Cohousing evolves into “ecovillages”
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“We need to take neighborhoods seriously, as a critical component of a well-rounded life experience,” Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett write in the afterword of their newly updated book, Creating Cohousing: Building Sustainable Communities.
McCamant and Durrett, architects based in Nevada City, California, have designed and developed more than 50 cohousing communities across the US, including Frogsong, a development in Cotati, California, that was featured in the June 2005 New Urban News. In the third edition of Creating Cohousing, from New Society Publishers (336 pp., $32.95 paperback), they explain how cohousing communities make more sustainable lifestyles possible.
“In 2008, Americans drove 2.9 trillion miles to playdates, soccer games, music lessons, and social events of all sorts, as well as driving to work and shop,” McCamant and Durrett point out. In cohousing, where residents share dining facilities, gardens, recreation space, and other amenities, “kids still have soccer practice and people still need to get to work, but they carpool with neighbors and friends. They live in a more village-like setting where it is easy, even natural, to conserve resources.”
The book, updated for the first time since 1994, covers the experience of building several dozen projects in recent years and explains how