Back issue Editorial
July 98: "Cohousing"
Over the past few decades many changes have taken place in our cities. One of the results is that a growing number of people now find that the available housing fails to meet their needs. Household sizes have dropped, housing costs are escalating, and a multitude of peoplesingle, elderly, single parent and blended families are trying to live in housing created for the traditional 1950s family. Families and couples, too, are finding themselves isolated, having to make appointments to visit friends, and taxi children about in heavy traffic. In addition the nature of work is changing, as is our concern for the environment.
Well many people are discovering cohousing and co-operative housing and breathing a deep sigh of relief. It doesn't last long though! as we discover that we actually have to make it happen and somehow it doesn't come naturally. A large array of skills are required, and group process skills in particular are something few of us were ever taught. Nonetheless building a project from scratch builds a sense of empowerment and is an acheivable method of making a difference in the world.
As is often the case, a little bit of support goes a long way, and now for the first time in history we are blessed with the information technology to readily share experiences, knowledge, and tools across the globe. However despite the globalisation of society today, there remains a place for regional networks to support and link local people with local knowledge. In our project work we find great assistance from the exchange of email particuarly with US projects. However many conditions are quite different in NZ, such as the law around communities.
This is some of the inspiration behind this site. We are a self proclaimed unbrella group that meets occasionally in Auckland to discuss concepts in general, and support specific projects. It is exciting to see the arrival of cohousing in NZ with two cohousing projects being developed currently in urban Auckland. To the degree that we name our parochialism of being Auckland based, and biased toward cohousing at present, we will endeavor to be of service to all NZ communities if such is your wish.
If you or your group wishes to have an article published in this space, just drop us an email or whatever.