de Juan Goytisolo Christmas Market

An additional market is held next to the skating rink of Plaza de Juan Goytisolous, again only a 10-minute walk from our Coworking in Jerónimo. The vendors here not only sell gifts, but delicious Christmas food you will need to keep you warm.

When: 4 December, 2022 – January 6, 2023
Location: Plaza de Juan Goyistolo

Christmas Sweets Fair

If you like sugar and sweets this is the market for you. Quite literally known as the Christmas Sweets Fair, this market has everything you need to offer your family after a big Christmas day lunch. For those who live in our Malasaña Coliving, you are only a dangerous 10-minute walk away!

When: November 30, 2022 – January 5, 2023
Location: Plaza de Isabel II 

El Corte Inglés Castellana Christmas Market

The parking lot of the Corte Inglés converts into what we believe to be one of the most Christmas-themed spots in Madrid and it is luckily only 10-minutes from our brand new coliving in Cuarto Caminos. There are a handful of food vendors where you can grab a nice bite to eat. Last year, there was a gourmet burger truck with quite the line up. 

We feel it is important to say, not much shopping will be done here in terms of gifts for family or friends. However, we do recommend you visit and experience the scenery, the light show and Christmas classic jams they keep on all night  – its a great afternoon plan to get in the holiday spirit.

When: November 20, 2022 – January 5, 2023
Location: El Corte Inglés Castellana

Articus – Casa de Campo Christmas Market 

The new Christmas Market in Casa de Campo known as Articus will offer artist creations, crafts, and products from major brands. They are showcasing this market all over Madrid, from billboards in the metro to ads on the buses. We don’t have much to say, as this is a new market for Madrid, but we will definitely see you there! Especially those who live in our Malasaña Coliving, because its only 5-minutes away.

When: December 16, 2022 – January 8, 2023
Location: Av. del Lago s/n

 

La Navideña 

An outdoor skating rink of 450m2 will be set up in the newley renovated Plaza España for the second year in a row. Located 3-minutes away from our Malasaña Coliving, you will be able to see the biggest Christmas tree Madrid has this year. Not only will you be able to purchase handmade products and meals but there will also be theatrical and circus experiences.

When: November 25, 2022 – January 8, 2023
Location: Plaza España