Re: Cohousing and car sharing
From: Graham Meltzer (
Date: Sun, 19 Sep 1999 16:55:52 -0600 (MDT)
A recent post featured the following query from Katie Alword

> Greetings -- Dana Snyder-Grant suggested I contact you to ask if you know
> of any cohousing groups that have incorporated carsharing into their living
> situations?  Or have you by chance done an article on this topic?  I am
> looking for this information to possibly include in a book I'm writing
> about transportation reform, called: "Divorce Your Car! And Live Happily
> Ever After" (to be published next year by New Society Publishers).

Interesting issue.  In my research of almost all the established cohousing
back in 1996 I found no formalized car pooling despite there being
widespread agreement that this was an obvious cohousing opportunity.   There
was quite a bit of informal offering of lifts and running of errands but
groups that had attempted scheduling rides had found that people's lives
were too fractured and work hours too variable to make this work reliably.
Perhaps there have been further attempts in recent years that have been more
successful.  I hope so ... but the lack of response to this thread is telling.

I think cohousing has the potential to take car pooling a step further ...
to the joint ownership of one or more vehicles that are available for use by
all.  I have seen this work really well on Kibbutz and on a wonderful Danish
commune called Svanholm ... which incidently, was founded back in the
seventies using the kibbutz as a model.  In both instances, about 6 or 8
cars were shared by 100+ people with the booking system being a simple chart
on a blackboard in the common house. Of course there is a protocol and
agreements about legitimate usage. 

There is a quite lengthy discussion of car sharing systems amongst the
general population in some European cities in a recent article in the
World*Watch magazine (Vol 12, No 4).


Graham Meltzer

Lecturer (Architectural Design and Social Ecology)
School of Architecture, Interior and Industrial Design
Queensland University of Technology, 
GPO Box 2434, Brisbane, Australia 4001.

Tel:(617)38642535(w) (617)32574852(h) Fax:(617)38641528

Web site about cohousing research and education:  

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