Re: interdependency
From: balaji (
Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 15:26:32 -0700 (PDT)
I suggest that the answer to this question is in the nature of
sustainability -- social sustainability, by which I mean the ability of a
community to perpetuate itself not primarily through recruitment but by

I refer specifically to the retention of our children when they grow up. 
Children are critical to the long-term health and well-being of the
community, but so is retaining them in the community long-term.  With
long-term and multigenerational families, the care of the sick and elderly
is handled by the extended family, just as it is in "traditional" family
structures still found in large parts of the world.  Children stay on the

At the moment, intentional communities (including most cohousing
structures) are recruitment-based.  One would expect that, given how new
most of them are.  The exception are the exclusive religious communities: 
Hutterites, Amish, etc.  For the rest of us, the problem arises later,
when the American emphasis on cutting the apron strings kicks in and kids
fly the nest.  The kids expect it to be that way, and so do the parents. 
Consequently, the community must still depend on new-member recruitment,
year after year, and this has important implications.  One of them is a
lack of capacity to take care of the elderly and infirm.  We will not
solve this problem until we "solve" the problem of retention over
recruitment as the primary vehicle for community development.

So, I find the real question here, how do get the kids to stay on the farm?

Charles W. Nuckolls
Utah Valley Commons

> good morning,  all
> i'm tossing in a thought that  the discussions on
> accessibility/affordability/et al have brought to  mind.
> The question of accessibility  has been discussed here for several days
> and
> the issue that all of us will  likely be disabled at one point, many by
> simply
> the aging process itself.   The question of what do individuals value has
> also
> been "debated".
> Affordability vs accessibility/fiscal vs  physical.  It's one of those
> impossible to answer correctly word problems  where you have to choose who
> to throw
> overboard first  in an overly-crowded  life  raft.
> What this makes me think about concerns  disability that is not physically
> visible but something that many of us are  already facing in families or
> will
> likely experience at some point and that also  begs an answer.  What do we
> do
> when the disability involved includes the  aging of the mind -
> alzheimer's/dementia /senility- if we have communities of  co-housing,
> this is likely an issue
> that will arise and doesn't get met by  elevators, ramps or other physical
> accommodation.   I'm not trying to  be provocative - I just am wondering
> about
> that because mental disability is a  reality as well.  How will we deal
> with
> that within our co-housing  units?
> While some would call it simply  an "elder-housing" issue , if our
> co-housing
> is multi-generational, it is a  co-housing community issue.  It is a
> reality
> that is every bit as  possible as future physical disability for all.
>  I  believe a major  facet of co-housing is the issue of aging in place.
> People used to remain  more capable of staying within their community
> because
> they had the support of  family, friends and the community at large.
> Co-housing
> to me offers a  similar concept and promotes multi-generational "villages"
> and
> the like.   How will the communities that we are creating now deal with
> not
> only the  physical challenges that members currently or eventually may
> encounter, but the  mental challenges that will arise as well?
> Food for thought.  If we  are going to discuss what we value and what kind
> of
> communities we wish to live  in, then we need to think beyond the ADA
> definitions and discuss  this.
> tricia
> **************Wondering what's for Dinner Tonight? Get new twists on
> family
> favorites at AOL Food.
> (
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