"I lived on a bus with as many as 9 other people and never fewer than 5. With that many people living there, we had to sit in a circle if we wanted to have a meal or a deep conversation." – John Coate, lived collectively in 15 different households over 12 years, in buses, tents and house. Since the 70s.
Like John, many of us have experienced connection and living with others.
It is increasingly hard to do this today, when we don’t even know our neighbors! when we struggle to find a rental place that doesn’t eat away all we earn, or a house not bought with a life’s income! Skilled workers, migrants, young families, single moms or dads, retired people, we all deserve better.
Can we change how we live in the 21st century Europe?
Can we access permanent property if we pool together resources?
Can we live in harmony with each other and with the Planet?
Can we preserve our individual freedom, but be happier, collectivelly?
Some in the Edgeryders network have tried this and that, over the years. We might have a way.
The Reef, a new kind of living space for the 99%.
It is a future residential space* where inhabitants have individual apartments and privacy, but share common spaces like kitchens, living rooms, and office(s). The space will offer rich opportunities for rewarding and ecologically meaningful activities, and inhabitants are free to choose or initiate what interests them most. Examples include reducing the household’s plastic waste, growing food, organizing neighborhood activities.
We are looking to acquire and recondition a building for 20 people to live in it (private rooms, apartments and studios) and convert it into a space with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. People will buy and/or rent together at a below-market price, depending on the ownership status of the building. They, the community, design together the many ways to use the space in accordance to individual needs, as well as technical and social activities to start reducing the collective carbon footprint: research green building technologies, energy storage solutions, food production, responsible consumption, and many others.
Over time, this community becomes a testing ground for energy/waste reduction and circular economy solutions, paving the way for many other collectives out there who wish to go green and live more affordably at the same time.
The steps we are taking
The Reef is in its design phase. We have a prototype*, a concept, and a city that we love and hope will take it on board. We invite everyone to help make it happen. Several things are already under way:
Edgeryders is pitching The Reef to the city, business partners and civil society allies who can support us to acquire a building, or invest in it.
We are looking to create a new organisation to steward the process. This organisation will be based on the cooperative model and will enable those interested to acquire (parts of) property, use it, have rights to it, and a combination of them all.
We are inventoring open-source technical solutions to making buildings carbon-neutral.
We are building a group of people who are deeply interested in changing the way they live and perhaps see themselves as future inhabitants. This is The Reef Community.
The Reef Community starts now with 3 workshops to discover one another.
If you are living in Brussels and are wondering about all of this, thinking to change how you live, how to access and share prosperity, this is an opportunity to be curious and figure it out with others. Building relationships of trust takes time, so the sooner we know who we are, the better!
Come to The Reef Community Workshops, where we will share:
How can we live with others in a shared property? 24 October 18:00 - 21:00 at LaMAB, Rue de l’association 16, 1000 Brussels
How can we live green when living with others? - 14 November 18:00 - 21:00 at AlleeduKaai, Avenue du Port 53, 1000 Brussels
Sprint to The Reef: Co-Design session - 28 November 16:00 - 21:00 at Metrolab, Quai du Commerce, 48, 1000 Brussels
Outcomes: design of a community home
Each workshop is open to anyone who is deeply interested in making a change in their life. They are informal meetings where we facilitate sharing of personal experiences between attendants.
Working languages: EN & FR.
- Participants make sense of their experiences in co-living by learning from others.
- Participants explore ideas for making ecology part of their homes and lifestyle
- Participants are presented with The Reef opportunity to collectively pursue a new kind of residential space.
- Practical documentation about shared aspirations that can be implemented at The Reef. This will enable those who wish to continue together to design The Reef as their future home.
Registration for one or more workshops in the series
Pick and fill out the registration form:
We will be in touch to confirm your spot. Meanwhile, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below and connect with others in the Reef universe early on. If you have questions, ask!