Cohousing Conference report #3
From: Fred H Olson (
Date: Sun, 21 Sep 1997 04:24:26 -0500
I forgot to mention inreport #2 that the TV segment (if it happens)
will be Good Morning America, ABC, 8-9 EDT.  about 5-6 minutes, and
includes segments on Pioneer Valley (Amherst MA) and Lake Claire
Village (?) (Atlana) communities.  I realize this is probably too
late to be much use ...

Saturday at the conference started off with a plenary session (everyone)
with Jim Leach and Zev Paiss with lots of useful insights that I cant
begin to summarize.  One topic that I want to mention is the continuing
evolution of "Developer Driven" cohousing development in which experienced
cohousing developers make things happen more expeditiously and there is
less reliance on a "do it your self" approach.  One of the big needs is
to have more " experienced cohousing developers" .  A major step in doing
this is the workshop coming up a about 3 weeks in Colorado for developers
led by current  experienced cohousing developers.  Contact
Zev Paiss for more information zpaiss [at] or call
Rocky Mountain Cohousing Association 303-584-3237

On Sat there were 4 mostly one hour "Concurrent sessions" on at least 5
topics simultaneously each session.  Topics had been chosen in the Fri
morning process (see report #2) (about 20 topics scheduled).  I can only
mention the ones that I attended (or wanted to attend - there's more to
talk about than there is time -- Liberty Village Community in MD has 10
people here and is trying to cover most everything...)

Ad hoc over lunch discussions were also organized including the one
Kathryn Smith (Calif Architect grad student and co-author of _Rebuilding
Community in America_), Sherri Zann-Rosenfeld (sp?) (developer at Eno
Commons in NC) and I assembled nominally on the topic of the role of
professionals in retrofit cohousing. 

A sampling of Sat concurrent topics:

Couples in Cohousing lead by Joani Blank - a low key session that was nice
for a change, 

Affordability (I didnt get to it)

Collaboration with other Community oriented groups such as Fellowship
for Intentional Community and the Global Ecovillage Network and WWW page
design / collaboration (topic is an example of combining somewhat
overlapping topics so both get covered),  

Urban infill cohousing,

Sustainable development.

Several sessions have discussed aspects of the question of how does
cohousing develelopment / and the movement relate to closely related
movements of Intentional community and ecovillages.  These topics deserve
on-going consideration, I think.  My personal opinion is that there are
ways in which seperate discussions / movements have there place but that
much more awareness and discussion across flavors of intentional community 
are needed.

Todays paraphrased comments:

The biggest single design factor that contributes to sustainability 
is site location to the degree it reduces private automobile use.
At move in time when this statistic was gathered, at Winslow Cohousing,
only 18 or 20 out of 50 adults commuted to work which is considerably
below national norms.  from Chris Hanson, Cohousing Consultant from
Portland, OR.

Sunday the conference wraps up with tours of local communities, a wrap up
session and a closing presentation with Katie McCamant.

Remember more detailed notes on sessions are coming.  These are just
my ad hoc notes intended to give a feel for whats happening as it happens.


Fred H. Olson  fholson [at]    Zipcode: 55411  
(612)588-9532  Amateur radio: WB0YQM          List manager of:
Cohousing-L  See        and      nbhd-tc  the
Twin Cities Neighborhood issues list. See

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