Re: "Neighborhood" Cohousing or "Retrofit" Cohousing
From: R Philip Dowds (
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2013 09:54:53 -0800 (PST)
Cohousing is a social model, a lifestyle, an attitude.  It's not an 
architectural manifestation.  It can occur in an array of single family homes, 
in multifamily construction, even on one or two floors of a large apartment 
building constructed for other purpose.  "Neighborhood" and "cohousing" are 
both phrases that try to capture and imply community, and community values 
about personal relations.  Speaking of a "cohousing neighborhood" is something 
akin to using the phrase, "automobile vehicle".

Philip Dowds AIA

> On Dec 11, 2013, at 12:31 PM, Kathryn McCamant <kmccamant [at] 
>> wrote:
> Interesting discussion.
> I don't think Neighborhood Cohousing makes sense to distinguish "retrofit"
> from other newly built cohousing neighborhoods. As others have mentioned,
> they are all based creating a more collaborative neighborhood. I have been
> trying to change my own language to say cohousing neighborhoods generally,
> instead of cohousing communities... I think the term neighborhood makes it
> clearer that people have individual homes, as opposed to a shared house or
> cohome...
> Not sure what the best term is... We are use to having to define cohousing
> when we use it. I expect that just about any term we use to distinguish
> retrofit cohousing will also need ongoing defining for many people. I've
> been using the term retrofit cohousing for decades and find it works fine,
> or at least as well as any term for a concept most people still can't
> imagine. 
> Katie 
> -- 
> Kathryn McCamant, President, Architect
> CoHousing Partners, LLC
> 241 Commercial Street
> Nevada City, CA 95959
> T.530.478.1970  C.916.798.4755

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