Re: A cohousing metropolis
From: Franklin Wayne Poley (
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 14:11:45 -0600
On Thu, 14 Jan 1999, Paul  Milne wrote:

> Joani
> > Why not plan the whole community as a cohousing village with ten 30 unit
> > neighborhood clusters and ten common houses.  I guess I have delusions of
> > grandeur, now don't I?
> No, not in the context of "New Town" planning that took place in the UK in
> the past. You're talking about, not a metropolis, but a small town.

New Town/New City planning is fairly common. Other than cities-built-anew
like Brasilia, New Bombay (Navi Mumbai) and Jubail which are widely known 
there were many cities built entirely anew in the old Soviet Union.
Last night I watched a documentary which featured one of ten "Secret
Cities" built in the Soviet Union solely for the purpose of mining and
refining uranium. They had a total population of 750,000. My point is just
that the deliberately planned city is not unusual and not all city growth
happens "spontaneously".

> Ever read "The Timeless Way of Building", and "A Pattern Language" by
> Christopher Alexander et al.? He writes of the patterns that we use,
> consciously and unconsciously, to build at all scales, from a stool to a
> garden to a neighborhood to a town to a region.

I think planning your own community and city on a large is something
which people would take to very well if given a chance.

> Scale up the cohousing principals to a town level and you've got rational
> transport systems, and a common house/town hall, neighborhood shops as well
> as central stores for other goods, local artisans, wider scale "factories",
> local primary schools, wider scale secondary schools (doesn't really sound a
> whole lot different from a typical small town in some ways -- some patterns
> we use already will hold good in the cohousing town).
> Ambitious, yes -- delusional? I hope not!
The next part of my argument is that they WILL be given the chance as the
internet with human language translating programs becomes as ubiquitous as
telephone. If you define co-housing very broadly as a grass-roots level
planned community with a community centre then I think such planning by
internet will become the norm in C21.

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