“My illness is messing with my brain, making things fuzzy. But this kind of stuff, I can’t forget it.”
The cohousing world lost a pioneer and community mentor in the Summer of 2016, Joani Blank of Swan’s Market Cohousing in Oakland, CA. A fierce advocate for the power of community, all who knew her have stories to tell.
I had the privilege of interviewing Joani by phone a few months before her passing. She kept me on my toes, and soon I’d strayed far from the list of questions I’d written.
The benefits of intentional community can sometimes come as a surprise – especially when the community is still in formation, not yet even living together. When members of PDX Commons learned about the Women’s March on Washington and all of the sister marches around the globe, including one right here in Portland, there was a strong spontaneous desire of wanting to gather together, joining forces to march with our community identity: At PDX Commons, we stand for kindness, compassion, fairness, justice, equality, human rights for all.
Note: Jessie is sharing one of her graduate school essays, a personal reflection that profiles how cohousing affected her view of the world. I imagine that every child who grew up in cohousing has woven that experience into their college applications. Coho/US would welcome collecting and sharing these inspirations! Please contact us. This photo is of Jessie and some of the other Nevada City Cohousing kids.
After 16 years of successful collaboration, Laura Fitch and Mary Kraus are choosing to independently focus on our preferred areas of interests. As the sole proprietor of Fitch Architecture and Community Design, Laura Fitch will continue to provide a full range of architectural services to cohousing clients. Mary Kraus will focus on early cohousing group formation and programming. We will continue to collaborate where our interests overlap.
Here is a Happy New Year message from Fitch Architecture & Community Design that celebrates and announces Laura's new firm.
Philip Dowds, Cornerstone Village Cohousing (Cambridge, MA)
There’s a lot of high-tech, computer-managed, log-keeping, badge-triggered access and security technology available for buildings — but in the US, it’s unusual to find such advanced systems serving moderately-priced residential properties.
The National Conference promises an exciting array of educational opportunities, networking and a fun time in Nashville. The Millennium Maxwell House Hotel will be the host location for the conference. It is minutes from the new Germantown Commons.
Several months ago there was a blog suggesting that “seniors” should look for cohousing communities in urban areas. While I understand the blogger’s reasons (having lived in cities, suburbs and rural areas), I’d like to offer an alternative for retirement or pre-retirement living.
Plans are underway for our 2nd annual National Cohousing Open House Day, the last Saturday in April. Such synergy we created last year - as a national movement, within our network of area communities, and within our individual communities! We enjoyed participation from 95 communities across the country who opened their doors and welcomed the public. 2017 should be even bigger!