Cohousing, an alternative form of "intentional community," was started in Denmark in the early 1970's. It combines the privacy of ones own residence with the convenience and communality of shared facilities - a communal dining room, children's play areas, workshops, meeting/living room and laundry room. Although the houses operate as self sufficient units, the shared areas are integral to the concept of community and cooperation.
A Cohousing community enables people of different generations and backgrounds to share their experiences, provide residents with a safety net and share a sense of family. These communities are created to encourage the extended family and neighbors helping neighbors.
Such a community also affords the individual the privacy to which we have all become accustomed and the financial benefits of home ownership while being part of a larger unit. Participants in a cohousing development take an active role in the creation of their community. Social interaction is a primary component; creating a sustainable environment, an artist community, a child-oriented community, a service oriented community, or a combination of these, are often goals. Successful communities are usually started by a core of people who choose to live in such a community, rather than by developers who want to sell their housing units.
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