Re: A cohousing metropolis
From: Paul Milne (
Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 08:43:27 -0600

> We're trying to do this with just two clusters and two common houses, but
> we're really struggling right now with decision making. Maybe someone will
> have some words of wisdom.
> We've assumed that each cluster will make all their own decisions regarding
> their common house, their meal-organization, etc. They can then use
> face-to-face consensus as we had always planned.

It seems to me you're on the right track with identifying those issues that
affect both clusters and letting each cluster get on with the rest.

> The trouble comes with all the decisions that affect both phases, which are
> contiguous and the jointly share a much larger common property. You can't
> very well have two different sets of rules for, say, dogs running loose or
> use of pesticides, and we need to handle as one community things like
> insurance, dealing with the utilities, etc.

Perhaps the idea of booting issues to smaller groups is the way to go. A
small group from each cluster could meet to identify joint issues, perhaps
after a brainstorming session in each big group. Once the joint issues have
been identified, each cluster could get come up with policies, then delegate
the small groups to meet again with policy positions at the ready. It would
be easier to identify points of contention in the smaller forum, and each
group could take issues that need resolving back to individual clusters.

It might take a lot of to and fro-ing if there are particularly contentious
issues, but I imagine that with most joint issues there would be
straightforward agreement (or am I being over-optimistic? ;^) ).

I imagine you have already considered this option, but those are my thoughts
for what they're worth.

> it will be a great contribution to
> the advancement of cohousing as a mainstream option


Sounds a bit like negotiations between neighbouring countries, doesn't it?
There's something similar going on now in Ireland, with "cross-border"
issues being dealt with by "cross-border" bodies.

Paul Milne
Cohousing 2000
Edinburgh, Scotland

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.