Living in Cohousing

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“Forest” Collective Housing in Japan, Part II

by Diana Leafe Christian

After the November 2007 Japanese Ecovillage Conference in Tokyo, I visited three “collective housing” projects in Tokyo with conference host Akemi Miyauchi. At that conference I first heard of what the Japanese call “collective housing” – high-density housing projects with various kinds of common space – but it sure sounded much like cohousing to me.

March 2008: Green Beans with Tomatoes and Basil

A Veggie Dish Even the Kids Will Love

Here is a recipe from Douglas Larson, a single dad who has lived at Songaia for seven years now. He enjoys working in Songaia’s expansive garden. He has an almost 13-year-old daughter, Risa, who loves Songaia as much as he does. But the thing he likes the most is cooking for his community. “It truly gives me energy to bring healthy, nutritious and delicious meals to our community,” Douglas says.

“Forest” Cohousing in Japan, Part I

by Diana Leafe Christian, Earthaven Ecovillage

As cohousing increasingly becomes a global phenomenon, I've become curious to learn how different countries mold the concept to reflect their cultural, financial and regulatory realities. I learned that firsthand after I had a chance to see three cohousing projects in Japan recently.

After attending the Japanese Ecovillage Conference in Tokyo in late November 2007, I visited the 28-unit Kankanmori no Kaze Cohousing project in Tokyo with two friends, Giovanni Ciarlo from Huehuecoyotl Ecovillage in Mexico and Akemi Miyauchi, one of our wonderful conference hosts. Giovanni and I had given presentations about intentional communities at the conference, and we were eager to see similar projects in Japan. There appear to be relatively few intentional communities there, and so far perhaps only a total of four cohousing communities – depending on how one defines the term.

February 2008: Lisa’s Dream Chocolate Cake

This recipe was submitted by a woman with a dream of creating cohousing, and I would like to dedicate it to all those out there working to make that happen. Here are a few maxims about creating cohousing that you can think about. How the maxims apply to making the cake appears in parentheses.

Cohousing operating budgets 101

Adapted from a presentation at the recent 2006 Cohousing Conference by Yehudit Lieberman, Pleasant Hill Cohousing, and Laura Benedict, Eno Commons Cohousing

As the completion date of a new cohousing community nears, everyone is usually so preoccupied with construction schedules, escrow, packing, moving and so much more that it can come as a shock that it’s also time to plan how the community is going to do its bookkeeping and budgeting.

Getting the work done in cohousing

by Charles Durrett, McCamant & Durrett Architects/The CoHousing Company

The first two years of living in Doyle Street Cohousing (Emeryville, CA), we scheduled workdays one Saturday a month for six hours. There were one or two coaches, and resident volunteers could come or go fixing whatever the coach(es) previously had decided needed to be fixed. It was completely voluntary – and a total disaster.

Profiles in Community

Cohousing Magazine is pleased to debut this new department that will periodically look at the experiences of those in new cohousing communities:

January 2008: Cream biscuits

Here is a great and really versatile recipe from Linda Parsons of Bartimaeus Cohousing (Seattle, WA). It is so simple to make and easy to increase or decrease for different-sized groups. The recipe eliminates the need to cut butter into the flour mixture; the heavy cream provides the butterfat. Biscuit dough can be cut with a knife to form square biscuit shapes to save time.

A Tour is Worth a Thousand (or More) Words

by Joani Blank, Swan's Market Cohousing

Six years ago while living at Doyle Street Cohousing in Emeryville, CA, I casually mentioned to a visiting tour group that I planned to offer my unit for sale within eight or nine months because I would be moving to Swan's Market Cohousing in Oakland upon its completion. The next day, a woman who'd flown up from Los Angeles to attend the tour called me up and offered to buy my unit for about $20,000 more than I was thinking about listing it for. She's happily living there still.

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