RE: co-housing v.s. old-fashioned neighborliness
From: Robin D. Ellison (Robin.D.EllisonDartmouth.EDU)
Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 08:49:00 -0500
--- Deb Smyre wrote:
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, 
--- end of quote ---

---  Lynn Nadeau wrote:
The trick is to create opportunities to be together, around stuff that people 
have to 
do anyway.
--- end of quote ---

I think the "bumper sticker"  answer here is that cars kill neighborliness.

In my non co-housing experience [and I would be happy to share this] 
neighborliness is directly related to the amount of casual contact one has with 
the neighbors.  That contact is directly related to how much people walk in the 
neighborhood. How much people walk in a neighborhood is directly related to the 
use of cars.

Co housing encourages pedestrian traffic by excluding cars for the center of 
the community.  This is not the only difference between co-housing and 
conventional neighborhoods, but it is the most clear one your fellow students 
can see, and the hardest to address in a conventional neighborhood.

I think if one were to close a block to car traffic that very soon 
neighborliness would increase noticeably.  If one were then to focus on block 
parties and pot luck dinners, what you would have would be very close to 
co-housing [maybe just one common house short :-) ].


happy trails
Robin Ellison
Hartland VT.

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