Introduction to Cohousing and Ecovillages

Posted by Sustainable Living Foundation (SLF) | 21 February 2009

Cohousing and ecovillages are a significant part of the solution to Australia's housing crisis, addressing the crucial issues of affordability, ecological impact and community building.

Cohousing and ecovillages are small, mainstream, residential projects facilitating and intentional way of living together and doing it better. They include the following features:

  1. individual, private homes, space and ownership
  2. community relationships and generous, multi-use common facilities
  3. a healthy balance between community and privacy
  4. elements of self-management, trust and familiarity
  5. stronger sense of neighbourhood

These communities are often in higher density residential contexts and can be designed by residents. They use less resources, whether they are completely new construction or retrofits of existing buildings. It is a way to maintain liveability on a smaller, tighter, physical place.

More information is available from the websites and books listed below.



Wikipedia article on cohousing -

Cohousing Association of the US -

UK Cohousing Network -

International Fellowship of Intentional Communities -



Hanson, Chris, Cohousing Handbook, The, 1996. (Amazon) 

McCamant, K & Durett, C., Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach To Housing Ourselves, 2nd edn, 1994. (Amazon)

Meltzer, Graham, Sustainable Communty: Learning From The Cohousing Model, 2005 (Amazon)