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The International Cooperative Housing Symposium in Zurich – September 22, 23, 2022

Panel at symposium

The International Cooperative Housing Symposium took place in Zurich on September 22 and 23, 2022. Under the slogan “Growing the Movement”, 15 speakers discussed the future of cooperative housing with over 100 participants from Europe, Israel, the Philippines, North and South America, and Japan.

Cooperative housing in Zurich

Did you know that almost 25% of all rental housing in Zurich is not for profit? In Zurich alone, there are more than 200 housing cooperatives. Cooperative housing in Zurich has long been a model for other countries with researchers and housing practitioners often looking to Zurich for best practices in participatory design, cutting-edge architecture, innovative financing instruments, international solidarity, community-building, and more. ABZ,

Zurich’s largest housing cooperative, ABZ, along with WBG, the Swiss umbrella organization for housing cooperatives, and CHI partnered up to host the 2nd International Cooperative Housing Symposium. This year’s theme Growing the Movement focused on sharing the movement’s successes and providing a space for networking and creating new partnerships. The overall consensus is that housing cooperatives offer inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable housing. Many countries have recognized the benefits of this housing model but others are a bit slow at coming to the table. The path to a more sustainable and equitable future can only be achieved through cooperation, community engagement, and the right tools and enabling policies.

The following day we visited two recent developments (Fogo and Zollhaus) and one longstanding classic (Ottostrasse) during the guided visits that took place the following day. Check out the photos on Instagram. You can also read a summary of the Symposium here.


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