Re: How much living space to you need?
From: Richard L Kohlhaas (
Date: Tue, 20 May 2008 12:59:29 -0700 (PDT)
Sounds fascinating.  Does anyone know where I could buy some buffalo dung?

Date sent:              Mon, 19 May 2008 23:59:03 -0600 (MDT)
From:                   balaji [at]
To:                     "Cohousing-L" <cohousing-l [at]>
Subject:                Re: [C-L]_ How much living space to you need?
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> It is certainly true one can get by for less.  I lived in a fishing
> village on the southeastern coast of India for seven years.  The house was
> one room and had about 500 square feet.  That was for six people.  We
> cooked on a buffalo dung fire on the verandah, and the "facility" was the
> nearby sea shore.  Most life was lived in public -- in the alleys between
> the huts, on the road, on the beach.  And that, for an American, took a
> bit of getting used to.  But I miss it, and that's why I go back for a few
> weeks every year or two.  In a few weeks, we (my wife and 3 children)
> leave New Zealand for the Amazon (eastern Ecuador) were we will live in a
> tiny house on the edge of the rainforest, just down the road from the
> erupting volcano, Tungarahua.  Our friends are all hunters and gatherers,
> and small-time horticulturalists.  It's great.
> Well, perhaps we're a bit extreme -- we're both anthropologists -- but we
> appreciate the pleasures of community:  a lesson we have learned from the
> Indians and Ecuadorians who never gave it up for the suburban alienation
> we take for granted in America.
> Charles Nuckolls
> Utah Valley Cohousing
> >
> > At 7:44 AM -0400 5/19/08, Sharon Villines wrote:
> >>In Manhattan, small apartments are also possible because people live
> >>in public more. They tend to meet for dinner instead of entertaining
> >>in because they have no cars and it is a pain to get uptown or
> >>downtown. They meet in between instead. Go out for  the paper and
> >>breakfast in the morning. Hang out in Starbucks with a laptop or a
> >>book. People even meet clients in hotel lobbies -- the ones with the
> >>comfortable furniture and a bar. A fern place.
> >
> > This is true in many cultures (other than the United States). I
> > recall reading a report about how many square feet (on average) a
> > person needs to 'live'. Can't remember exact numbers, but people in
> > the U.S. required more square feet than any other culture. People in
> > Japan do very well in less than 200 square feet because they 'live'
> > outside as you describe above. There is a condo project in Seattle
> > that primarily houses moderate to high-income working class Asians.
> > The condos are less than 200 square feet.
> >
> > I find 460 square feet a bit too tight for myself and my two cats. I
> > don't think I could handle living here very long if my only view was
> > the brick building next door.
> >
> > Cheers!
> > Marganne
> > _________________________________________________________________
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> >
> >
> >
> >
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Dick Kohlhaas <rlkohl [at]>
Colorado Springs (Colorado) Cohousing Community (Casa Verde Commons)
Completed March 2003. 34 units on 4 acres 1.5 mi from downtown. We have a 
few resales available.   Visit us at

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