Cohousing’s New Cachet

Are Cooperative Living’s Challenges Worth the Environmental and Community Building Payoffs?

The scene one sunny January Sunday at the Nyland Cohousing Community near Boulder, Colorado, could have been a commercial for communal living. Here was ample proof of what members of the 150 or so U.S. “cohousing” groups believe: that shared communities – which typically feature a “common house” where residents can share meals, childcare, tools, laundry facilities and other services, surrounded by single-family homes designed for maximum environmental impact – are the best antidote to the isolated, consumption-intensive nature at most American housing