Re: affordable housing
From: Carla McAuley (carlammontana.campus.mci.net)
Date: Fri, 27 Nov 1998 04:42:05 -0600
 FWP wrote:
If that 
>succeeds the work crew could go on to build the "model sustainable 
>village" for 5,000 people being planned by Vancouver City Administration.
>Thus the benefits would snowball as longer term employment would also be 
>provided for some of the people who do the initial sweat equity work.
>   False Creek Village could well be co-housing or co-housing-like. I 
>think it should at least have something like the old fashioned community 
>hall. That would make it the biggest co-housing project in the world, 
>larger even than one in Denmark where co-housing started which is for 
>2,000 people I am told.
>Sincerely-FWP.


I would like to point out that the research reported in the major books on
co-housing puts the optimal size for a co-housing community is 12 to 36
families.  Under 12, there is not enough diversity.  Over 36, the community
gets too big for good face-to-face relationships and decision making, and
breaks down into more impersonal ways of operation.  The idea that big is
better and that a co-housing community could be as large as 5,000 would be
laughable if it were not for the seriousness with which you present it.  The
ONLY way this could EVER work is with clusters of 30 or so families and a
common house.  So then you could have your cake and eat it too.  Because you
could have your big development and grand scale planning, but human-sized
community functioning.  Just be wary of the operation of this principle.
The more you take daily decisions out of the hands of the people, the more
the concept of co-housing suffers.  I would hate to see the concept of
cohousing co-opted (to use a seventies term) by the "we know better than
you" planners.

Carla McAuley

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