Re: Affordability/Urban Areas
From: Mark Ottenberg (
Date: Tue, 6 Dec 94 15:53 CST
On Mon, 5 Dec 1994, Ross M Donald wrote:

> =>To:  OrrinDavid [at]
> =>To: cohousing-l [at]
> =>Subject: Re: Affordability of cohousing
> =>
> =>   ...cohousing in urban areas. I am part of an
> =>organization that wants to study the cohousing option
> =>for...
> => (re) development ideas in Chicago's urban
> =>core.  
> =>
> =>   But, as either Thoreau or Emerson once said,
> =>"Whenever I see somebody coming to do me good, I run
> =>the other way!" - one corollary being:  "If it is your
> =>intention to help the other person, expect nothing in
> =>return, but resentment."
> =>
>      By this, we mean, one cannot come in from the
> schools, the church volunteer groups and the community
> action agencies, nor from city hall with money,
> education, and eager solutions;  without buying in, in
> every way. 

As a professional systems engineer who is studying and designing social 
systems I must VERY STRONGLY agree.   From varous current sources, even 
if you are able to create something useful (to your perspective)  such 
structures are almost exclusively NOT sustainable in the medium to long 
range time frames.  Expect this to infuriate those who are or have been 
part of the project.  They finally are convinced to have some hope, and 
then CRASH.  Sustainability, especially in these increasingly changing 
times, requires user designers.  Outside advice is ok, but LEARNING to be 
able to self-design becomes MUCH more important than any hard results!!

This really takes some time, energy and personal change. Lots of it.  But 
then again, they seem to be converging on agreement of something like the 

"Cohousing, the most intensive, (and expensive!) personal growth program 
you will ever go through!"

Luck and much work,                     -- Mark

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