Re: How to Start an Intentional Community - Day 3

Bennett Jones

I think meal sharing may be the single most defining aspect of community.
That is why we place so much importance on the design of the "Common House" (aka the Community Kitchen and Dining Room), and say it should be constructed first.
Next in importance is probably working together, which can not be avoided when living in community, but can be encouraged in order to build bonds.


On Wednesday, July 29, 2020, 02:05:27 AM CDT, David Oesper via <oesper@...> wrote:

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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