East Coast Cohousing Conference
From: Fred H. Olson (fholsoncohousing.org)
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 1998 21:51:59 -0600
Kate Chung  <dbuck [at] yorku.ca>
is the author of the message below but due to a problem it was posted
by the Fred the list manager: owner-cohousing-L [at] cohousing.org
--------------------  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS --------------------

1998 East Coast Cohousing Conference
by Dorothy Mazeau

It was a dark and stormy night.  Rush hour traffic swept my car along an 
unfamiliar arterial road in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  I peered through 
the darkness looking for a sign.  There it was! "Cohousing Conference."  As 
I pulled out of traffic and turned left, I saw the rain-sodden sign more 
clearly: "Cohousing Conference - Next Entrance." Oh, well, at least I was 

Moments later I was winding down a long drive on the George School campus 
among stately oak trees.  Spotting a parking lot full of cars, I pulled 
into a vacant space.  A car followed me in and two people jumped out. "Hi! 
We're Tom and Marci, from Puget Ridge Cohousing in Washington.  Do you know 
where the conference is?"  "No, but it's around here somewhere!"  Together 
we continued our search.  Magically, a door opened in one of the buildings. 
"Are you looking for the cohousing conference?  Come on in!"

The 1998 East Coast Cohousing Conference brought together over one hundred 
people from twenty-two states and two provinces for an intense forty-eight 
hours of sharing ideas, experience, encouragement and enthusiasm for 
cohousing.  Canadians present were: Alan Carpenter, from Langley, B.C., a 
builder/developer and founder of the Canadian Cohousing Network, Jason 
Whitfield, an environmental studies student at the University of Waterloo, 
and Dorothy Mazeau, an architect and development consultant from Ontario.

Presented by Heartbeat Cities and the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of  The 
Cohousing Network, the conference program covered a wide range of topics of 
interest to those planning, building, and living in cohousing communities. 
 Sessions averaged an hour in length, just giving enough time to scratch 
the surface of each topic and open new avenues for further exploration. 
 The group shared all our meals together; the communication never stopped. 
 The interaction was rich and the contacts established were invaluable for 
all who attended.

Topics covered by the workshops included:

A "Show and Tell" of slides from existing projects
Cohousing 101 - An introduction for those new to cohousing
Cohousing 202 - A consultation clinic for those already planning or living 
in cohousing
A Community Design Free-For-All - Conferees were divided into three groups, 
each of whom worked with an architect to envision, program, and lay out a 
cohousing community on the same site - all within one hour!
How to Choose an Architect - A panel of four cohousing architects shared 
their approach to working with a group to design cohousing
Getting It Built Correctly, While Staying in Control - A presentation by 
Heartbeat Cities on the construction management process and how to work 
advantageously with a construction manager.
Do Fence Me In! Making Cohousing Work in the City - A presentation on the 
special challenges of building cohousing in urban settings
Connecting with the Folks Who Are Out There - Marketing to the world and 
finding your new neighbors
Show Me the Money - Financing your community
Making Meetings Work - Becoming a World-Class Facilitator

Chat Circles were held on a variety of topics proposed by participants 
including: The Time Line Game (an aid to planning a project); Y2K and how 
it affects cohousing groups; recipe sharing for the soon-to-be-published 
The Joy of Community Cooking.

On Saturday evening Chuck Durrett, co-author of the book Cohousing: A 
Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves, presented a keynote address: 
"Accomplishing Ecological Design in Cohousing."

I came away from the conference with a renewed vision of the value and 
viability of cohousing and a determination to work with others in Ontario 
who are dedicated to realizing their dream of community here.

Next year's conference will be held in Amherst, Massachusetts.  Plan to 
join me to see for yourself that cohousing is alive and well and growing by 
leaps and bounds.  In the meantime, let's keep it growing here at home!

Conference notes will be published on the conference website: 
[Note from Fred: 
There is currently a link from the www.cohousing.org opening page. ]
If you do not have internet access and would like a copy of the notes,
contact Dorothy Mazeau, Allen Mazeau Associates, (905) 857-8738. 

-----Original Message-----
Sent:   Tuesday, December 01, 1998 4:15 PM
To:     Allan Killin
Subject:        Re: Cohousing Conference

Dear Allan,

Attached is the article I wrote on the Cohousing Conference for the 
Cohousing Ontario newletter.  Please distribute or post as you see fit. 
 I'd love to see any report that's been done on the Sustainable Cities 
Workshop, too.  Thanks!
Best regards, Dorothy


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