I was glad to find out that communities were thriving not only online but in the real world, where they should be. The concept of Co housing, also known as Ecovillages or Intentional Communities, is an alternative way of living where people strive together with a common vision.
Co housing reminded me of the Small House Living concept, which I wrote about last week; “I believe that already now people are seeking a friendlier, people-oriented way of living based on communities and pedestrian living, closer neighbors, community spaces, open areas and parks – all connected by green pathways and biking trails.”
The Eco-Village concept forms a close community of friends and caring neighbors, a safe, supportive environment where children, elders, and families of all types can live in an energy-efficient and eco-friendly environment, sharing communal resources and facilities.
Based on the cohousing model, this concept combines individually owned private housing with shared community resources; while sharing common lands, paths and roads, play spaces, common gardens and a common house these communities also share the same ideas and values, such as sustainable lifestyle, shared responsibility and contribution, while living a rich, shared spiritual life in an environment of learning and openness to diversity.
The co housing initiative and other sustainable communities remind me of the Israeli Kibbutz – collective communities which were formed back in the 1950′s in Israel, traditionally based on agriculture while combining socialism and Zionism – some of which didn’t stand the test of time. Today there are at least 100 Intentional Communities in the U.S., with 300 more in development – from Songaia Cohousing Community’s 11-acre spread outside Seattle to the two-block Eco-Village apartments in Los Angeles.