From the cohousing.org website: “Cohousing communities are intentional, collaborative neighborhoods created with a little ingenuity. They bring together the value of private homes with the benefits of more sustainable living. That means residents actively participate in the design and operation of their neighborhoods, and share common facilities and good connections with neighbors. All in all, they stand as innovative and sustainable answers to today’s environmental and social problems.
Common characteristics of cohousing communities include:
- Residents participate in the planning and design of the community to ensure that it reflects their needs.
- The physical design creates a cohesive neighborhood and promotes individual interaction.
- Extensive common facilities designed to supplement the private living areas on a daily basis.
- Residents take responsibility for the ongoing management, cooperating to address their changing needs.
Cohousing architecture promotes interaction between individuals, breaking down the isolation typical of suburban developments while maintaining the privacy valued by most Americans. Individually owned homes cluster around common facilities, with automobiles relegated to the periphery.
Cohousing residents cooperate to manage the community and take turns cooking common meals. Residents enjoy shared facilities and opportunities to participate in community activities and options that typical housing doesn’t provide. While each home has its own private kitchen, residents enjoy conversing with neighbors and to eating home-cooked meals without having to prepare every meal and clean up afterward.
Cohousing provide many benefits, including richer and more diverse social interactions, reduced living expenses through sharing resources, greater security for adults and children alike, more leisure time, and lower stress on the family unit.
More information about the community can be found at http://www.cotaticohousing.org, and more information about cohousing itself can be found at the Cohousing Association of the US’s website at http://cohousing.org.