Re: Intentional Communities vs. Cohousing
From: Fred H Olson WB0YQM (
Date: Thu, 21 Jul 94 05:36 CDT
On Thu, 21 Jul 94 00:55 CDT, 
Larry Israel  <lisrael [at]> wrote:

>To me, there are several key differences between intentional communities
>and cohousing communities: 

To me the term intentional communities has two meanings.
Having two meanings confuses the use of the term so we should try to be  
clear on which use is meant.

By the way the Minneapolis Andersen Lane group is starting to consider
what has been called "Virtual Cohousing" (Cohousing Journal 5*4 Winter '94 
pg 22) - creating community in existing neighborhoods.  We use the term
"Intentional Neighborhood" for our concept.  "Virtual Cohousing" does not
appeal to me given the use of "Virtual community" to refer to
online social phenomenon.  We have a bit of virtual community here on 
Cohousing-L tho with 250 subscribers it's minimal in most ways.
I'll try to post more later about our latest directions now that the 
Andersen Lane proposal looks dead.

My two definitions of Intentional Community:

One derives from the words - a community that results from intentional
planning and design - in which case cohousing is a subset.

Second a meaning based on previous useage which I think Larry's 3 points
describe well (relative to cohousing) which I'd summarize as more like
one big household:
1.) More shared economic base
2.) More shared beliefs
3.) Less private space

>3. Cohousing has more extensive private spaces than most intentional
>communities, with each household (or family) having their own complete
>housing unit.  This is usually not the case within intentional

This implies and relates to cohousing having fewer life functions 
that are done together.  As stated by a Danish cohouser in one of the video 
clips we use: Cohousing makes a good compromise between what is private and 
what is common.


Fred H. Olson         fholson [at]          Amateur radio: WB0YQM
1221 Russell Av N,    Minneapolis, MN  55411   voice: (612) 588-9532      
Sysop of COHOUSING-L listserv & gopherspace (gopher:

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