Re: Policy Library
From: Daniel Lindenberger (
Date: Mon, 3 May 2010 15:15:15 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Folks,

My dream is that we could have as much information possible available. Though I'm starting with policies, I would love to see documents from the founding of different communities, extensive profiles of each community that wants to participate. It would be great to see not only policies, but the revisions they've gone through, along with timelines, so we could see how the communities have evolved. I think this could serve quite a number of purposes:

- We would all benefit from the experiences of each other - re-invent fewer wheels, and learn how well.

- The research potential would be tremendous! We're all engaged in an amazing experiment, and it would be wonderful to take a deep look at the results, and see what we've learned so far.

- The more information is out there about cohousing, the better the understanding that the general population can have about what it is we're doing. This can be educational, inspiring, and help spread the word about the benefits (and challenges) of cohousing.

I also think I haven't stated it explicitly, but would like to do so: In line with Judith's message, any material that goes into this database is meant to be completely free for use. That is to say: we'll make it clear from which communities documents originated, but a community putting its documents into the database is essentially a declaration that they're willing to have other people do whatever they want with them, whether it's compiling them into a book, using them as the seed documents for their own community, or anything else. My goal is to maximize the free flow of information between communities and with the public. To this end, I don't want to include any works that would require a royalty, nor more generally ones that are copyrighted.

Depending on the interest level out there (and the time for working on it), we'll let the database evolve as far as we can as a resource.

Best regards,
Daniel Lindenberger
Windsong Cohousing

On 5/3/2010 2:53 PM, lcamundsen [at] wrote:
Good idea! The architects would still be needed to adapt and advise. It
might make everybody's job easier and in some cases more affordable compared
to starting from scratch. I think we need not worry that professionals will
be excluded from their essential function in designing and building our
communities.Not all plans are transferrable.

Camilla Amundsen
Quayside Cohousing, North Vancouver BC

----- Original Message -----
From: "Judith Bush"<jbush [at]>
To:<cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: Monday, May 03, 2010 1:42 PM
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Policy Library

It is nice to feel the excitement build on the listserve before a
conference, even if you are not crossing the country to attend! The Policy
Library thread puts me in mind of the Open Source "attitude" that seems to
characterize the cohousing movement.  Putting things like by-laws and
policies on our websites testifies to that.  Now someone is offering to be
even more organized about it.  That's great.
One question in my mind: could there be an open source attitude about
blueprints?  Maybe there already is.  I'm struck when I look at community
websites, homes for sale, etc. at how similar in many basic ways our
buildings (units, common houses) are.  One of the things that drives up
costs of building and therefore the cost of homes is professional fees.
Spending a lot of time and energy in the design phase can be fun, but it
also be exhausting and ultimately expensive.  We want a mix of low,
and higher income people in our communities.  But we are often
to younger families, people working intentionally in meaningful but
low-paying jobs, etc.  Is sharing blueprints a piece of the solution?  (In
writing this, I worry  that I will be offending the wonderful architects
have essentially created a library of possibilities for cohousing.  That's
not my intention.)
Anyway, perhaps the whole topic of Open Source could be a focus at a
cohousing gathering.
Judith Bush, Cobb Hill, Hartland, VT

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