Re: "traditional" neighborhoods vs. Cohousing
From: Scott Cowley (scowleyaclis.lib.utah.edu)
Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 09:46:56 -0500
There are a lot of differences.  But I got the same questions from "studied"
professionals at a recent public seminar we held.

- Cohousing explicitly uses architecture to foster interaction:
 e.g.  A common walking pathway, cars placed away from the people,
 a common meeting facility, shared multipurpose rooms for things which
are beyond the reach of most regular people such as practice rooms, crafts 
rooms,
workshops, a good kitchen, office equipment, garden, greenhouse, etc., etc.
It is (ideally) the design of architecture in the hands of those who pay for it 
and will use it. It
is not necessarily an opportunity for an architect to impose his/her aesthetics 
upon them.

- Cohousing _intentionally_ builds interaction, social opportunity, and social
accountability.  Members of a cohousing group have participated in designing
their own community.  This means common rules, a shared sense of responsibility,
common concerns.  This does not mean a cult.  It is a dynamic culture, which is
fully capable of evolving instead of stagnating and dying.

- Cohousing _historically_ has not been about exclusion.  It was generated as a
better alternative and as a new social and ecological  paradigm.  This means 
that
we seek to make social changes by being proactive and positive about our choice 
of housing.

- Cohousing, therefore, is about Democracy (capital D).  It is about fair 
choices on
the part of all concerned within the here and now.  As with everything in 
today's
economic system, that is always a struggle.  But with friends, it is often a 
joyful one.

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