Re: co-housing v.s. old-fashioned neighborliness
From: Jim Willits (
Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 10:28:36 -0500
in response to the point you were actually making Robin, one of the
problems is that the traditional institutions that provide community
centeredness like churches have been failing us at local community levels
although some still try and, they have not yet been replaced with an
acceptable secular alternative.
         the inability to make old neighborhoods attractive or "nice"  is the
cause of suburban sprawl. 

  jim willits 
http//willits [at]

> From: Robin D. Ellison <Robin.D.Ellison [at] Dartmouth.EDU>
> Subject: RE: co-housing v.s. old-fashioned neighborliness
> Date: Thursday, May 14, 1998 9:48 AM
> --- 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
> 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
> 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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