110 Schermerhorn St.
Brooklyn, New York

How to Design and Build Your Own Community
By cohousing expert Chris ScottHanson, author of
The Cohousing Handbook: Building a Place for
Interested in a more community-oriented way of living while
still having privacy and owning your own home? Then you
may be interested in cohousing. Instead of being designed
by developers for faceless future residents, these
communities are designed by residents to suit their needs.
National expert Chris ScottHanson is coming from Seattle to
give a free talk and slideshow about existing cohousing neighborhoods around the country. Sponsored by The Brooklyn Cohousing Group, building an urban cohousing community in the Prospect Park area.

About Brooklyn Cohousing:

Our vision is to create an oasis of community amid the swirling intensity of New York City, and an antidote to the isolation and impersonality of contemporary life. This will be a family-friendly, multi-generational community that is open to all ages, races, religions and family types. The community will provide for the needs of children as well as adults. The building(s) will be designed to facilitate community life while at the same time protecting people's ability to opt for privacy or sociability as desired. This will be the kind of place where neighbors help each other out, where daily life is easier and more satisfying than it would be otherwise – a supportive home environment for people engaged with the city at large.

To achieve our goals we need to design physical housing space that supports the kind of spontaneous interactions and socializing among neighbors that are integral to this kind of community. We want an apartment building with a central courtyard where children play and neighbors gather, friends talk and people sing, and where plants, trees, vegetables and flowers grow. We currently believe that a mix of 20-30 apartments of various sizes is ideal and we intend to build or modify an apartment building to house a community of this size. We are committed to doing so in Brooklyn within 2 years (by the fall of 2009). We aim to locate within walking distance of Prospect Park, in an area with good public schools, near to public transportation and shopping and services. We value the environment and will include ecologically-friendly technologies where economically feasible. We will design a beautiful building and invest in quality construction to create homes we will be proud to live in for a long time.

We are committed to the consensus process for decision-making and expect to use simple majority-rule voting only as a last resort. While we expect a community culture of shared values and practices to emerge, we will respect the individual's right to make private decisions about their own household practices. The most important common value will be that of the worth of the community itself, and the opportunity it provides to support, share, and inspire each other's lives.

Official Website: http://www.brooklyncohousing.org/

Added by raines on October 3, 2007