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Cohousing Movement Co-founder Speaks On Behalf Of Community

Cohousing Co-Founder Speaks in Mountain View, CAChuck Durrett, the co-founder of the cohousing movement (www.cohousing.org), spoke to a packed house about the benefits to creating community and cohousing in our current society.  The event was produced to garner support and interested parties in  developing a cohousing development in Mountain View, California.  Members of the Silicon Valley Cohousing organization were in attendance to gather information about cohousinging.

The event brought well over 80 people in attendance with a diverse crowd, many of whom were seniors or those close to retirement.Cohousing audience

This event was the first event in which all future blogs will take shape. Event notes will be taken and delivered to you through this blog. The reason, is to provide the world with the information presented at the event, so that all may flourish and utilize great ideas from prominent individuals.  So, below are the first set of notes taken during the event:

Top qualities of a successful cohousing design:

1) Future residents need to help in the creation and design of the community.
2) Physical design is designed over time concerning how much privacy everyone does and doesn’t want.
3) Common house needs to be practical, convenient, fun, and sustainable for creating community.
4) Decision making needs to involve the community and always focus on what will create more community.

Features in design: Common workshop, kitchen, hall, outdoor space

Inter-generational cohousing seems to always be designed with the children in mind at the forefront to create an atmosphere for growing up.

Cohousing seems to fit very well with senior housing and provides a good quality of life, happiness, and fun.

People have as much privacy in their house as they want, and outside they have as much community as they want.

Teaching skills and sharing larger tasks with other members creates efficiency, community, and education.

Cooperative dealings with external problems can be worked out if the focus always stay on the community and what will work. Positive approaches and creative thinking can help make problems easily solvable without creating restrictions to community members.

Prioritize expenditures for efficiency and community.

The people really feel like they own and are part of the community when they are involved in the creation and design of it.

Creating larger scale sustainable practices like collective solar installations to decrease energy costs and many other costs that are cut down when a group goes in on it together.

Expenses on external purchases which other community members can provide also saves money.

People start hanging out on their front porch rather than their back porch. People get to know each other and want to visit instead of not talking to their neighbors and being more private.

Cohousing can be much less expensive during an economic downturn. People can move out of their previous houses and join with others to pull their money.

Look at the geography and real estate prices to find soemwhere which fits well for the community and is affordable.

To find out more, find resources, and ask questions, visit cohousing.org.  Another alternative is ic.org for intentional communities based around specific interests.

Like always, Envirovents offers note-taking, photography, video, websites, and flyer designs for events large and small. Please contact us for details.



  Raines Cohen, Cohousing Coach wrote @

Thanks for covering the event, Justin. It was great to meet you again there, and exciting to see the first Bay Area core group with land ready to go, attracting a full house at the bookstore.

Just one clarification: our MeetUp didn’t put on the event, we just listed it on our calendar and helped promote it as a community venture. The new Mountain View Cohousing group hired the publicist and did the outreach and put the event together, in cooperation with Chuck.

Raines Cohen, Cohousing Coach and Silicon Valley North/Peninsula Cohousing MeetUp co-organizer
Planning for Sustainable Communities
at Berkeley (CA) Cohousing

  Pamela Biery wrote @

Nice reporting, Justin. Watch for an upcoming news segment on Bay Area ABC7 which includes interviews and a look at the building site—the last, level, empty, lot in Mountain View.

  charles durrett wrote @

justin, thank you for the thoughtfulness of your reporting and the thoughtfulness of your emag.

thanks, chuck

  Ted Pearlman wrote @

It’s always interesting to me to see older people wanting to live separated from younger people. I understand what the motivation is, but, for myself, I couldn’t imagine living without children around. It’s like having a flower garden with no buds.

Ted Pearlman
Hive College

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