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.

For more information, visit and take a look at the directory for cohousing communities in the US.

  1. erick Avatar

    Creating Cohousing: Building Sustainable Communities, by Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett is a great read if anyone would like to learn more. Chuck and Katie are the cohousing experts in North America. From their travels and research, as well as their design and management of cohousing projects in the US and Canada, they’ve amassed many examples of cohousing neighborhoods that are successful, healthy, and communicative. The second link will take you to their website, which has past projects and bios of the husband and wife team. Check it out and pass it on!

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