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#FindMyHome: How people around the world build community

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Everyone has that neighbor that we haven’t introduced ourselves to or that coworker we’ve been “meaning” to grab a coffee with, but let’s face it, sometimes our desire to cultivate a community in our lives gets put on the back burner.

At Common, we’re obsessed with helping people find their ideal homes in the world’s most bustling cities. We’re constantly asking ourselves: how can we help our members build communities in their homes and cities? Our curiosity motivated us to seek out inspiring examples of community living around the globe; from an abandoned factory turned social center in Brazil to an Italian home cooked meal, there is no shortage of spaces and places that can be utilized to bring people together!

Berlin, Germany: Gardening Bringing German Citizens and Immigrants Together

This garden is about so much more than growing veggies: Prinzessinengarten is a thriving community in Berlin bringing locals and immigrants together. Located in an area known for a diverse population of students, immigrants, and artists, the garden is run by a non-profit that seeks “to educate people about organic food production and sustainable living, as well as to increase biological, social and cultural diversity in the neighborhood.” Inside, you’ll find a foosball table, a cafe, a physical version of a Craigslist board where members can list their needs or skills (someone posted a generous offer of a sack of Swiss cheese in exchange for watering their plants for a few days), and of course, lots and lots of plants.

The best part? The garden has a posted warning that “unattended children get a free dog and a double espresso.” Sign us up.

São Paulo, Brazil: Abandoned Factory Turned Into a Thriving Social Center

How did a barrel factory from 1938 become a bustling community hot spot? A visionary Brazilian architect noticed that the abandoned factory was being used by families on the weekends to gather and inspiration struck. She noted that “…The most beautiful is perhaps the 4700 sq. meters community space, which has a library and reading tables with three different levels of privacy, a playground, exhibition area and seating…around an artificial indoor lake.”

This proves that community can be created anywhere—even in the concrete halls of a former factory.

Italy: Locals Are Inviting Travelers Into Their Homes to Share an Authentic Meal

Bowls of cheesy homemade pasta, fresh pizza, wine, meatballs, fluffy bread, and decadent dessert…who wouldn’t want a place at this Italian table? Your dream can be a reality with Home Food, an Italian organization whose mission is dedicated to “the protection and increase of the value of typical Italian gastronomic and culinary legacy.” By participating in their hosted events, locals and travelers can gather around the table of an Italian family and experience the culture where it began: the kitchen.

Now this is a dinner party that we want to be a part of.

Mexico City, Mexico: Urban Planners Create a Community Center

What does a solar-powered, artistic public bookshelf have to do with community?

In Mexico City, the urbanism studio Lugares Públicos worked with the local community to host public workshops and city-focused projects to create “LEA (Lugar de Enuentro para Amigos – Meeting Place for Friends), a temporary module for books and games surrounded by tables, chairs and mobile benches that create a unique dedicated space for cultural activities.”

Not only is reading cool again, but this bookshelf has become a community hotspot to gather, laugh, and learn.

Tel Aviv, Israel: Block Parties on the Beach

Forget the cul de sac, why not meet your neighbors on the beach?

The city of Tel Aviv started an initiative to get families in the community more connected through weekly programming along the beautiful shores of the beach. From organized sandcastle workshops and yoga classes to fruit-cutting design classes, games, and drum circles, the community is taking on all forms on the sunny coast of Israel.

Cape Town, South Africa: A Design Firm Works from a Local Cafe to Interact with the Community


The design firm Studio Shelf takes WFH to a whole other level.

Once a month, they set up shop at a local cafe to interact with curious locals in the community. When asked about the project, called The Shelf Public Office, they stated “…we strongly believe that designers have the ability to solve problems, but too rarely engage with public space and communities.”

Is this a creative way to escape the mundane office culture and expand their community circle or an excuse to sip on artisanal cappuccinos? There’s only one way to find out…

Community is the secret sauce to making a city feel like a home

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As inspiring as these examples are, you don’t have to live in a foreign city to find community in your neighborhood. If you or a friend are searching for convenient, community based apartment options, then you need to check out Common! Discover our latest home openings to find the Common home that’s right for you.

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