So, what is a collaborative neighborhood?  

To understand how our community will work, it is important to understand the concept of cohousing on which it is founded.

The Cohousing Association of the United States defines cohousing as an intentional community of private homes clustered around shared space. Their short videos explain the essence and details of cohousing. Below you will find a video that explains the advantages of cohousing for busy families.


 
 

Here are some of the benefits that come with cohousing:

  • Private homes (in Weaving Water’s case, beautifully and thoughtfully designed homes of 800 - 2000 square foot each), each with its own kitchen.

  • Community - the opportunity to share meals, celebrations, or quiet evenings with your neighbors.

  • Communal spaces, including an outdoor meadow and gardens as well as a common house with a community kitchen and space for events, guests, and movement (dance, yoga, celebrations) and more.

  • Shared responsibilities - these may include gardening, landscaping, and meal preparation.

  • Shared resources - for example, a lawn mower and gardening or construction tools, a common house with shared guest rooms, and community meals.

  • Participatory decision making, based on consensus. Group meetings are led by a trained facilitator.

 

 

Here are some of the elements that do NOT come with cohousing:

  • Any particular dogma or prescribed way of life.

  • Shared primary living space. It is important to understand that cohousing is the not the same as a commune. Though there will be shared common spaces, each family, pair, or individual will own their own, private home as a part of the larger community.

  • Shared finances. Families own their own homes and while resources may be pooled, personal finances are not.

  • A lack of privacy or solitude. Again, while community is richly present through cohousing, you will have your own, private home as well as acres of land to enjoy. Cohousing allows those with more introverted personalities an opportunity to build relationships with neighbors in a non-intimidating and supportive way. Interestingly about seventy-five percent of cohousing residents are introverts drawn to socializing with neighbors they know well.

In the 21st century, we need to think about downsizing our footprint and upsizing our community. Produced for the Belterra Cohousing Community in British Columbia. Narration by Isobel White Music by Tim Seely (www.armyoftim.com)