RE: co-housing v.s. old-fashioned neighborliness
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 09:23:41 -0500
Cohousing is intentional community, the people who work together to create it 
and live in it do so for a specific purpose, to increase the community in 
their lives. You specifically make a commitment to that purpose when you join 
a cohousing community, and the whole neighborhood works together to acheive 
the goals of community. There are no strangers living in an intentional 
community, and visitors and strangers stand out like beacons. You know 
everyone, usually much deeper than is normal for neighbors in America.

In community there is a significant personal commitment required to the group. 
This is measured by responsibilities and caring for one another.

Traditional neighborhoods are not intentional. People typically do not move 
there to create more community in their lives, and typically only some of the 
neighbors work together to create community. There is no commitment to the 
group required, a seldom is it acheived.

Gated communities are designed to isolate and insulate. Cohousing is designed 
for collaboration and cooperation. They are private, in the same way that 
gated communities are, however their purpose is to build relationships, not 
isolate. They each do exclude however. Cohousing and Gated communities tend to 
be market rate and above housing and so they exclude low incomes. Cohousing 
excludes people who can't work well with others, or have a low tolerance for 
meetings. Other than that, they are very different in intentions and 

Rob Sandelin
A place with an invisable, $200,000 wall around it

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