CoHousing Satelites & Pods
From: Michael Mariner (
Date: Tue, 4 Feb 1997 13:56:52 -0600
How can an existing coho community help proliferate cooperative 

Example/possible answer:

Nyland has a waiting list of people who would like to buy  one of the 
homes, but rarely does one come on the market.  

Nyland can't build any more homes on the original land parcel because of 
a density agreement with the city/county.  And, even if the agreement 
could be renegotiated, many residents feel Nyland is too big already (42 
homes with several having housemates/rentors = >130 people.)  So, no 
foreseeable expansion on site.

But what if Nyland started to encourage  wannabe buyers to purchase land 
and/or homes in adjacent (or even nearby) neighborhoods?  Suppose Nyland 
nurtured them as satelite residents who could exchange labor or $$ for 
facilities privileges, common house dinners, etc.  

What if, over a few years, clusters or pods of satelite cohousers began 
to form?  What if each pod started to take down backyard fences (a la "N 
Street") and started having their own dinners and started having endless 
consensus-seeking meetings debating about pets and kids and chores, just 
like old-time cohousers! <fat grin - couldn't resist a cartoonish dig!>

So, what synergy might begin to happen in clusters of cohousing 
neighborhoods?  (This *has* already happened in Denmark, right?)   
Grass-roots democracy might flower; schools might be integrated into 
community life; homeless and handicapped might be easily dealt with 
(assimilated without major sacrifice on any one household's part); 
neighborhood business and environmental sustainability increases; 
neighborhood cultures and ceremonies flourish....

Of course, Christopher Alexander's "A Pattern Language" talked about how 
5-8 communities of 100 could band together and form the community of 
500-800 which cluster into villages of a few thousand and, presto (after 
100 years?!) society returns to human scale.

How far in the future is this?

Ecovillage at Ithaca is such a cluster by design, right?

What other coho communites are have energy or intentions to begin 
sprouting satelites and pods?

How doable is it in your locality?

I know some experienced cohousers like Joani are active in creating 
groups in their metro area, but who's doing it house-by-house right in 
the 'hood?

Michael Mariner
Nyland CoHousing, Lafayette, CO

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