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