Creating Cohousing Puts the “Neighbor” Back into “Neighborhood”

Creating CohousingKathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett — the duo that brought cohousing to the U.S. — just released their newest book, Creating Cohousing: Building Sustainable Communities. It’s got many new case studies, design principles and sustainable design practices. They offer an updated “must-have” book for creating more people-friendly neighborhoods, including a fully-illustrated manual that combines nuts-and-bolts practical considerations, design ideas and real life examples. Check out the table of contents, read a sample or buy the book here:

McCamant and Durrett co-authored the groundbreaking Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves. Durrett also wrote The Senior Cohousing Handbook: A Community Approach to Independent Living.

Liz Walker’s Choosing a Sustainable Future

Good Tree Village is excited to co-host a book discussion and signing with MAS Community Center featuring Liz Walker, a co-founder of EcoVillage (home of two cohousing communities, with one more in the works) and author of Choosing a Sustainable Future, on Saturday, March 14, 2011, 4 – 6 pm at MAS Community Center in Alexandria, VA.

Learn more about how the folks at EcoVillage in Ithaca, New York are weaving together social, environmental, and economic sustainability to develop “an alternative model for suburban living which provides a satisfying, healthy, socially rich lifestyle, while minimizing ecological impacts.” If you’re on Facebook, let us know you’re coming!

Catch Walker at her other book tour events in May being sponsored by Mid Atlantic Cohousing (MAC), its various member communities, the Green Building Institute, and DC Greenworks. Visit the MAC website to find out where she will be speaking about her newest book during her short book tour in the DC Metro area, contact ann [at] MidAtlanticCohousing [dot] org, or call 703.663.3911.

If you miss Walker’s May book tour, you can catch her as the opening speaker at the 2011 National Cohousing Conference, June 15 – 19, in Washington, D.C., where attendees and presenters alike will be working to “Create Better Neighborhoods for the Future.”

What Kind of People Live in Cohousing Communities?

You might be interested in cohousing if:

  • you thought about the idea of creating community long before you heard the term cohousing.
  • you tend to seek to improve your quality of life, are interested in the larger community around you, and tend to think globally and act locally.
  • to the best of your ability, you take responsibility for yourself, for the world you experience, and for the world your children will inherit.
  • you have a more conscious approach toward the natural environment, reduced home size, sharing of resources and community recycling.

People who choose to be a part of a cohousing community come from a variety of backgrounds, income levels, family types and beliefs. What they do have in common is a desire to have a say in how their neighborhood will be and a belief that having more connection with their neighbors will be good for them.

Adapted from Canadian Cohousing Network

We’ve joined Mid-Atlantic Cohousing!

Good Tree Village is now a member of Mid-Atlantic Cohousing (MAC), an organization of communities across the Mid-Atlantic states. Their members offer the expertise they have acquired in the course of planning, developing, and living in cohousing communities.

MAC is a regional resource for individuals seeking cohousing and for existing and developing cohousing communities located in Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC, Delaware and Pennsylvania (and sometimes North Carolina). They are organized for the expressed purpose of educating and informing the public at large and those folks actively engaged in cohousing about the benefits and challenges of forming, building and living in cohousing. Annually MAC schedules a bus tour of several cohousing communities in the Mid-Atlantic region to educate folks new to cohousing. MAC also provides training workshops on issues of concern to people already engaged in cohousing such as governance, mediation, workshare, facilitation, meeting management, facilities management, etc.

MAC produced a DVD-book combo titled Building Sustainable Communities for Today’s Housing Market to encourage developers, building professionals, and those in the financial industry to add cohousing to their housing mix. The DVD showcases three developers from Bethesda, MD; Boulder, CO; and Nevada City, CA; who explain in detail their experiences in bringing cohousing to market. The DVD covers financing, budgeting, marketing, sales, and the role green building plays in cohousing. Watch the trailer:

Early Bird Registration for 2011 Cohousing Conference Extended Until 7 April 11!

Because the 2011 National Cohousing Conference program team was overwhelmed by presenter applications this year, they were much later than expected in making the program schedule available.

This delay gave people very little time to view this information prior to the end of the early bird registration. Accordingly, they are extending the deadline for the best pricing to midnight on April 7, 2011.

After browsing the schedule in detail, it looks like they’ve got some relevant and exciting opening speakers, workshops, round-table discussions and panels. It’s going to be hard to choose between them, but here are a few that caught my attention:

Friday, 17 June
  • Cohousing 101 (with Chuck Durrett)
  • Family & Parenting in Community: Joys, Challenges & Lessons Learned
  • 21st Century Design Strategies for Sustainable Housing
  • Panel Discussion on Aging and Community
  • Cohousing & Sustainability Panel
Saturday, 18 June
  • Marketing Cohousing
  • Co-farming: Growing Food in Community
  • Secrets of Buidling a Great Coho Group
  • Headaches: RX for Meeting Moments That Are a Pain for Everyone
  • Using Social Media to Generate Buzz & Build Awareness of Your Project
Sunday, 19 June
  • The Timeline Game (with our local cohousing hero, Ann Zabaldo)
  • Compassionate Communication: Embracing Conflict Without Blame
  • Big picture Financing Strategy Round-table

Don’t forget that the urban and or rural cohousing community tours can be purchased separately from the conference package. (Prices for these go up, too, after 7 April.) Think of them as a mini-cohousing conference on wheels. Great for those who can’t stand sitting around listening to a speaker all day.

Register Today!