How to Start an Intentional Community - Day 3

David Oesper

Yana Ludwig presented an expanded version of her “How to Start an Intentional Community” training recently. Here is what I found most valuable from Day 3 of 3.

What is Consensus?

Consensus means that all voices are heard and taken into account.

Consensus doesn’t mean everyone gets their way or is even happy about the decision.

Consensus means a good faith effort has been made to make sure everyone is part of the decision, and that the decision is in service to the group’s mission.

Some Community Design Basics

  • Build a Common House early, locate it with roughly equal access by all community members, and make meal sharing a design priority

  • De-emphasize cars, and emphasize walking and play

  • Use natural resources wisely: catch water, wind, and sun; think about their flows

  • Permaculture Zones: think about how often things are accessed or need attention

  • Design from fully public to fully private in layers

  • Casual contact can be encouraged or discouraged by design

  • Build aging, kid, and disability features in from the start

  • Use designers and trainers who know community

  • More Commons and less personal space is the key to affordability; what can you co-op?

  • Good design is location-specific

milky_way I really hadn’t given a lot of thought to meal sharing at Mirador Astronomy Village, but universally I am hearing that meal sharing (whatever the frequency) really helps to build community within your community. milky_way

Use a community-oriented architect and land-use planner, not an architect that specializes only in designing single buildings.

A Land Trust (either an LLC or a nonprofit) owns the land.

Housing on the land can be either private ownership or collective ownership (e.g. rental), or some combination of the two.

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