Re: Reinventing the Wheel (fwd)
From: Cohousing-L listmgr (
Date: Sat, 3 May 1997 09:27:31 -0500
John Major themajors [at]
is the author of the message below but due to a problem it was posted 
by the Fred the list manager: owner-cohousing-L [at]
********************  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS ***********************

A while back there was a discussion here about the question "what
creates the sense of community?" So is it architecture, or religion, or
ideology, or what? The answer I liked most was "shared work". Everyone
agrees that architecture and design can help community feeling (and
certainly we have ample demonstration that poor design can destroy it),
otherwise we wouldn't be beating our brains out to get the walls up,
right?    ;-)   But more than that is the shared work that we all used
to have in common, whether bringing in the crops together, or going off
to the factory, or what have you. Getting to know your neighbors
strengths, weaknesses and special beauties is essential, but very hard
without working side-by-side.

> We have been here almost 4 years now, and  I see a big difference in trust,
> faith and acceptance among those of us who spent years fact finding,
> reporting back, discussing, persuading, defending our position, giving in to
> another view, facilitating, arguing, and finally concensing on literally
> hundreds of issues.

So the clever, if unintended insight of Coho is that the work of getting
the community built certainly fosters this feeling even before folks
have moved in. 

> Sorry if this sounds sappy. But I have witnessed such caring and sharing in
> this community,  and I really do credit the creative design/building process.

Another thing I believe, and that some of you may be able to confirm, is
that once you are moved in, getting a meal on the table every night is
still work that we all have in common. Certainly cooking side by side
with someone is a great way to get to know them! This may account for
the folklore that all-rental Cohousing in Denmark feels just the same as
the "owner-built" stuff. 

John Major
Wasatch Cohousing

..where we just had a very positive initial meeting with our most
interested banker to date - but our consultant tells us the first
meetings *never* dwell on negatives! Keep ya posted...

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