Greek Village Cohousing
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FYI - Who We are Not
Other communities may use the term "cohousing." In general, when investing your money to enjoy cohousing and eco villages, it is far safer to invest in a community design that studies, empirical data, and professionals indicate will be successful in achieving the friendly, mutually supportive, and high quality and low impact lifestyle that are the defining features of cohousing. There are, for instance, Danish and U.S. studies indicating how many adult residents are ideal both for making decisions easily within community and for making long-lasting and deeper friendships among your neighborss. These studies as well as the seminal book on Cohousing by Charles Durrett indicate that number hovers around 20-50 adults, one of the reasons we chose 33 homes for our village
More important still is a dedicated space for community and a design that nurtures connection. The Common House is an essential element of cohousing, and cooking and eating together in the Common House is the secret sauce that makes cohousing communities so successful. People who eat together regularly have a far greater chance or forming more meaningful and supportive connections.
Our approach is designed to protect our investment and produce genuine and long-term cohousing success. We are informed by the Charles Durrett and Katie McCament book on cohousing that defined the design movement and developments that were successful in Denmark and became successful in North America. We also have members who live in cohousing and ecovillage and others who have very significant experience with cohousing.
It is useful to research the bona fides of a community calling itself cohousing by asking about the physical design and the social design (see below). It is also useful to know the level of knowledge, background, and character of the founder and group members. A recommendation from this founder's former cohousing community, Touchstone, is available to demonstrate character and fitness for this founder. The letter can be found here.
The questions below are helpful to ask when evaluating a community and determining whether it has the best chances to succeed socially and long-term.
1. Has the project founder attempted a cohousing project in the past, and if so, what was the result?
2. Does the cohousing project founder have relevant experience living in cohousing? Does the project founder have experience living in Greece?
3. Has the founder had any experience developing a project or business in Greece?
4. Have any members of the founding group experience living in cohousing?
5. Does the community have a Common House? Attempts to short-change the Common House often lead to weak community over time and can sometimes cease to be the investment people imagined.
6. Is the group engaging in participatory design process and creating their own village in a way that captures their values? We plan not only to have wonderful community spaces outside our door but also to infuse our values into the community choices. We will have many eco-friendly features such as photovoltaic cells, use of permaculture and regenerative agriculture, and water harvesting. This experience of the participatory design process creates the foundation for the community of people.
7. Does the policy for completed community management include a non-hierarchical decision-making structure such as consensus or sociocracy? Is there evidence of training and commitment to that decision-making methodology? We plan to train in and use consensus sociocratic decision-making to ensure we model other ecovillages and cohousing communities that thrive.