Types of Cohousing Communities Cohousing is more of a philosophy than a housing type. Cohousing can be built in a high rise in a downtown core or in single family homes in the middle of a forest. It can be in a renovated factory in an industrial area or a townhouse project in a new subdivision. Cohousing can be created anywhere and in any way that its residents desire. It can be built in any housing type. Following is a description of some of the types of cohousing that have been built or are planned in North America. Using Existing Neighbourhood The first completed cohousing community in North America required no new construction whatsoever. Several neighbours in N Street in Davis California simply ripped their backyard fences down and created a common pathway. They converted a basement of a home as place used for common meals. Today they have 12 homes participating and there will likely be more in the years ahead as adjacent homes are purchased by cohousers. Renovating Buildings Several cohousing communities in North America started with renovated buildings. The Doyle Street Cohousing in Emeryville California was formed by renovating a warehouse in a seedy part of San Fransico. Today it contains 12 beautiful condominium style units with residents of all ages including children. Half of the Cardiff Place project in Victoria is in an old turn of the century renovated manor. Town House Most new cohousing is built in a town house or clustered housing style. The cars are seperated from the homes in a communal parking lot. The homes are all connected by pedestrian walkways with gathering nodes. The focal point of these developments is a common house which contains the shared facilities. Often these projects are concentrated on part of a site leaving the rest of the site as green space. The 30 unit Winslow Cohousing on Bambridge Island across from Seattle is an example of this. They have their homes on 2.5 acres of their 5 acre site leaving the rest as a forest and play area. Covered Walk Way The proposed WindSong Cohousing project in Langley BC is an example of a cohousing project with a covered roof. They will have 34 townhouse and condo style units all connected by a glass covered roof which will allow community activity all year round. This is a common feature in Danish cohousing. Condominium The Cardiff Place cohousing community in Victoria is an example of a condominium style project. They have 17 units in two four-story buildings. The bottom floor of the 2 buildings contains the common facilities. Rural Many cohousers want to create an idyllic community in the countryside. The 42 unit Nyland Cohousing community between Denver and Boulder Colorado is such a community. Originally zoned as 42 one acre lots, this community recieved permission to cluster their homes on 5 acres in the middle of the property, leaving the rest in its natural state and for gardens. Eco-Villages Many cohousing projects are built with an ecological focus in mind. The planned Ithaca eco-village in New York, South Surrey eco-village in Vancouver and Moon Dance eco-village near Edson Alberta are three such examples. All of these projects are attempting to create sustainability as part of their development. This includes some local jobs. Lot Development Model Another approach to cohousing is the lot development model. In this method, residents buy the appropriately zoned lot in a cohousing development, and build the home when they are ready. In this way, no massive amount of funds are required to finance and sell 30 units all at once. High Rise Although there are none in North America, cohousing in high rises is very common in Sweden. In a high rise cohousing development, one or two floors are set aside as the common area. Mixture of Cohousing Communities In Denmark, many cohousing communities are now built in clusters of 3, 4 or more. There is one project which will have an entire part of town developed as adjacent cohousing communities. This allows for a mixture of cohousing types in one area.