The Cutting Edge Resiliency session I co-led with Bryan of Caddis bloomed into a thriving discussion about what strides we all realistically need to take to seriously combat climate change. We agreed that yes, individual numbers are important, but the power of the collective in community living is where cohousing offers the biggest opportunities.
Dominic Castro-Wehr of Nevada City Cohousing and McCamant & Durrett Architects
On the bright side, the concept of Cohousing is becoming increasingly entrenched in the American imagination— with every new project, what was once a culturally radical and shot in the dark neighborhood experiment is now an empirically supported investment into well-being and sustainability.
Cohousing can be a lab for trying out the latest innovations to help us live lighter on the planet.
The goal of this year’s National Cohousing Conference was ambitious – building resilient, sustainable communities – yet I felt a universal reaching; so many of us wanting desperately to learn how to be even more climate conscious than we already are. Let’s not forget, living in community has inherent savings that decrease our carbon footprints. Owning just one lawnmower, sharing meals together in the common house (studies have shown a 25% or more reduction in whole-community energy use during common meals – the one big room being lit for the occasion), and not shuttling our kids way across town for playdates.
While tackling the long and sometimes daunting list of tasks required to start a cohousing group, I draw daily upon every prayer, affirmation and inner trick I know to keep the faith and grow the vision. As our core group grows closer, steadily inching toward this goal, we fine-tune ways to share the vision with new people. We rarely encounter negative souls out there…usually quite the opposite!
Posted by Jenny Godwin, via PDX Commons' Newsletter
Several PDX Commoners are attending the National Cohousing Conference in Nashville. Here's what's motivating them to attend:
"I plan to concentrate on sessions related to creating caring, supportive cohousing communities. In PDX Cohousing, I hope to help create a framework where any of us can ask for and receive support during short term illness, some chronic illnesses, and even end-of-life situations."
- Susan Fries
Lindy Sexton of McCamant & Durrett Architects, based on an interview with Arthur Okner of Silver Sage Village in Boulder, CO
“We at Silver Sage strive to age-in-place. Given the caring support of our community, we can do so a lot longer than in many other aging care models,” says Art Okner. “Getting older is a long, fulfilling journey for most—you have a caring family, a good job, activities that you enjoy, and friends to share experiences with. These things ebb and flow in a thing we call life, and it’s hard to think of the future until one day you are there. The future belongs to those who recognize and prepare for aging.”
Ravens’ Roost, Anchorage’s first cohousing neighborhood celebrated its grand opening last month (on April 3rd), marking a monumental achievement of vision and persistence in bringing the idea of a collaborative community to reality in Alaska’s biggest city. Festivities were held in our common house and attached atrium, and included appearances by Alaska first lady Donna Walker, Anchorage mayor Ethan Berkowitz, and a selection of other speakers instrumental in the development and success of the project.
The countdown is on - Saturday, April 29th is the 2nd Annual National Cohousing Open House Day! We Californians are excited to have 12 participating communities showcasing their neighborhoods, plus an organized bus tour of many planned for the day.
Charles Durrett, The Cohousing Company and Nevada City Cohousing
Older adults around the United States (and around the world) are making a strong case for why living in a high functioning community is important to them, economically, physically, and socially. Many attempts to put seniors in community have proven to work short term, but funding and employee retention continue to strain these organizations. What seniors need (and want) is to be in the driver seat, to take control of their aging scenario. What they desire is to create their own community.