There is an ongoing interest in PWF articles on CoHousing and Community Land Trusts. I’ve just heard a Radio National podcast with ‘Urban Coup’ , an initiative of a group of Melbournians who want to create not just housing, but community.
There are several successful cohousing communities here – in Adelaide, Hobart, and Perth.
In Denmark where cohousing was pioneered as a concept in the 1970’s there are now hundreds of communities with 5% of all new housing being cohousing.
Cohousing has also been growing in the UK, Canada, New Zealand and America, so there are plenty of examples of successful communities to learn from.
Urban Coup Cohousing can and does give you the complete privacy of your own home though when you walk out your back door you can be part of a community with which you share a garden, some common facilities and even a regular meal.
Some of these communities have grown incrementally, some have renovated existing buildings to create their community and some have started from scratch. They have been built in inner-city, and suburban and rural locations; populated by ex-students, families or especially created for senior citizens – each building their own unique small community.
Cohousing communities sometimes share garden tools, can provide a safe place for kids to play together, and in the case of an innercity community like the Urban Coup, our vision is to have a decent sized vegetable garden and a chickens in a chicken coop.
A group of like-minded people gathered at Abbotsford Convent to discuss what living in such a community would be like.
They found we had a lot in common and decided to work together to build a new co-housing community.
Currently there are 21 households strong – comprising of couples, families and single people. They are healthcare professionals, graphic artists, architects, designers, urban designers, environmentalists and are becoming friends. They are planning on a robust community of about 25-30 dwellings, and a few chickens!
The Urban Coup is a way of living differently to help participants to help the planet. Choosing to build a cohousing development is our answer to an age when global resources are being strained by modern living, urban sprawl is ever expanding, and many in the city find themselves isolated from real community in their current homes.
A common house – a centrally located ‘common house’ that we all share. This is a facility where the community can meet together regularly for meals, meetings, socialising and special events. This space can include as many shared facilities as we decide we need such as a music room, or kids room.
Shared community open space – designed to encourage community interaction, a veggie patch and the occasional BBQ.
Community owned – we will all own the common facilities, like any owners’ corporation, except they will be managed by us – the residents.
Privately owned dwellings – each dwelling will have its own private balcony or courtyard, its own kitchen and dining area, and can be bought and sold on the open market like a conventional house or apartment.
The Coup has been working for some time to develop to the legal and decision making structures. This information is contained in the Urban Coup Introductory Package. If you would like to receive this, please contact the Secretary, George Myconos.
Mobile: 0425 746 055
The Coup has had an intake of members, and currently has a waiting list for new members. If you are interested in joining, read the Urban Coup Introduction (pdf), and complete the application form, accessible through the Contacts page.