Diversity [ was Cohousing traffic studies]
From: Sharon Villines (sharonsharonvillines.com)
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 2020 05:37:25 -0700 (PDT)
> On Aug 27, 2020, at 7:14 AM, R Philip Dowds via Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at] 
> cohousing.org> wrote:

> But some of us at Cornerstone wonder, sometimes, if we are too insular, too 
> isolated from our broader North Cambridge neighborhood, and our City affairs. 
>  Should we speculate that the personal social networks of those who live in 
> cohousing are more introverted, or less diverse, than those promoted by 
> “regular” housing?

 It could also be possible that in cohousing people relate more closely to a 
more diverse population than if they were making choices not so based on 
proximity. The range of gender identifications, kinds of familial groupings, 
and age ranges are far wider in Takoma Village than I would otherwise have 
social contact with on a weekly or several times a month basis. They also work 
in a much wider range of occupations and types of organizations than I would 
even meet. As an introvert, I also have far more interaction than if I were 
living alone anywhere else.

It’s like the nutritionists discover, most people eat fewer than 20 foods. And 
even 20 is high for many.

To study this a good control group would be needed, although something might be 
learned from studying cohousing groups in larger communities that are more 
diverse, more culturally enriched, etc., with cohousing in more homogenous, 
quiet communities. 

One thing I have noticed over 20 years is that as cohousing becomes more common 
more people have moved in who have family and friends in the area and it has 
changed the kinds of activities people participate in or the kinds of back ups 
they need. With family and friends in the area, they spend more time away, 
especially on holidays. When new babies arrive, a grandparent also arrives and 
the household is more isolated. In times of need, they more often call family. 
When the SuperBowl comes along, they go watch with friends rather than in the 
CH. But neither family or close friends are likely to be very diverse.

That would be an interesting study too — who actually does spend more time in 
the community than away?

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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