Cohousing and ecovillages are one of the ways Australia is addressing the housing crisis. Issues such as affordability, ecological impact of new (and existing) housing developments and creating communities that embrace the human need for connecting with whom we live with and nearby are important elements of sustainability.
Cohousing and ecovillages embrace the small home movement, and encourage homes that fit with the existing communities’ cultural framework. These communities work with their members to decrease their carbon footprint and help residents live greener, more intentional life styles.
Both of these types of developments include private homes and outdoor space, as well as communal spaces that encourage community interaction and the building of relationships.
Communal spaces have a myriad of uses, from child care, to shared meals, to celebrations, and community governance. Governance is democratic in nature and works from a consensus basis. Cohousing communities tend to be high density communities that the residents helped to design. There is a focus on low resource use, reuse, repurposing and increasing use of alternative energy. The communities tend to have a commitment to living lightly on the earth.