The Zoku guide to placemaking, hospitality, real estate and the future of cities.
The Future of Urban Living Banner

As we enter a new decade, it’s clear that there are more than a few challenges ahead for us humans. Rapid urbanization is drastically transforming our cities, new technologies continue to reshape the way we live and work, and the climate crisis has placed sustainability at the forefront of everybody’s mind. We are more digitally connected than ever, yet loneliness is an epidemic and social cohesion is a significant challenge for all kinds of communities.

There has never been a greater need for innovative design and fresh thinking to improve the world we live in. If enough people and companies get it right, the next 10 years will be the ones to determine the future of urban living. For us here at Zoku, the most interesting aspect of all this is how we can leverage the built environment to enhance human experiences and connection — and nowhere is that topic more relevant than the real estate industry of 2020.


As the year begins, so does our international roll-out, with the opening of Zoku Copenhagen and Zoku Vienna scheduled for later this year. As we bring our unique hotel concept to new destinations, more and more people have been asking us to share the values and thinking that underpins what we do — not only the “what”, but the “how” and “why”, too. We’ve decided the best way to do that is in a new monthly newsletter.

So we’d like to welcome you to the first edition of The Future of Urban Living, a newsletter where we will explore placemaking, urban life, hospitality and real estate, and how they are evolving. Every month, we’ll share insights, stories, perspectives and conversations straight from Zoku HQ. Consider it a peek inside Zoku’s vision and purpose that drives us to do things a bit differently.

Over the coming months, we’ll explore topics like how we integrate people-centric design in everything we do and collaborate directly with our target audience throughout the development cycle. We’ll also explain how we reuse, revamp and revitalize existing real estate, working hard to redefine the use of space in the process. We’ll also share our approach to bringing buildings to life through our emphasis on placemaking and community.


Ten years ago, we saw the potential for a new category of hotel: an apartment-office hybrid concept that embraced space-saving design, turned buildings into thriving neighborhoods, and fostered a sense of community between locals and travelers.

Five years later, Zoku Amsterdam opened its doors. Since then, we’re privileged to have won awards for everything from the design of our social spaces to the quality of our beds and bathrooms, and we’ve even been named one of the 25 coolest hotels in the world by Forbes.

But the part of the story we’re most proud of is the vibrant community we’ve created. People from all over the world tell us that living and working at Zoku enriches their lives and helps them truly connect to the local neighborhood during their travels. That’s the achievement which really brings this place to life.

Zoku has always been an ambitious, thoughtful collaboration — with our target audience, with developers, investors, and municipalities, and with the global network of changemakers who have been so generous and supportive in helping us on our journey so far. Now, we’re delighted to invite you to join the conversation as we take Zoku global. Hit “reply” on any email to get in touch with your thoughts and feedback.

- Hans and Marc, Co-Founders of Zoku
World Economic Forum Annual Global Risks Report 15th Edition
The World Economic Forum published the 15th edition of its annual Global Risks Report this month. The report declares that cities, not nations, are taking the biggest strides to solve the challenges ahead of us. New ideas, innovations, and ambitions are transforming urban hubs faster than ever before.

It’s clear that the only way forward is creating smarter solutions and adopting a courageous mindset. As mayors and entrepreneurs find ways to reimagine and redefine urban living, we’re excited to share what we know about being good neighbors in the world’s increasingly busy cities.

At Zoku we aim to create a global community of like-minded individuals and provide them an environment in which they can thrive. Help us share our vision, by giving us a tip for our next location or share a contact to help us grow, and receive some benefits!
AMSTERDAM | COPENHAGEN 2020 | VIENNA 2020 | and more to come...

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