History of Cohousing In many ways cohousing is not a new idea. Until this century, most human interaction occured in small, self-supportive communities. The cohousing model builds on hundreds of years of experience of human interaction where small groups of people came together and cooperated to achieve a mutually beneficial lifestyle. The first cohousing community was built just outside of Copenhagen Denmark in 1972 by 27 families who wanted a greater sense of community than was available in suburban subdivisions or apartment complexes. They desired a neighbourhood with a child-friendly environment and the opportunity for cooperation in daily household functions like laundry, meals, and child care. Today, cohousing has become an accepted housing option in Denmark, with several hundred projects built and hundreds more on the drawing board. The Danish government has also adopted cohousing as a subsidized social housing model. Based on Denmarks experience, cohousing has spread all over nothern Europe. There are now cohousing communities in Sweden, Norway, Germany, Holland and France. There are 30 completed projects in Holland with another 40 planned. Most of the Swedish cohousing are in high rises. As one Norweigan architect put it, We like to let the Danes do the experimenting. When it is clear that an idea works, then we try it. With the publication of McCamant and Durretts book, CoHousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves in 1988, North America was finally introduced to this danish concept. McCamant and Durrett were San Franciscan architects studying in Denmark when they came across the idea of cohousing. They studied and lived in 46 cohousing communities in Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands for 13 months. They were so excited about the concept that they self published the Cohousing book upon their return to California. In 1989, the first North American cohousing community arrived at N Street in Davis, California where 12 households ripped down the fences between their back yards and used the basement of one as their common house. Since then, another 18 communities have been completed in the United States ranging in size from 6 to 42 units. Most of the developments are in California, Washington and Colorado with some in Masc, Minnesota, New Mexico and Vermont. The first cohousing community in Canada is Victorias Cardiff Place completed in the summer of 1994 with 17 condominium style units. By the end of 1991 there were 2 completed cohousing communities in North America, by 1992 there were 4, by 1993 there were 8 and by the end of 1994 there were 16. Clearly, North Americans have taken hold of the cohousing concept much faster than their European counterparts. There is now a North American Cohousing umbrella organization called the Cohousing Network, several dozen regional organizations, an annual national cohousing conference, a CoHousing Journal, a cohousing WWW site, and a Listserve discussion group with almost 400 participants from around the world.