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Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves [Paperback]

Kathryn M. Mccamant , Charles Durrett

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Book Description

March 1 1994
A movement that began in Europe has taken hold in North America because it provides some real answers for the increasing number of people who stop to look at where and how they live and at their impact on the environment. Cohousing is a way for a group of people to work together to develop places to live that offer both privacy and community with the values of an old-fashioned neighborhood-safety, independence, mutual concern. Many of these new ventures are up and running and many more are in the planning stages. Delivering more bang for the buck, this innovative approach to housing is challenging the formidable housing problems we face, and it is succeeding.

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Alright, you tried living in a commune in the 1970s, and people kept borrowing your toothbrush and leaving dishes in the sink. Then you set up house by yourself and felt lonely. You got married, started raising a family and ended up feeling isolated from your friends and the rest of the community. You go to work, wave to your neighbors over the fence now and then, and think there must be more to life than this. There is: a whole new concept of building a neighborhood and sense of community. This is the story of how and why cohousing works, and how to go about making it happen for yourself.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE book for anyone interested in cohousing Dec 24 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This book has everything: photos, diagrams, plans of action, references, and more. For the beginner, this book defines cohousing & makes it possible to visualize this type of community. For people who already know what cohousing is, this book gives you step-by-step information on how to make a cohousing community a reality.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good start Dec 29 1999
By Kelly - Published on Amazon.com
This book is the perfect place to begin considering if cohousing is for you. Beautifully illustrated it allows the reader to imagine themselves in cohousing. If your ready to make your project happen I recommend THE COHOUSING HANDBOOK by Chris Hanson.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contemporary Urban Design Opinion Leader July 24 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
How much action can one book trigger? I wonder how many of theprojects can be traced back to readers being inspired by thisbook.
Beautifully illustrated, well researched, the book conveys well the Aha erlebnis these architects must have experienced as they discovered these very liveable Danish communities.
For readers who like architecture and wonder what kind of housing community can deliver homeliness based on both privacy and community.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cohousing June 8 2007
By Laurie Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
This is an excellent book for the individual who would like to consider living in a community that isn't the typical, isolated neighborhood. Reading this book has really opened my eyes to so many of the benefits of cohousing. Originally I thought that it was like an old-fashioned commune but that's not it at all. Kathryn McCamnat, as well as her architect husband, Chuck Durrett, really know what they're talking about.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good research material June 17 2008
By Ty M. Albright - Published on Amazon.com
This is a must read book for anyone interested in being involved with co-housing. The book explains the history of this housing approach, shares experiences of both success and failure in establishing a co-housing community, and provides helpful guidance based on actual experience. Of note is the emphasis on community, and the experience that a successful co-housing community requires the resident's participation from the initial conception of the project. Based on my experiences with commercial real estate, I conclude that this aspect of co-housing (getting multiple people to work together as a community) is the most difficult aspect of a successful co-housing development. Far more difficult that the actual site selection, acquisition, planning and development of the physical facility.

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