Cohousing is independent living within a loose community setting. It is definitely not a Commune. Cohousing combines the autonomy and privacy of the individual household with the mutual support offered through a degree of collaborative living.
Cohousing means individual dwellings that share some facilities (for example, a common house, workshop, laundry, gardens), designed with us not for us, and managed by us. Drawing on experience in other countries, such “intentional neighbourhoods” work best at a scale of about 30 or so units. The layout of the neighbourhood is designed to facilitate social contact between residents and encourage a sense of community. Cars are usually kept to the edge of the site.
Cohousing is well established as a mainstream housing option in a number of countries. Cohousing was first created in Denmark in the 1970s and around 8% of Danes aged over 50 now live in Cohousing. There are over 250 Cohousing schemes up and running in the Netherlands. Cohousing is also established in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Until recently cohousing was a rarity in the UK. Now Still Green is one among a number of cohousing projects across the country, some complete and some in progress.
More information is available from the UK Cohousing Network at www.cohousing.org.uk