Urban cohousing
From: Dave Hurst (hurstvistatech.com)
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 94 11:37:24 CST
I've been lurking on this list for several months now.  I have an
interest in the ideas behind cohousing, but I'm concerned by what
appears to be a trend among the cohousing projects described on this
list.  It seems that many of the cohousing projects I've seen described
involve going out into ``undeveloped'' land in some suburban area and
building new structures.  Now I can understand the desire to build
structures custom designed to your requirements, but it seems to me
that this approach cuts out a lot of potential people.  I for one have
no desire to live in the suburbs, cohousing or not.  I love the city
and all that it offers.  I'm wondering if anyone has any experience
with taking over existing structures in the city and converting them
for cohousing.  My thinking has been along the lines of rehab'ing an
entire apartment block.  It would already have built in living space.
No problems with privacy/territoriality because each living unit would
be separate, but there would still be plenty of common space shared by
all.  With the right kind of building, it'd already have commercial
space on the ground floor which could be converted to be used for
office/work areas, common living spaces, school rooms, library/information 
center, etc.  If the members of the project were into it, there
might even be a storefront where various goods/art items/etc made by
them could be sold (or bartered or whatever).  If you could take over a
couple buildings, or one large enough, there could also be a open space
in the middle common to all the buildings which could be converted over
to gardens and greenspace, sort of like the atrium of a Roman villa.
The roof could hold solar collectors and wind mills for generating
power and heating water.

I'm curious if anyone knows of any projects like this.

internet: hurst [at] vistatech.com      "Be excellent to each other!"

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