retrofit cohousing vs co-nbhd [ was: Re: mythological cohousing..
From: Fred H. Olson (
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 1999 08:21:17 -0600 (MDT)
On Sun, 15 Aug 1999, paul kilduff wrote:
> >
> >5. Retrofit vs. new development.
> Same here, except in our case it's coneighborhood vs. new 
> development/retrofit (the difference is between buying one house at at time, 
> with possible rentals, and a comprehensive project, whether rehabbing 
> existing building(s) or building from the ground up).  We only have two 
> members left, and even we can't agree on that basic issue.

Paul's clarification seemed to me to need clarification...

I've been promoting the term "retrofit cohousing" for several years.  I
think Kevin Wolf of N Street Cohousing was the first person I heard use
the term.  See:


I use it to mean retrofiting the social relations between
people who live in close proximity in existing housing.  To form a
cohousing community. "Close proximity" typically means adjacent /
contiguous properties or potentially so (by an interveneing property
joining).  While it may involve some changes, renovations, additions to
the physical facilities, these are likely to be incremental and most
structures are used basically unchanged. 


The way I understand Steve Habib Rose's use of the term 'neighbornets'
(formerly "co-neighborhoods") is that the latter are made up of households
spread over a larger geographic area - blocks or even miles apart.
Thus there are likely to vehicles and "trips" involved for interaction to
occur.  Also there is even less chance of casual interaction than with
retrofit cohousing.

Note that occasionally the term "retrofit cohousing" has been used
(incorrectly in my opinion) to refer to a "comprehensive project"
to rebuild a structure to make a cohousing community. While in
general "rebuild" and "retrofit" can be interpreted similarly,
I would hope that the compound term "retrofit cohousing" could be reserved
for and widely understood to me something like I've described above.
This is a hazard of reusing and coining terms.


Fred H. Olson  fholson [at]    Minneapolis,MN   55411  
(612)588-9532  Amateur radio: WB0YQM          List manager of:
Cohousing-L  See and Nbhd-tc --  Twin 
Cities Neighborhood issues list.  See

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.