About Intentional Communities
What are intentional communities?
“An ‘intentional community’ is a group of people who have chosen to live together with a common purpose, working cooperatively to create a lifestyle that reflects their shared core values. The people may live together on a piece of rural land, in a suburban home, or in an urban neighborhood, and they may share a single residence or live in a cluster of dwellings.This definition spans a wide variety of groups, including (but not limited to) communes, student cooperatives, land co-ops, cohousing groups, monasteries and ashrams, and farming collectives. Although quite diverse in philosophy and lifestyle, each of these groups places a high priority on fostering a sense of community–a feeling of belonging and mutual support that is increasingly hard to find in mainstream Western society.”
Geoph Kozeny, Intentional Communities: Lifestyles Based on Ideals, Communities Directory 1995. Read full article.
Cohousing has been described as ‘Living Apart Together’. It was pioneered in Denmark in the 1960s and is now well established in Scandinavia, Holland, the USA, Canada and New Zealand. It was originally developed in response to the social isolation of suburbia and to promote a greater sense of neighbourliness and community. It began with neighbours taking down the fences that divided their properties, sharing gardens, tools, cars, meals and childcare. It then developed into a fully designed, planned and self-managed co-operative housing system with an emphasis on sharing and ecological awareness and responsibility. Within the cohousing model members live in independent units – houses, flats or apartments – and there are a range of communal areas – common dining rooms, meeting rooms, laundries, workspaces and leisure spaces. The layout of the buildings and common spaces is designed to promote a high level of social interaction. Cars are often relegated to the periphery of the site which allows for the creation of pedestrian walkways and safe play areas for children.
Other resources on cohousing: