Re: Community size
From: Jerry McIntire (jerry.mcintiregmail.com)
Date: Wed, 3 Jun 2015 09:26:40 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Roger,

I think of two central considerations regarding size. Will you have enough
money to afford a common house and other common amenities you want? This is
actually determined by the amount members are willing to spend, not by
number of members/households.

The other is group dynamics: getting the work done, having enough people at
meetings, having enough diversity and being large enough to avoid fatal
cliques.

>From my studies of small group communication, I think of twelve as a
minimum number of homes which will probably mean a minimum of 18 people.
The minimum we are aiming for is twelve households, and a maximum of
eighteen due to the sizes of our market and our property.

Jerry

Jerry McIntire
Stone's Throw Ecovillage, in the heart of Wisconsin's beautiful Driftless
region
http://stonesthrowcommunity.wordpress.com/
1-608-637-6620

On Tue, Jun 2, 2015 at 12:17 PM, Roger Studley <roger.studley [at] gmail.com>
wrote:

>
> Hi All --
>
> Nice to meet so many of you at the conference, and I'm hoping you can
> offer insight into *community size*.
>
> Prior to the conference, my understanding -- from reading and from
> conversations with experienced cohousers and professionals -- was that the
> sweet spot in terms of the number of households in a cohousing community
> was *low 20s to high 30s*. Smaller than low 20s and there aren't enough
> folks for a vibrant community or to get everything done (and group dynamics
> can get weird), larger than high 30s and it's hard to be a cohesive
> community.
>
> At the conference, however, I heard that there's some conventional wisdom
> that the magic minimum number is *14 households*.
>
> There's probably no bright line below which cohousing won't work, but I am
> concerned about being too small. Here in Berkeley, sites that could
> accommodate 20 units are hard to come by, and I'm wondering how we should
> be thinking about this, especially since we intend to be a
> multi-generational community. Any wisdom you have to share would be much
> appreciated: Where do the above numbers come from? What are the
> difficulties faced by smaller communities? What's most important for
> smaller communities to succeed? And *what does seem to be the minimum size
> for a well functioning community and why?*
>
> Thanks, and warm regards to everyone!
>
> ~Roger
>
>

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