News Brief

Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves, 2nd Edition

October 1, 1997

by Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett with Ellen Hertzman. 1994, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, California. Paperback, 288 pages, $29.95.

This beautiful book has aptly been called the "Bible" of the Cohousing movement. McCamant and Durrett are generally credited with popularizing the Danish cohousing model in the U.S., and the first edition of this book was, in large part, how they did it. Well illustrated with color photos and plans, Cohousing explains how the whole thing works by putting the ideas in the context of actual projects. Trained architects, the authors have done a great job of presenting each case study with just enough information to convey how each community works, both socially and spatially.

While the first edition featured exclusively Danish communities, the second edition adds the first generation of North American examples. These examples shed light on how the model has been adopted and adapted in the U.S. and Canada.

Cohousing continues to be the way many people are first introduced to this model. Were it not for this attractive and effective communication tool, the movement might not have been as successful as it has.

 

 

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