Above photo: Ecovillage at Ithaca

  • Cohousing neighborhoods are composed of privately-owned homes clustered around shared open space and common facilities.
  • A common house typically includes a dining room, kitchen, workshop space, kids area, guest rooms and lounge; it is the heart of the neighborhood for community diners and a variety of activities.
  • Cars are kept to the exterior of the site making the neighborhood pedestrian-friendly, kid-friendly and elderly-friendly.
  • Future residents are involved in the design so that it reflects their real needs and priorities, not those of a typical developer.
  • Environmental sustainability is a core value in cohousing projects with smaller homes, green building attributes and renewable energy systems made possible by combined efforts and shared resources.
  • On-site activities and companionship enable residents to socialize close to home, and helping to decrease the need to drive.
  • Overall this housing model brings social, environmental and economic benefits for a more sustainable lifestyle.

Cohousing Resources

What is Cohousing? (at the canadian cohousing network website)

For more information on cohousing visit:, and

Read Creating Cohousing: Building Sustainable Communities by cohousing pioneers Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett (Otters books on Baker Street in Nelson has the book in stock, the Nelson library has a few copies or you can buy it at

What is an Ecovillage?

These two pdf documents about the Ithcaca NY Ecovillage are a great introduction into the concept. (each one is about 6MB).

Ecovillage Ithaca: Laboratory for Sustainability? Part 1
Ecovillage Ithaca: Laboratory for Sustainability? Part 2