co-housing v.s. old-fashioned neighborliness
From: Deb Smyre (
Date: Wed, 13 May 1998 11:36:57 -0500
I've been exchanging ideas with fellow grad students about my co-housing
project, and some questions have come up that I can't adequately answer
(i.e. I haven't been able to articulate a response, though I think I can
intuit the answers).  

One question is can't the benefits of co-housing be duplicated within any
single-family community via block-clubs, backyard barbeques, shared
child-care, co-op food buying, etc.   The questions seem to revolve around
whether the old-fashioned approaches to achieving a sense of community
aren't just as effective as co-housing, without the hassle; or whether
co-housing isn't in some ways like the 'gated communities' developed in
wealthier suburbs to keep like-minded people in and others out.

My intuition tells me the old-fashioned approach isn't adequate in most
urban neighborhoods because everyone's on the go with no time for
structured neighborhood 'togetherness' anymore.  Beyond that, I'm seeking
help here in forming a more definitive response to such questions.  

Deb Smyre
E-Mail:   dsmyre [at]

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