Re: Community Building
From: Eric Hart (harteFree-Net.Mpls-StPaul.MN.US)
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 94 21:55 CST
The book _Seven American Utopias_ by Dolores Hayden is a very good 
introduction to Intentional Communities in the United States.  It is 
historical, covering from the 18th century to the present and looks at 
the good and bad aspects of those intentional communities.  The thing I 
find very useful is at the end of the book (p. 351-54) she lists seven 
"Design Recommendations".   This explains what aspects of community design (and 
the processes used to get that design) have aided or detracted from the 
long term health and/or existance of the community.  The one I liked the 
best is "Needs for private territory are not best served by private 
houses."  I take this to mean that having a private space in a shared 
structure is better for community than having a detached single family 
home.  This runs counter to our societal "need" for a detached single 
family home and makes me even more of an advocate for the intelligent 
design of structures with several units in them.  I realize some 
cohousing communities  have to be designed this way due to space 
considerations, but whenever we have the space (in a rural or suburban 
space) people tend to automatically think of a detached single family 
house.  Anyway, this is a good book and well worth reading if you want a 
sense of the history of intentional communities.  Even though cohousing 
is not purely an intentional community as some may see it, there are 
enough similiarities to be useful in designing cohousing.

Eric Hart
harte [at]

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