“Community” is the key word. The cohousing movement started in Denmark with dual income families wishing to find a more efficient and supportive way to parent their kids and get the evening meals prepared. By living in an intentional community these couples were able to share some of the day to day responsibilities and in the process develop a deep and caring connection with others in their community.
Today our homes are designed to isolate us from our neighbors as we drive into our garages and close the door. Our days are so busy in this fast paced society we are often too tired to cook a healthy meal or go out again to meet with others. The cohousing model is designed to end isolation and increase support and connection with others while preserving our need for personal space.
- Residents share in at least some part of the design process
- The physical design of the community encourages interaction of the residents
- Homes are private with their own kitchens
- Extensive common areas including a Common House are designed for daily use and to supplement private living areas
- All the residents manage their own community
- Nonhierarchical decision making – decisions are made as a community using the consensus model for decision making
- Shared common meals – usually several per week. The level of participation varies from community to community and from person or family to family
Community is the life-force in cohousing with the Common House its heart.