Affordable Housing Solutions in France

France’s housing market is facing serious challenges, with rising costs and a limited supply of suitable housing options. As property prices and living expenses continue to climb, there’s a rapidly growing need for affordable housing solutions.

At Urban Campus, we’ve seen these issues firsthand and are committed to being part of the solution. Our background in creating community-focused living spaces has driven us to develop housing solutions that are affordable and holistically improve the lives of urban residents.

Let’s take a closer look at how our new affordable housing solutions will help to create a more balanced and inclusive market in France.


The State of Affordable Housing in France

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First, let’s take a look at the current housing situation in France.

  • High Costs and Limited Supply: Persistent issues of high costs and limited housing availability, particularly in urban areas, continue to strain the French housing market.
  • Interest Rate Spike in 2022: The affordability crisis was exacerbated when interest rates sharply increased in 2022, putting additional pressure on potential homeowners and renters.
  • Rising Homelessness: Over 330,000 individuals in France are homeless as of 2021, a significant increase from 143,000 in 2012, highlighting the growing severity of the housing crisis.
  • Widespread Poverty: More than 9 million people lived below the poverty line in 2021, demonstrating widespread economic challenges.
  • Social Housing Backlog: Approximately 2.4 million households are on the waiting list for social housing, yet only 3% of these applicants are deemed eligible due to stringent criteria.


What is Intermediate Rental Housing?

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Intermediate rental housing, or “logement locatif intermédiaire” is a housing model that emerged as a response to the growing divide in the housing market. It aims to serve a demographic that falls between the typical beneficiaries of social housing and those who can comfortably afford market rates. This segment includes middle-income earners, often referred to as the “missing middle,” who earn too much to qualify for social housing but not enough to compete in the increasingly expensive private rental sector. 

In many European countries, including France, the concept of Intermediate rental housing has been developed to address this gap. It’s more than just a temporary solution; it’s a strategic way to offer more housing choices and promote social integration. By offering rents that are approximately 10-15% below the market rate, IRH makes living in urban centers more accessible to those who might otherwise be priced out of these areas.

Intermediate Rental Housing in France

In recent years, the importance of IRH in France has become increasingly recognized amidst escalating housing prices and urban gentrification. The French government and private developers have both taken steps to promote this type of housing:

  • Legislative Support: Various legislative measures have been introduced to encourage the development of IRH. These include tax incentives for developers and simplified zoning laws to expedite the construction process.
  • Local Initiatives: Some regions and cities have implemented local initiatives to incorporate IRH into their urban planning strategies. For example, cities like Paris have allocated specific quotas of new developments to be designated as intermediate rental housing.
  • Public-Private Partnerships: There has been an increase in partnerships between public entities and private developers to fund and manage IRH projects. 
  • Market Response: The market has responded positively to IRH, with a growing number of developers recognizing the potential for stable returns on investment through socially responsible development practices.


Urban Campus’ Role in Pioneering Affordable Housing Solutions

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At Urban Campus, we have recognized the pressing need for affordable housing solutions and have positioned ourselves at the forefront of addressing this challenge. Our approach involves more than merely providing housing; it’s about creating vibrant, sustainable communities that holistically enhance the lives of their residents.

Innovative Housing Projects and Community Integration

Our projects integrate affordable housing with high-quality living environments, specifically designed to meet the dynamic needs of modern urban dwellers. By developing managed intermediate housing and service-oriented residences, we cater to a broad spectrum of the population who seek both affordability and quality. Romain Crépel, our Director of Urban Campus in France, emphasized this strategy, stating, “Our mission is not only to provide a roof but also to create environments where people can truly live well and connect with others.”

Tailored Living Solutions

Each Urban Campus residence is meticulously designed to promote flexibility and a sense of community. Our residences feature shared coworking spaces, which cater to the growing number of remote workers and freelancers looking for a productive and collaborative work environment outside of a traditional office. Fitness centers and communal kitchens are also standard, providing spaces where residents can take care of their health and share meals, fostering strong communal bonds.

Cost-Effective Community Living

These shared amenities are more than just conveniences; they represent a fundamental shift towards a shared economy in housing. By pooling resources, our residents can enjoy higher-quality facilities at a lower cost than they would manage individually. “The integration of these communal spaces is key to reducing living costs while enhancing the quality of life,” Romain noted in a recent interview. “It’s about smart living where costs are shared, and every square meter is optimized for maximum utility and comfort.”

Sustainable and Socially Responsible Approaches

Sustainability is at the core of our operations at Urban Campus. We believe in building not just for today, but for the future. Our designs incorporate eco-friendly materials and technologies, reducing the environmental impact of our buildings and promoting long-term sustainability. Moreover, by fostering socially integrated communities, we are actively contributing to the social fabric of the cities we operate in. As Romain notes, “Urban Campus is not just about building homes, it’s about crafting ecosystems that thrive on mutual support and collective well-being.”


The Growth and Expansion of Urban Campus

As Urban Campus continues to grow, we are proud to build upon our successful operations in coliving, now expanding our horizons into multifamily units, flex living, and affordable housing initiatives. Our journey began with revolutionizing coliving spaces, where we crafted communities centered around shared experiences and mutual respect. Today, we are taking that expertise and applying it to a broader range of housing solutions, each designed to meet diverse needs and lifestyles while upholding our commitment to social responsibility.

Our expansion is driven by a vision where everyone has access to affordable, quality housing that enhances community and personal well-being. We are dedicated to innovating in ways that respect both the environment and the communities we serve, ensuring that as we grow, we also uphold high standards of social responsibility. This commitment is not just a part of our business model; it’s at the heart of every project we undertake, guiding us to make a meaningful impact in the cities we touch. 

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Let’s take a trip to the town of Croix, France, where a transformative project is underway. 

La Maillerie, once a dormant industrial site, is now being redeveloped into a thriving hub for community and sustainability. This urban development merges residential, commercial, and cultural assets to enhance quality of life, increase economic opportunities, and enrich overall community connection. 

The project represents a total reinvention of the La Maillerie area in Croix, France, and Urban Campus is thrilled to be playing a key part. Let’s dive in! 


The La Maillerie Project: An Overview 

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How can urban spaces evolve to meet modern needs while also promoting community well-being? 

In Croix, France, the answer lies in the innovative development of La Maillerie. The scope of the La Maillerie project encompasses a comprehensive development plan designed to transform the area into a model of modern urban living. This includes the construction of residential units, commercial offices, retail spaces, and cultural venues, each built with sustainability and community engagement at the forefront. 

La Maillerie’s vision is to create a vibrant ‘mini-city’ where residents can work, relax, and socialize in a community-focused environment. This holistic approach includes the development of new educational facilities, cultural landmarks, and technology hubs. At the center of the community will be our Urban Campus La Maillerie, Lille Coliving Space. Together, these developments will synergize to provide an enriched, community-centric living experience.


Life in La Maillerie 

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La Maillerie in Croix, France is quickly gaining attention as an exciting hub for young professionals. The area is characterized by its blend of contemporary architecture and lush green spaces, offering a peaceful environment that promotes a healthy lifestyle. The area is particularly known for: 

  • Convenience and Accessibility: Centrally located with easy access to public transportation.
  • Green Living: New residential living options, like Urban Campus La Maillerie Coliving, with modern amenities and nearby parks and gardens.
  • Cultural Hotspot: Regular arts and cultural events held at cool local venues and public spaces.

La Maillerie also has many options for entertainment and meeting new people. Some favorite places to visit in the area include: 

  • Le Bistrot de la Maillerie – A favorite for its local cuisine and charming ambiance.
  • Café Vert – Known for its eco-friendly menu and organic coffee.
  • Croix Community Theater – Offers a variety of performances, from local plays to international performances.
  • Maillerie Marketplace – A local artisan market selling handmade crafts and local produce.
  • Urban Sports Complex – For those looking to stay active, featuring state-of-the-art facilities for a variety of sports.
  • Les Halles de la Maillerie – A modern marketplace offering a variety of gourmet foods and fresh produce in a lively, open-air setting.
  • Brique House: A popular beer house and prime spot for social gatherings and tastings.


Urban Campus La Maillerie, Lille Coliving

Urban Campus is set to enrich the dynamic community of La Maillerie with the introduction of our La Maillerie, Lille Coliving Space in July 2024. This will be our largest coliving to-date, with 121 units. As with all of our coliving spaces, our La Maillerie residence will include common spaces like a coworking space, fitness area, movie room, lounge, additional shared kitchen, and terraces for all of our colivers to enjoy. 

More than just coliving

Our La Maillerie Coliving is not just about providing a place to stay; it’s about creating an interconnected environment where colivers can build meaningful relationships. Urban Campus focuses on reducing urban isolation specifically through our social events and communal spaces, helping residents form friendships and feel more integrated in the area. 

Participating in La Maillerie’s urban development in Croix, France aligns perfectly with our mission to craft living spaces that are not only convenient but also socially engaging and environmentally responsible. By integrating innovative design with community centric initiatives, we aim to contribute significantly to the social fabric of La Maillerie, ensuring that the development becomes a thriving place for personal and professional growth.


Urban Campus Looking to the Future

Since its inception in 2016, Urban Campus has been at the forefront of revolutionizing urban living with community-focused coliving spaces aimed primarily at young professionals in France and Spain. We continue to open many new coliving assets, however, are also branching into a wider range of housing solutions

The development project at La Maillerie exemplifies the profound commitment of Urban Campus to transcend traditional housing options. Our mission encompasses community engagement, urban revitalization, and uniting diverse individuals under a new vision of urban living. Our ventures now range from multifamily complexes to affordably priced rental housing (“logements locatifs intermédiaires”), all strategically designed to meet the varied needs of an expansive urban demographic. 

Vision for Urban Living

We envision a future where all urban dwellers have access to housing that is not only economically feasible but also culturally enriching. By continuing to innovate how we design and manage our properties, Urban Campus is invoking meaningful change in the housing sector. Our La Maillerie Coliving is another leap forward in our goal of offering housing options that promote inclusivity, connectivity, and overall well-being. We can’t wait to open! 

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Calling all coffee fanatics!

Lille has a rich coffee culture that pervades the entire city. From the cozy corners of family-run establishments to the hearty warmth of more traditional cafés, Lille’s coffee shops offer a unique blend of flavors, aromas, and experiences. Let’s delve into the top 10 coffee shops in Lille that are sure to satisfy your craving for caffeine. 


1. Aux Merveilleux de Fred: The Most Traditional

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Since its inception in 1997, Aux Merveilleux de Fred has become a staple of Lille’s coffee shop scene, celebrated for its exquisite “Merveilleux” pastry. This café has multiple locations peppered across the city, including one close to our Urban Campus Saint So’ Coliving

The allure of freshly made baked goods, visible through a quaint window, captivates every passerby. We recommend indulging in the “Le Merveilleux,” a delightful concoction of meringue. Don’t forget to ask for the secret cream, available in flavors like speculoos, coffee, vanilla, and chocolate.

  • Location: 336 Rue Léon Gambetta, Lille


2. Cafés Méo: The Most Local

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Rooted in the 1920s, Cafés Méo epitomizes the tradition of fine coffee in the North of France. Its inaugural shop in Lille, opened in 1928, stands as a monument to coffee excellence, inviting aficionados to savor its premium beans. If you want to connect with the city’s history and time-honored establishments, this is a must-visit. 

  • Location: 5 Pl. du Général de Gaulle, Lille


3. La Clairière: The Most Vegan Friendly

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La Clairière is a hotspot for those seeking vegan, local, and organic options in an intimate setting. This place is known for its lively Sunday brunches and colorful dishes. Plus, it is animal friendly, so you can bring all of your furry friends! 

  • Location: 75 Bd de la Liberté, Lille


4. Elizabeth’s: The Most British

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At Elizabeth’s, the charm of British baking takes center stage. Famous for its homemade scones, brownies, and cookies, this tiny café is a cozy retreat. A cup of tea and salted butter scone at Elizabeth’s certainly will not disappoint. 

  • Location: 69-71 Rue Basse, Lille


5. Café Augustin: The Closest to Urban Campus

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Just a short walk from Urban Campus Saint So’, Lille Coliving, Café Augustin is a versatile space for work, relaxation, and coffee exploration. You can go for just a small snack and espresso, or try some of their beautifully plated entrees like creamy polenta or soft-boiled eggs.

  • Location: 57 Rue de Valenciennes, Lille


6. Coffee Makers: The Most Coffee Focused

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Coffee Makers is where the love for coffee is joyously celebrated. They have a top-quality coffee menu, plus food selections ranging from cinnamon toast to homemade granola. If you are looking for that irresistible scent of freshly roasted beans, Coffee Makers is your place. 

  • Location: 151 Rue Pierre Mauroy, Lille


7. Oxalis & Bergamote: The Best for Cheesecake

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Oxalis & Bergamote stands out for its high-quality pastries, not to mention its elegant environment. A favorite among locals, this spot offers a refined café experience, blending delicious sweets with a sophisticated vibe.

  • Location: 44 Rue d’Angleterre, Lille


8. L’impertinente: The Trendiest

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Dubbing itself a “Pony-club” rather than a mere coffee shop, L’impertinente adds a dash of fun to the coffee scene. The interior is decorated with bright colors and patterns, which also translate to their gorgeously decorated cakes and pastries. 

  • Location: 9 Bd Papin, Lille


9. Briocherie Sylvana: The Most Specialized

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For freshly baked brioche, Briocherie Sylvana is a dream. With a variety of both sweet and salty options, they have a large menu with all different flavors of cakes, muffins, pastries, and much more. This is the perfect place to indulge in your sweet tooth alongside a warm cup of delectable coffee. 

  • Location: 24 Bd Victor Hugo, Lille


10. Meert 1677: The Oldest

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Meert 1677, the oldest coffee shop in Lille, offers a luxurious dive into the city’s rich café culture. Known for its vanilla waffles, Meert is a testament to the timeless appeal of fine patisserie and coffee, despite the tourist lines. If you want to experience all of the essentials of Lille, a visit to Meert needs to be on your list. 

  • Location: 25-27 Rue Esquermoise, Lille


French Café Culture 

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In France, café culture is an essential part of daily life, reflecting the country’s appreciation for good coffee, leisure, and community. Unlike in many other places, traditional French cafés are not just spots to grab a quick caffeine fix; they are places where people come to relax, meet with friends, or even conduct business meetings. This culture thrives on the principle of taking one’s time, whether it’s for a morning espresso or an afternoon pause.

In Lille, this tradition is evident in the diversity and character of its coffee shops, each telling a part of the city’s story. They serve as communal hubs that reflect the local lifestyle, where the emphasis is on the quality of the coffee and the warmth of the welcome. Moreover, Lille’s café culture mirrors the city’s blend of tradition and modernity, showcasing how contemporary trends in coffee preparation and consumption have been seamlessly integrated into the historic fabric of French society. 

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A Comprehensive Guide to French Cheese

Welcome to the fascinating world of French cheese, an iconic symbol of French culture and gastronomy. The art of cheese-making in France has been refined over many centuries, resulting in a diverse tapestry of flavors, textures, and forms. 

We will explore the intricacies of French cheese in this comprehensive guide, from the most beloved varieties to the intricate processes of cheese-making. Whether you’re a connoisseur or a curious newcomer, prepare to embark on a delectable journey through the heart of French culinary tradition.


French Cheese Families

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Several distinct families categorize French cheeses, each offering their own unique characteristics and flavors.

  • Soft cheeses with bloomy rinds are perhaps the most recognizable, including world-renowned varieties like Brie and Camembert. The creamy interiors and velvety, edible white rinds of these cheeses come from Penicillium candidum mold. They often have buttery and earthy flavors that intensify with age.
  • Washed-rind cheeses are known for their strong aromas and flavors. The washing process with solutions such as saltwater, brandy, or local spirits gives these cheeses their intense flavor and distinctive orange or red rinds. Examples include Munster and Epoisses, offering flavors from mildly pungent to deeply savory.
  • Blue cheeses, such as Roquefort, Bleu d’Auvergne, and Fourme d’Ambert, are punctuated by veins of blue or green mold. These cheeses have a crumbly and sometimes creamy texture, with spicy, tangy, and even slightly sweet flavors that can vary in intensity.
  • Hard cheeses, like Comté, Beaufort, and Mimolette, are aged for longer periods and are known for their firm textures. They have rich, complex flavors that can include nutty, sweet, sharp and fruity. 
  • Lastly, fresh cheeses such as Chèvre (goat cheese), fromage blanc, and faisselle are not aged. They have a soft, spreadable texture with mild, tangy flavors. Chefs find these cheeses very useful for cooking, often using them as ingredients in gourmet recipes.


5 Most Popular Types of French Cheese

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1. Brie

Often called the ‘Queen of Cheeses,’ Brie takes its name from the French region of its origin and stands out as a soft cheese. It’s known for its creamy, buttery flavor and smooth, edible rind. Brie is a versatile cheese, perfect for both cooking and as a staple on cheese boards.

2. Camembert

Similar to Brie, Camembert is a rich, soft, creamy cheese with a delicate, edible rind. Originating from Normandy, it has a deeper flavor compared to Brie, often described as earthy and intense. Camembert is traditionally sold in small, round wooden boxes.

3. Roquefort

Roquefort is a sheep’s milk blue cheese from the South of France, recognized for its strong, tangy flavor. It is one of the world’s best known blue cheeses and is notable for its greenish-blue mold veins. Roquefort is savory with a smooth, but still slightly crumbly texture.

4. Comté

Comté is a hard, unpasteurized cow’s milk cheese from the Jura region. Aged for at least four months, Comté is known for its complex flavors, which can include hints of nuttiness, sweetness, and even a subtle fruity taste. Comté is excellent for melting and is often used in traditional French dishes.

5. Chèvre

Chèvre is the French term for goat’s cheese. These cheeses can vary widely in texture and flavor but are typically tangy and slightly earthy. Chèvre is incredibly versatile and can be found in various forms, from fresh and soft to aged and firm.


Regions of different French cheeses

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So…where does all this cheese come from? The differences in climate, vegetation, and local traditions throughout France have led to the development of distinct cheese varieties in each region.

In the lush, green pastures of Normandy, the moist, temperate climate is ideal for the production of soft, creamy cheeses like Camembert and Brie. The rich flavors and smooth textures, influenced by the high-quality milk from the region’s well-fed cows, make these cheeses highly beloved.

In contrast, the rugged, mountainous regions of the Alps and Pyrenees produce firm, hearty cheeses such as Comté, Beaufort, and Ossau-Iraty. These areas offer rich grazing for cows and sheep, and the cheeses reflect the hardy environment in which they are made. They have nutty and complex flavors that develop over months of aging.

Cheese from the South

The central and southern parts of France, with their warmer climates, are known for producing pungent, washed-rind cheeses like Munster and Roquefort. For example, the humidity and temperature of the caves where Roquefort ages contribute to its signature blue veins and sharp, tangy flavor.

Goat cheeses, or chèvres, are prevalent in the Loire Valley and Poitou-Charentes, where the mild, temperate climate and varied vegetation suit the dietary needs of goats. These regions produce cheeses like Crottin de Chavignol and Chabichou du Poitou, which vary from fresh and mild to aged and robust.


How French Cheese is Made

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Milk Collection and Coagulation

The cheese-making process starts with collecting milk, usually from local cows, goats, or sheep. The milk is then heated and combined with rennet, which helps it coagulate. The type of milk and coagulation method significantly impact the cheese’s texture and flavor.

Curdling and Molding

Once the milk has coagulated, the curd is cut into various sizes, which further influences the cheese’s character. The curd is then placed into molds and pressed to remove excess whey, which is the remaining liquid after the cheese has been curdled and strained. This process helps define the cheese’s density.

Aging and Ripening

The next step is aging or ripening, which can last from a few weeks to several years. During this period, the cheese develops its unique flavors and textures. The conditions of the aging environment, such as humidity and temperature, are meticulously controlled to ensure the desired outcome.


Background on French Cheese

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French cheese dates back to Roman times, but it was during the Middle Ages that cheese production began to resemble what we see today. Monasteries played a significant role in the early development of French cheese, as monks experimented with different methods of cheese-making. Local farmers then carried on the tradition, leading to the diverse range of cheeses we enjoy now.

Each region in France began to develop its own unique cheese, leading to a rich variety that reflects the local climate, culture, and culinary traditions. The importance of cheese in French culture is also evident in the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system, which was established to preserve the traditional methods and origins of French cheeses.


French Cheese Boards

It would be impossible to write a guide on French cheese without mentioning cheese boards. 

A French cheese board is not merely a selection of cheeses; it’s an art form and a reflection of balance and diversity. A well-curated cheese board should include a variety of textures and flavors, from soft to hard and mild to strong. Embellishments such as nuts, fruits, bread, and wine can enhance the experience, creating a harmonious blend of tastes and textures.


How to Make a French Cheese Board

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Creating the perfect French cheese board involves a combination of artistry and science. Here are some steps to guide you in the process: 

Selection of Cheeses

Choose a range of French cheeses to showcase diversity. Include cheese formed from different types of milk and with various textures and flavors. A combination of Brie, Camembert, Roquefort, Comté, and Chèvre creates a well-rounded board.

Pairing and Presentation

Pair your cheeses with suitable accompaniments like fresh fruits, nuts, honey, and a selection of bread or crackers. Arrange the cheeses on the board from mildest to strongest, allowing guests to progress through different flavors.

Wine Pairing

Wine and cheese pairing is an essential aspect of the French cheese board experience. Select wines that complement the flavors of the cheeses. For example, a light, fruity white wine pairs well with soft cheeses like Brie and Camembert. Robust red wines typically complement the stronger flavors of Roquefort or Comté.

Serving Tips

Serve the cheese at room temperature to maximize flavor and texture. Provide separate knives for each cheese to prevent flavor mixing. It can be helpful to label each cheese so that guests know what they are tasting and can appreciate the diversity of French cheese culture.


In Summary

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French cheese is more than just a culinary delight; it is a symbol of French heritage and artisan craftsmanship. From the lush pastures of Normandy to the rugged landscapes of the Pyrenees, the diversity of French cheese is a testament to the country’s rich regional and gastronomic history. 

The next time you enjoy a piece of French cheese, remember that you are partaking in a legacy that is as old as France itself. Bon appétit!

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  • All photos used through Canva Free Media License

Urban Campus is rapidly expanding their portfolio of innovative housing solutions. 

In the ever-evolving landscape of urban development, Urban Campus has emerged as a pivotal force. The company is fundamentally transforming the essence of city living. Founded in 2016, Urban Campus has established itself as more than just a housing provider. It is a community builder, crafting coliving spaces that foster connection and growth among young professionals across France and Spain.

Maxime Armand, Urban Campus COO and Co-Founder, recently sat down with Le Figaro to illuminate this journey. He spotlights how Urban Campus’s unique approach—merging private units with state-of-the-art common spaces—has not only redefined residential living but has also catered to the modern needs for flexibility and social integration. This model has proven successful, challenging traditional living arrangements and responding to the growing trend of remote work and urban isolation.


More than just Coliving

innovative housing solutions

However, Urban Campus’s operations are extending beyond coliving. Throughout 2024, the company is set to triple its portfolio. In addition to coliving, they will be introducing multifamily complexes and LLI affordable housing. In this way, Urban Campus is quickly broadening its reach to encompass multi-generational residents. This expansion is rooted in the company’s unwavering pillars of affordability, quality, and community spirit, aiming to make urban living accessible and enriching for a wider demographic.


The Foundation of Urban Campus

Must Do's if you Live in Lille, France

The foundation of Urban Campus is built on addressing the challenges of high living costs, social isolation, and the absence of a supportive community in cities. By blending private and shared spaces, Urban Campus has created environments where individuals can thrive personally and collectively. They promote a lifestyle that values mutual support and shared experiences.

As urban landscapes continue to evolve, Urban Campus is not merely adapting but leading the change. They are focused on ensuring this growth encompasses inclusivity and sustainability. The companies exisiting residencies are testaments to the transformative power of innovative housing solutions. With each new opening, Urban Campus proves that cities can indeed become places of rich community and inclusivity.


The Way of the Future

innovative housing solutions

Through continued expansion and commitment to addressing the diverse needs of urban dwellers, Urban Campus stands as a model for future urban living solutions. Maxime Armand’s insights from the Le Figaro interview not only highlight the company’s past achievements but also pave the way for its future endeavors. They continue to focus on creating vibrant, sustainable, and inclusive urban environments for everyone to enjoy.

Keep an eye on Urban Campus as we proudly expand our portfolio. From our new Avenida America, Madrid Coliving to our novel La Maillerie, Lille Coliving coming in the summer of 2024, we’re not just growing — we’re evolving. Our strides into multifamily and affordable housing further showcase our commitment to diverse, quality urban living. We’re not just building spaces; we’re creating the future of city living. Stay connected for more developments!


Watch the full interview…HERE!

Craving brunch? 

Lille, a dynamic northern French city, is not only famous for its rich history and stunning architecture but also for its lively culinary scene. Among the many gastronomic experiences the city offers, brunch has become a weekend ritual for locals and a must-try for visitors. We’re ready to take you through the best spots for brunch in Lille, ensuring you start your day in the most delicious way possible 🍽️ 🥐


Best Spots for Sunday Brunch in Lille

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Step into Mother for a quick brunch and disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the city. This restaurant prioritizes eco-friendly and local produce. Mother is ideal for those who enjoy wholesome, sustainably sourced meals in a cozy atmosphere. It is the ideal place for unwinding on a Sunday morning.

  • Menu highlights: Seasonal quiches, homemade granola.
  • Vibe: Warm, cozy atmosphere.
  • Address: 29 Boulevard Jean-Baptiste Lebas, Lille

Tamper! Espresso Bar

Tamper! Espresso Bar brings a slice of British cafe culture to Lille! They serve up a hearty and satisfying brunch with a focus on quality and comfort. Tamper prides itself on its high-quality coffee and traditional English breakfast options.

  • Menu highlights: Full English breakfast, avocado toast.
  • Vibe: Casual, hip, and friendly, perfect for coffee enthusiasts.
  • Address: 10 Rue des Vieux Murs, Lille

Gorilla Food & Coffee

A vibrant and eco-conscious gem in Lille, Gorilla Food & Coffee stands out for its commitment to healthy, European cuisine. Perfect for those who enjoy organic and nutritious meals, this café provides a diverse brunch experience in a setting that prioritizes well-being and environmental responsibility. Plus, they are vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free friendly! 

  • Menu highlights: Delicious homemade cakes & coffee, wraps and flatbreads.
  • Vibe: Homemade food & diverse menu, casual dining.
  • Address: 4 rue du Professor Langevin, Lille


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Reminiscent of a quaint English tearoom, Elizabeth’s also offers a touch of British charm in the heart of Lille. The menu features classic brunch items, making it a delightful spot for those who enjoy traditional English food in an elegant setting.

  • Menu highlights: Scones with clotted cream and jam, Eggs Benedict.
  • Vibe: Quaint and charming, with a touch of British elegance.
  • Address: 71, Rue Basse, Lille

Tous Les Jours Dimanche

Known for its welcoming atmosphere and home-style cooking, Tous Les Jours Dimanche is a favorite among locals for a relaxed Sunday brunch. The menu changes regularly, reflecting the freshest ingredients available.

  • Menu highlights: Freshly baked bread, brunch platters.
  • Vibe: Laid-back, rustic, and welcoming.
  • Address: 13 rue Bartholomé Masurel, Lille


Brunch in Lille near the City Center

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Wally’s Coffee

Right in Lille’s bustling city center, Wally’s Coffee stands out as a popular destination for brunch enthusiasts. The cafe offers a diverse menu that caters to all tastes, served in a spacious and modern setting.

  • Menu highlights: Grilled cheese, falafels, milkshakes.
  • Vibe: Lively, modern, and spacious with a charming staff.
  • Address: 133 rue du Molinel, Lille

Oxford Café

Oxford Café is a testament to simplicity and comfort, offering a no-frills brunch experience in the city center. The café is known for its straightforward yet delicious brunch selections, making it a great spot for a quick and casual meal.

  • Menu highlights: Pancakes, omelets, smoothies.
  • Vibe: Friendly, informal, and comfortable.
  • Address: 21 Rue Saint-Pierre Saint-Paul, Lille

Sweet Flamingo

The Best Spots for Brunch in Lille

An enchanting diner, Sweet Flamingo is a delightful choice for brunch enthusiasts in the Lille city center. Renowned for its aesthetic cozy setting, Sweet Flamingo offers a plethora of sweet and savory options. On the weekend, they have American and English-inspired brunches with everything from bacon to pancakes and unlimited coffee. 

  • Menu highlights: Scrambled eggs, hash browns, pancakes 
  • Vibe: Friendly, colorful, and cozy
  • Address: 24 rue Nicolas Leblanc, Lille

Café Le Parvis

Located in the midst of the city, Café Le Parvis offers a classic brunch experience with a modern twist. This spot is perfect for those looking to enjoy traditional French cuisine in a sophisticated yet comfortable setting.

  • Menu highlights: French toast, croissants, artisan coffees.
  • Vibe: Classic, sophisticated with a modern twist.
  • Address: 26 Rue Bartholomé Masurel, Lille


Brunch in the Vieux-Lille

The Best Spots for Brunch in Lille 8

Notting Hill Coffee

Inspired by the famous London neighborhood, Notting Hill Coffee is yet another British homage in Lille. This café is perfect for those seeking a buzzing atmosphere paired with a robust selection of breakfast and lunch options.

  • Menu highlights: English breakfast, pastries, variety of coffees.
  • Vibe: Cozy, vibrant, and a bit of British flair.
  • Address: 94 rue Esquermoise, Vieux Lille 4

Les Compagnons de la Grappe

This traditional French bistro offers a serene environment in the historic Vieux-Lille district. Les Compagnons de la Grappe is known for its locally inspired dishes and relaxed dining experience, making it a great choice for a leisurely brunch.

  • Menu highlights: Local cheeses, charcuterie boards.
  • Vibe: Old-world charm with a relaxed atmosphere.
  • Address: 26 Rue Lepelletier, Lille


Lille Specialties That You Must Try

The Best Spots for Brunch in Lille 5

When it comes to culinary delights, Lille does not disappoint. The city’s cuisine is a reflection of its rich cultural heritage, offering a blend of French and Flemish flavors. We recommend trying the dish potjevleesch, a traditional terrine made with various meats, set in gelatin, and usually served cold with fries. Another local favorite is the tarte au maroilles, a savory pie filled with maroilles cheese.

For those with a sweet tooth, the gaufre fourrée, a soft waffle filled with sweet syrup or cream, is a must. But most importantly, no culinary exploration of Lille would be complete without trying the classic Welsh. This dish consists of bread soaked in beer, covered with melted cheese, and is often topped with a fried egg and ham. 


What to Do After Brunch in Lille?

The Best Spots for Brunch in Lille 7

After enjoying a delightful brunch in Lille, immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant culture and history. Take a leisurely walk through the old town, Vieux-Lille, admiring its colorful facades and chic boutiques. Art lovers should not miss the opportunity to visit the Palais des Beaux-Arts, home to an impressive collection of fine art. For those seeking a slower pace, the Jardin Vauban is a perfect spot to digest and unwind amidst lush greenery. For a unique view of the city, the Belfry of Lille offers breathtaking panoramas, making it a fantastic post-brunch destination.

In addition to these attractions, Lille’s dynamic cultural scene provides various entertainment options ranging from live music to theater performances. Check out the modern Euralille district for its contemporary architecture and shopping centers. For a taste of local life, time your visit to coincide with the Wazemmes market, where you can browse through diverse goods and sample regional delicacies. Lille’s blend of historical charm and modern energy makes it an exciting city to explore.


A Bit About Lille, France

The Best Spots for Brunch in Lille 6

Lille, often referred to as the capital of French Flanders, is a city where cultural diversity and historical richness converge. Known for its festive spirit, especially during the famous Braderie de Lille, the city exudes a blend of French and Flemish influence. This is reflected in its architecture, from the grand Plaza Charles de Gaulle to the quaint houses of Vieux-Lille. The city has roots stretching back to medieval times, making it a fascinating destination for history buffs.

Lille Today

Despite its historical roots, Lille has embraced modernity and become a hub of cutting-edge art, fashion, and education. Lille’s transformation from an industrial past to a vibrant present is evident in its lively streets and plethora of things to do. 

Lille is also home to several universities and is known for its youthful energy and innovative spirit. The city continues to be a thriving cultural hotspot, attracting students, artists, and tourists alike, eager to explore its unique charm and innovation – and brunch! 


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Looking for a place to live in Lille? 

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Ready to explore some fascinating facts about French food? 

French cuisine is much more than just a way of eating; it has become a powerful cultural influence around the world. It’s culinary techniques and refinement have crossed borders to influence global gastronomy. Discover in this guide how French haute cuisine has shaped the standards of culinary excellence and inspired chefs and food enthusiasts on an international level.


Facts about French Food: What’s interesting about French cuisine?

Facts about French Food

French cuisine is a true treasure, filled with a rich and diverse history. Among its most fascinating aspects, we find:

  • Regional Diversity: France is like a culinary melting pot, with each region offering its own specialties and traditions. From the freshness of the seafood from Brittany to the meaty delights of cassoulets from the South, every corner of France offers a unique culinary experience.
  • Bread Culture: Nothing symbolizes French tradition better than a love for bread. From crispy baguettes to rustic breads, every bakery offers a tempting variety of creations to enjoy.
  • Cheese Paradise: With over 1200 varieties of cheese, France is a true paradise for cheese lovers. From the soft and creamy Brie to the robust and bold Roquefort, cheese plays a central role in French cuisine, served as an appetizer, dessert, or alongside wine.
  • Wine Tradition: France is renowned for its prestigious wine regions, producing world-class wines such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne. Wine is an essential element of French culture, enjoyed with meals and celebrated at festivals and wine tastings.
  • Café Culture: Cafés and bistros are iconic meeting places in France. Whether for enjoying a morning coffee or sharing a glass of wine in the evening, the café culture reflects the relaxed and friendly lifestyle of the French.


Facts about French Food: French Cuisine Specialties

Facts about French Food

French cuisine is a celebration of quality, freshness, and creativity. Among its most iconic specialties, we find:

  • Croissant: This delicious buttery pastry is a staple of the French breakfast, perfectly accompanied by a cup of freshly prepared coffee.
  • Foie Gras: A delicacy made from the fattened livers of ducks or geese, foie gras is a choice ingredient in French cuisine, often served as a luxurious appetizer or accompanying gourmet dishes.
  • Escargots: These little wonders are carefully prepared and enjoyed throughout France, often accompanied by a generous portion of garlic butter.
  • Coq au Vin: This rustic and comforting dish is a true classic of French cuisine, slowly simmered in red wine and seasoned with aromatic herbs.
  • Ratatouille: This colorful and flavorful Mediterranean dish is made of eggplants, zucchinis, peppers, and tomatoes, seasoned with garlic and herbs, and simmered to perfection.


The Influence of French Cuisine Worldwide

Facts about French Food

French cuisine has had a profound impact on global gastronomy, shaping the way people eat, cook, and appreciate food around the world. Its influence is evident in various aspects of culinary culture, including:

  • Culinary Techniques: French culinary techniques, such as sautéing, braising, and deglazing, are widely used in kitchens around the world, providing a foundation for chefs to create delicious dishes with finesse and precision.
  • Ingredient Pairings: The art of combining flavors and ingredients is a hallmark of French cuisine, inspiring chefs to experiment with complementary flavors and seasonal products in their culinary creations.
  • Haute Cuisine Culture: The concept of haute cuisine, characterized by meticulous attention to detail, elegant presentation, and impeccable service, finds its roots in French culinary traditions. Michelin-starred restaurants and high-end gastronomic establishments worldwide draw inspiration from the standards established by French chefs.

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  • All photos used through Canva Free Media License

March 1, 2024

Read the full article HERE.

  • The 2024 finance law in France signifies a paradigm shift by focusing on affordable housing, creating a legislative framework that benefits both citizens and investors while fostering social inclusion.
  • Urban Campus is actively involved in shaping policies to ensure access to affordable and sustainable housing, offering services and rentals at fixed prices.
  • The French initiative could serve as a model for Spain, suggesting a collaboration between the public and private sectors to solve the housing crisis.


Progress in the Affordable Housing Sector in France

The future of urban living and affordable housing

Ana Martínez, the Chief Operations Officer for Iberia at Urban Campus, discusses the impact of the new housing law in France, highlighting how this legislation brings significant changes to the sector by emphasizing affordable housing and social inclusion. The law benefits not just French citizens but also investors committed to the affordable housing sector.

Urban Campus plays a significant role in this transformation, working with lawmakers to develop policies that not only facilitate housing access but also promote sustainability. By adopting an approach focused on shared economy, Urban Campus is redefining the concept of urban community through projects that offer included services such as Wi-Fi, gyms, and coworking areas. These are also part of their “Build to Rent” schemes, located in places such as Colombes and Le Bourget.


Affordable Housing in Spain

The future of urban living and affordable housing

This approach contrasts with the situation in Spain, where despite efforts, there is still room for improvement in collaboration between the public and private sectors to address the housing crisis. The French legislation could inspire new legislation in Spain, promoting a collaborative model that benefits all involved parties.

Urban Campus’s strategy, aligned with ESG principles, proposes eco-friendly buildings and housing that not only meet current needs but also set a standard for the future of urban housing. This combined with their sharp insight towards the ever-changing needs of urban dwellers is marking a new paradigm in the European real estate sector.

Want to read more about Urban Campus? 

Located in the Hauts-de-France region, Lille stands out for its impressive culture and history. Beyond the famous cities like Paris and Brussels, there are a wealth of options for day trips from Lille. 

If you’re exploring Lille and crave more adventure and discovery, numerous unique spots await you – and they’re only a train ride away! Let’s dive in and discover these lesser-known day trips from Lille, France.


Dunkerque, France

Discover the Best Day Trips from Lille, France

Dunkerque, a coastal gem in the north of France, offers visitors a mix of scenic beauty and poignant history. Known for the dramatic WWII evacuation, its historical sites such as the Dunkirk War Museum and the Dunkirk Memorial provide deep insights into the town’s past. 

Besides history, Dunkerque has long sandy beaches and one of France’s largest harbors. Art lovers can explore Dunkirk’s Fine Arts Museum and Lieu d’Art et Action Contemporaine, while the UNESCO-listed Dunkirk Belfry stands as a testament to Flemish cultural heritage. Don’t forget to have a taste of the local seafood, a highlight of the region’s delicious cuisine.

Lille to Dunkerque: Transportation Options 


  • Duration: 30 min – 1h15.
  • Cost: Starts at €22.
  • Frequency: Regular services from Lille Flandres to Dunkerque station.


  • Duration: About 1h10.
  • Cost: Around €7.
  • Departures: Multiple daily from central Lille to Dunkerque bus station.


  • Duration: Around 1h15.
  • Route: 79 km via A25.


Arras, France

Discover the Best Day Trips from Lille, France

Arras, the historical heart of the Hauts-de-France region, mesmerizes visitors with its Flemish-style baroque townhouses encircling the Grand Place. The UNESCO-listed Belfry of Arras not only offers panoramic views but also symbolizes the city’s rich history. 

You can dive into Arras’ history with an underground tour of the Boves, a series of tunnels used by soldiers during World War I. Arras embodies a perfect blend of architectural beauty and historical depth, complemented by local markets that showcase the region’s flavors. Cultural events and music festivals frequently bring the city to life, adding to its charm.

Lille to Arras: Transportation Options


  • Duration: Around 35 minutes.
  • Cost: Starts at about €5.
  • Frequency: Regular daily services from Lille Flandres or Lille Europe to Arras.


  • Route: Mainly via A1 motorway.
  • Duration: Roughly 1 hour and 20 minutes.

What Belgian cities are near Lille? 

Lille’s proximity to Belgium allows for easy access to cities like Bruges, Ghent, Brussels, and Antwerp. These destinations offer distinct experiences from medieval architecture to bustling markets. Accessible by train or car, they provide straightforward options for day trips from Lille, enhancing the travel experience with varied cultural and historical insights.


Bruges, Belgium

Discover the Best Day Trips from Lille, France

Bruges stands out as a must-visit, with its nickname “Venice of the North” alluding to its picturesque canals and well-preserved medieval architecture. Wander through its cobblestone streets, marvel at the Belfry of Bruges, and indulge in the city’s famous chocolate. Bruges offers a memorable visit with its stunning historical buildings and market square, ensuring an unforgettable day trip.

Lille to Bruges: Transportation Options 


  • Duration: Approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  • Cost: Starts at around €15, varying by booking time and specific route.
  • Frequency: Multiple departures throughout the day from Lille Europe or Lille Flandres.


  • Duration: Around 1 hour, depending on the route and traffic.
  • Cost: Approximately €6, subject to booking time and availability.
  • Frequency: Several services daily provided by companies like Flixbus. 


  • Route: Typically via A22/E17 and E403.
  • Duration: About 1 hour, traffic-dependent.


Ghent, Belgium

Discover the Best Day Trips from Lille, France

Ghent, a lively city known for its medieval architecture and cultural vibrancy, is another excellent destination for train trips from Lille. You can explore its historic streets, canals, and the unique Werrengarenstraat graffiti street. Visiting Ghent offers a mix of old-world charm and lively cultural scenes, showcasing the best of Belgium.

Lille to Ghent: Transportation Options 


  • Duration: Around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  • Cost: Starting from approximately €14, depending on booking time and train type.
  • Frequency: Regular services throughout the day from Lille Flandres to Ghent St Pieters station.


  • Duration: About 55 minutes, varying with traffic conditions.
  • Cost: Roughly €5, can vary based on time of booking and demand.
  • Frequency: Several departures per day with companies like Flixbus.


  • Route: Direct route via E17.
  • Duration: Approximately 1 hour, depending on traffic.


Paris to Lille Day Trip

Discover the Best Day Trips from Lille, France

Day trips from Lille to Paris are a classic choice for many travelers. As one of the most visited cities globally, Paris’s allure is undeniable. While we encourage exploring less-traveled places near Lille, overlooking the City of Light would be an oversight. A quick train ride from Lille offers a perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in Paris’s iconic landmarks and one-of-a-kind metropolitan charm. 

Paris dazzles with its array of famous attractions; the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Notre-Dame Cathedral are just the beginning. Strolling along the Seine, exploring the artistic Montmartre, or enjoying the Luxembourg gardens all offer a glimpse into the heart of French culture and history. 

Lille to Paris: Transportation Options 

High-speed Train (TGV or Eurostar):

  • Duration: 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Cost: Ranges from €25 to €90
  • Frequency: Trains run hourly.
  • Notes: Fastest way to travel; booking in advance can secure lower prices.

Regional Train (TER):

  • Duration: Around 2 hours
  • Cost: Approximately €15 to €40
  • Frequency: Multiple departures daily
  • Notes: More budget-friendly but slower than the high-speed trains.


  • Duration: 2.5 to 3 hours
  • Cost: Around €10 to €25
  • Frequency: Multiple departures throughout the day.
  • Notes: Cost-effective, though travel time is longer.


  • Duration: Approximately 2 to 3 hours, depending on traffic.
  • Cost: Variable, considering rental, gas, and tolls.
  • Notes: Offers flexibility and the opportunity to explore the countryside.


How Many Days Should I Spend in Lille?

Before you start planning your day trips from Lille – how many days should you spend in Lille itself? 

Ideally, you should allocate at least 2-3 days to fully immerse yourself in Lille before setting off to explore other places within reach. Lille, known for its lively atmosphere and architectural beauty, stands out as a prominent city in the Hauts-de-France region. From the grand Place Charles de Gaulle (Grand Place) to the historic Vieille Bourse and the modern Euralille shopping district, Lille has a fascinating blend of old and new. 


Beautiful Villages near Lille:

While the allure of larger cities is undeniable, you can also discover picturesque villages near Lille. These serene, lesser-known places provide a peaceful contrast to urban explorations, showcasing the region’s diverse beauty.


  • A historic town perched on a hilltop, offering panoramic views of the French Flanders.
  • Travel time from Lille: Approximately 50 minutes by car.


  • Known for its belfry, canals, and as a filming location for the French comedy “Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis.”
  • Travel time from Lille: Around 45 minutes by car.


  • Encircled by medieval ramparts, this charming village is known for its historic sites and cobbled streets.
  • Travel time from Lille: About 1 hour and 20 minutes by car.


  • A serene coastal village nestled between Cap Blanc-Nez and Cap Gris-Nez, perfect for beach walks and nature lovers.
  • Travel time from Lille: Approximately 2 hours by car.

Want to read more about Lille? 


Photo Credits: 

  • All photos used through the Canva Free Media License

In today’s bustling urban cities, the idea of coliving has quickly caught fire. Coliving is an incredibly innovative way to live more sustainably, spark collaboration, and create tight-knit communities. Urban Campus has been at the forefront of this real estate trend, with our knack for designing intuitive coliving spaces across major European cities. For us, coliving spaces aren’t just about providing a roof over your head – it’s about nurturing a strong sense of togetherness and community. 

Let’s take a closer look at how to design coliving spaces that just feel right.


What Does Intuitive Design Mean in Coliving?

Crafting Intuitive Coliving Spaces: Lessons from Urban Campus 3

When we talk about intuitive design in coliving, we’re referring to spaces that people can naturally navigate and enjoy. These spaces should make daily life smoother, encouraging residents to connect and form new relationships. In order to meet the dynamic needs of young professionals, our coliving spaces always include: 

  • A blend of private and communal spaces
  • Advanced technology integration
  • Sustainability practices
  • Fully equipped & furnished spaces, completely move-in ready

We know that y​oung professionals today are looking for more than just a place to rest their heads; they seek environments that foster personal and professional growth. They value connectivity and the ability to network with like-minded individuals within their living space. The ease of having a fully furnished space is also unmatched for young professionals. We aim to remove all moving hassles and embrace total convenience, freeing our colivers to focus on their goals and interests. 


Design Process & Feasibility Study 

Crafting Intuitive Coliving Spaces: Lessons from Urban Campus 4

The design and construction—or refurbishment—of Urban Campus coliving spaces begins with meticulous planning and a strategic feasibility study. This crucial step assesses the potential of a site or building to meet our specific needs. We look at everything from architectural viability to design opportunities and environmental considerations. 

A feasibility study ensures two very important things. First, that every Urban Campus project is architecturally sound. Second, that our projects align properly with our commitment to creating sustainable, tech-enabled, and community-focused living environments. The final outcome is a detailed roadmap that guides the transformation of buildings into vibrant coliving communities rooted in innovation and inclusivity.

Key Components of our Feasibility Study: 

  • Architectural Viability: Ensures the structural integrity and potential of the building or site.
  • Design Opportunities: Identifies innovative ways to create functional, aesthetically pleasing spaces.
  • Environmental Impact: Assesses sustainability practices to minimize ecological footprint.
  • Technology Integration: Evaluates the potential for incorporating smart technologies for enhanced living experiences.
  • Community Engagement: Looks into creating spaces that foster connection and collaboration among residents.
  • Market Analysis: Determines the demand and viability of the coliving concept in the targeted area.
  • Financial Assessment: Projects costs, revenues, and overall economic feasibility of the venture.


Urban Campus: Setting the Bar for Intuitive Coliving

Crafting Intuitive Coliving Spaces: Lessons from Urban Campus 1

At Urban Campus, we are leading the charge in making coliving spaces that go the extra mile and foster a real sense of community. Our overall mission? To transform urban living into something more meaningful, community-oriented and fulfilling.

The Building Blocks of Urban Campus’ Intuitive Coliving Space

  • Community at the Core: Urban Campus designs common areas to foster community and connection. These include coworking spaces, lounges, kitchens, entertainment rooms, gyms, patios, rooftop terraces, and more! 
  • Your Own Space: Each private unit is its own sanctuary, equipped with smart storage and technology for convenience.
  • Green Living: Urban Campus is committed to sustainability, using energy-efficient fixtures, eco-friendly materials, and providing sustainability education to colivers. Our buildings often achieve certifications like BREEAM, Passivhaus, or carbon neutrality.
  • Smart Tech for Easy Living: Features include keyless entry and an Urban Campus community app for event sign-ups, clubs and networking.
  • Convenience Above Everything: Fully equipped spaces, from common areas to private units, with essentials provided. One all-inclusive monthly bill that covers rent, utilities, wifi, cleaning and more. Plus, we have a flexible 30-day cancellation policy for easy transitions. 

The Benefits of Coliving 

Coliving merges affordability, convenience, and community, offering an all-inclusive living solution with utilities, wifi, and furniture and more in one package. It fosters social connections and professional networking through shared spaces, making it an ideal living solution for digital nomads and urban professionals. 


The Bigger Picture: Community and Well-being

Crafting Intuitive Coliving Spaces: Lessons from Urban Campus 2

Intuitive design does more than make a space functional and attractive; it creates an environment where people can come together, forming a supportive community. This sense of belonging is crucial for mental well-being, helping to combat loneliness and build a network of support. Urban Campus coliving spaces are not just places to live; they’re places to grow, collaborate, and be inspired. 

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