Communal forms of living
Careum Research plans a survey of the variety of joint living arrangement projects in later life in the canton of Zurich.
The canton of Zurich is characterised by its particularly wide and diverse range of forms of communal living. Nevertheless, little – if anything – is known about the number and types of these concepts in the urban agglomeration and in more rural communities of the canton. Individual examples show that there is a considerable need for information to provide a basis for developing and implementing organisational measures, funding activities and interventions in an effective and targeted way.
The project is planning a survey of the variety of communal living concepts, including those which span the generations. The project's research objectives are systematically linked with an objective geared towards knowledge transfer that sees key players directly involved in part of the data collection activities locally and their insights discussed with a wider audience within the framework of workshops and receptions in various interested communities. The project is therefore aimed at:
obtaining a comprehensive overview of the communal forms of living available in the canton of Zurich (in terms of size, configuration, socio-democratic characteristics of the parties involved, types of cohabitation, legal form, care potential, etc.) – across the entire region, including rural areas, for the first time;
using selected typical examples to document the histories of the housing schemes, the parties involved, the perceived framework conditions and relevant experiences and prepare this information for interested parties involved and stakeholder groups;
directly involving key players by means of an innovative, participatory, active research design and discussing findings with a broader interested audience;
making the research findings available to a broader audience.
Interdisciplinary project team
Careum Research: Prof. Dr. Ulrich Otto, Anna Hegedüs
ETH Wohnforum/ETH CASE (Centre for Research on Architecture, Society & the Built Environment): Dr Margrit Hugentobler, Elke Wurster, Nicola Hilti, Rebecca Boguska ( (Department of Architecture, ETH Zurich).
Hugentobler, M., & Otto, U. (2017). Gemeinschaftliche Wohnformen für die 2. Lebenshälfte. Qualitäten im Kanton Zürich. In H. Sinnig (Hrsg.), Altersgerecht wohnen und leben im Quartier. Trends, Anforderungen & Modelle für Stadtplanung & Wohnungswirtschaft . Stuttgart: IRB Frauenhofer.
Otto, U., Hugentobler, M., & Fichtner, U. (2015). Gemeinschaftliche Wohnformen in der zweiten Lebenshälfte: Bestandsaufnahme im Kanton Zürich und Beispiele. Posterpräsentation nach Call for Abstracts. Dreiländer-Tagung Health Universities. Winterthur, 10./11.09.2015. PDF