Cohousing is a type of intentional, collaborative housing (very similar to ecovillages) in which residents actively participate in the design and operation of their neighborhoods. Cohousing provides the privacy we are accustomed to within the community we seek. Cohousing residents consciously commit to living as a community. The neighborhood’s physical design encourages both individual space and social contact. Private homes contain all the features of conventional homes, but residents also have access to extensive common facilities such as open space, courtyards, a playground, and a common house. (source)

Most cohousing communities have these characteristics in common:

  • Participatory Design Process
    Members of a forming group participate in designing their community according to their needs and interests.
  • Intentionally Designed Neighborhood
    Private residences are clustered around a shared open green space. Homes are joined by a pedestrian path and typically have a public side facing the center of the community and a private side facing away.
  • Green Architecture & Sustainable Design
    Cohousing communities and ecovillages are designed to be long lasting and environmentally sustainable. As many green materials and as much passive energy design as is practical and affordable are used.
  • Shared Common House and Grounds
    A centrally placed common house, designed for daily use, supplements private residences and is an integral part of community life. Where possible the grounds will include commonly owned outdoor spaces including greens, piazzas, playgrounds, woods, and gardens.
  • Resident Management & Governance
    Residents are responsible for on-going management, organizing cooperatively to meet their changing needs. (source)

Cohousing Videos

Cohousing Explained – a Kid’s Point of View (2:47)

Building Community with Cohousing (15:00)

Cohousing Books

  • The Cohousing Company – McCamant & Durrett Architects —
  • Cohousing Cultures: Handbook for Self Organized, Community-Oriented and Sustainable Housing. Verlags, Jovis.     isbn: 9783868591484, publisher: Jovis Verlags und Projektburo
  • Creating Cohousing: Building Sustainable Communities. Durrett, Charles, McCamant, Kathryn.  isbn: 9780865716728, publisher: New Society Publishers
  • Let’s Talk About Money: A Conversation Guide for Intentional Communities. Weaver, Eris.isbn: 9781478148647, publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Sustainable Community: Learning from the Cohousing Model. Meltzer, Graham.  isbn: 9781412049948, publisher: Trafford Publishing
  • The View From #410. Mason, Jean K. isbn: 9781440179822, publisher: iUniverse

Online Resources