|Re: co-housing v.s.no growth head in the sand||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Raines Cohen (coho-Lraines.com)|
|Date: Sat, 16 May 1998 11:12:23 -0500|
Liz Stevenson <lilbert [at] concentric.net> wrote on 5/15/98 11:23:21 -0700: >But I must >remind you that this is a young movement and that mistakes will be made >and learned from. Absolutely. If I learned one thing as a Geography major at UCB, it is that Architecture is a form of History, with Environmental Design, looking at what gets built where, providing a snapshot of political and economic forces dominant at the time any given community, mixed with the technology of the time. At any given moment, all of these forces are operating and influencing what gets built where, whether or not we choose to acknowledge them. I see a lot of discussion that posits cohousing as the solution to all the evils perpetrated over centuries, in every area from social relations to resource management to land use. Clearly, this is often unrealistic. Certainly, in many settings, it can help in many ways to improve livability, reduce environmental impacts, break down barriers, and provide us with new ways for solving problems. But like any tool, we need to recognize it as just that --a tool-- and treat it as part of a complete toolchest we use for problem-solving. "If the only tool you have is a hammer, then everything starts to look like a nail." - anon. If we think of cohousing as a lever, we can use it to amplify the power of other things we're trying to do, whether that is to save open space, change land-use attitudes, revitalize urban areas, or open minds. Different people will use this tool for different goals, sometimes in opposition to one another. Some of the tension we feel here comes from these different goals - and also from our personal investments, emotional and otherwise, in the power of the idea, where we shape it to meet our particular needs. If any of us sees somebody else using OUR word/idea/philosophy in a way that seems antithetical to our concept, then of course we're gonna squawk! Especially if we can stereotype the opposing view: Oh, that's a DEVELOPER -- of course they're going to despoil the Earth! They make it easier by using cohousing as a tool themselves to accomplish their goals. I'm sure we can find dozens more examples. Every move we make in this "pioneering" stage is seen as setting a precedent for what follows, and that certainly contributes - as Liz points out, we are all investing a lot right now, in the interest of making it easier for those who get involved later. Another source of tension is likely the medium where we're having these conversations. While e-mail lists are a great tool, they amplify some aspects of our communications and impair others. I'm glad to see that the people "arguing" on this thread aren't entirely dropping into antagonism - they continue to share areas of agreement. I'm particularly interested in the sub-thread on divergences from the Danish model. Of course there will be changes when a concept as deep as cohousing is transplanted to a very different social, political, economic and cultural environment, serving different needs. We should expect to see different traditions incorporated, and some of the benefits and wisdom and maybe even some of the synergies of the original lost, just as we see new ones gained through the infusion of different forces. The more we are aware of the challenge of what we're trying to do, the better we can appreciate the effort required, and apply our limited resources (like time, money, political capital, land) appropriately. Raines Raines Cohen <coho-L [at] raines.com> Member, Swans Market Cohousing - Old Oakland neighborhood, CA All units reserved; Groundbreaking ceremonies May 27; occupancy May '99 Currently obtaining mortgage pre-approval for all members
Re: co-housing v.s.no growth head in the sand Roman Bitner, May 15 1998
- Re: co-housing v.s.no growth head in the sand Raines Cohen, May 16 1998
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