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James Hudson

Senior cohousing, older people, co-housing, collaborative housing, baby boomer generation, ageing and housing


IMG_1057.JPGJim Hudson
PhD Researcher

UCL Department of Geography
University College London
Pearson Building
Room 214
Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT




My research focuses on cohousing – a form of intentional community that comprises individual private homes, but also shared facilities, that aims to encourage a sense of community. Specifically, I am interested in cohousing groups formed by older people - those aged around 55 and up, with the intention of living in a different, more mutually supportive way.

Although there are a growing number of so-called 'multigenerational' cohousing groups in the UK, 'senior' or older people's cohousing is only just gaining a foothold, whereas it is more established in northern Europe, where the idea has its roots, as well as in North America. My research focuses on what we might learn from such groups, in light of the increasing challenges of ageing populations in the western world, and especially in the context of the different approach to later life represented by the baby boomer generation (those born in the two decades immediately after the war), often viewed as a cohort that has reinvented post-retirement as a new ‘third age’ of activity and enjoyment beyond full time work and the raising of families.

I have carried out recent research with two such cohousing groups, both developing projects in the southeast of England, and am currently exploring the possibility of research with some established groups in Berlin, Germany.



Dr Russell Hitchings, Lecturer in Human Geography, UCL

Dr Iqbal Hamiduddin, Lecturer in Transport Planning and Housing, The Bartlett School of Planning, UCL

This research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).



2015 – present, University College London
Reading for a PhD in Human Geography, researching the social dimensions of older people collaborating to create new forms of housing, with a focus on examples in Berlin, Germany.

2014-15 – MSc Urban Studies, University College London
MSc dissertation – Growing old together: senior cohousing and successful ageing in the city

2007-2014 – Freelance writer, translator, based in Berlin, Germany
Writing for various journals and magazines with a focus on architecture and urbanism, running specialist architecture and social history tours, and translation work, primarily of books on architecture and urbanism.

2010-2014 – Business owner and manager
Set up and ran successful British café and bakery business, business sold at the start of 2014 (run alongside writing work noted above).

Prior to 2007 - Development Project Manager, Building Surveyor
Various roles in urban planning, building design and construction management since the early 1990s, working predominantly in the social housing sector in London and the southeast of England.

1988-1991 BSc in Building Surveying, De Montfort University, Leicester


Hudson, J. (2017) 'Growing old together: senior cohousing as a key to successful ageing in the city', in Benson, M., and Hamiduddin, I. (eds) Self-Build Homes: social discourse, experiences and directions. UCL Press (forthcoming).