The Next Trend: Multi-generational Ecovillages with Pizzazz

By
Real Estate Broker Owner with Asheville 1031 Realty 209970

Old-fashioned sense of neighborhood? Eco-village? Co-Housing?                                                                   

 I hit the nature trail with a client-friend of mine this mid-morning. This tiny woman has long had a gigantic interest in "improving  the world,
one neighborhood at a time."

Today she was beaming as we chatted and walked-- the reason- she and her group of investors are about to create an ecovillage.

At 70-something , she informs me,
this is one of the most thrilling projects she has sponsored.

Old-fashioned Sense of Neighborhood? Eco-village?
Co-Housing?


Whatever you call it, those who are
"in the know"  say this is
the next trend in multi-generational quality of life  housing.

"And what a wonderful opportunity for me" my friend confides.
 "I won't be alone,
stuffed in some institution at 80. I am assured that my neighbors hold a commitment to a relationship with one another and will look in on me."  ...

 

Co-housing is a collaborative opportunity  in which residents of all ages actively participate in the design and operation of their own neighborho ods. 

 "The cohousing idea originated in Denmark,"  my friend explains.   
"We can sculpt the way it comes together!  (see my earlier BLOG on
"E-PUDS")  There may be sustainable landscape design with all kinds of  native plants, organic vegetable and herb gardens, a labyrinth, walking and hiking trails on adjoining acres, places to sit and relax, an amphitheater in the woods...oh so many creative ideas!" 

Her enthusiasm is contagious. Although the overall neighborhood design offers all the features of conventional homes, those who live in an ecovillage also have access to common facilities such as open space, courtyards, a playground, a meditation deck and fountain, and a lodge... a "green plan"  that encourages both social contact and individual space. Again, there is the understanding that, as a member of this multi-generational  community, you are entrusted with a shared sense of caring for all who live there. 

An ecovillage may be in an urban or rural area. It is not defined by its location, but rather by concept. The defining characteristics are participation, sense of community by design, common areas and facilities, resident management and management by consensus. This community is structured to meet the needs of residents. An example? The inviting central lodge or gathering place, the social center of a community, with its large dining room and kitchen, lounge, recreational facilities, children's spaces, and frequently a guest room, workshop and laundry room, where neighbors can get together for optional group meals two or three times a week.

Although the overall neighborhood design offers all the features of conventional homes, those who live in an ecovillage also have access to common facilities such as open space, courtyards, a playground, a meditation deck and fountain, and a lodge... a "green plan"  that encourages both social contact and individual space. Again, there is the understanding that, as a member of the community, you are entrusted with a shared sense of caring for all who live there.    

 "Management by Consensus..on the Bridge"
 

 

 

 

 

Neighbors Get Together in Nature and Converse.



Here's a Peek at Ecovillages/ Sustainable Communities

Sunward Cohousing near Ann Arbor, MI. ... A place "where lives are simplified, the earth is respected, diversity is welcomed, children play together in safety, and living in community with neighbors comes naturally."

Winslow Cohousing  on Bainbridge Island near Seattle, WA. ...Where residents aim to "a minimal impact on the earth and create a place in which all residents are equally valued as part of the community."

 EcoVillage at Ithaca, NY.  ...Here the goal is "to explore and model innovative approaches to ecological and social sustainability."  

Earthaven Ecovillage   near Asheville, N.C.... Where residents are "dedicated to caring for people and the Earth by learning, living, and demonstrating a holistic, sustainable culture."

RIGHT NOW in Asheville my fellow ECO certified REALTOR , a talented urban planner is working on an  ecovillage infill project ...This will include  8 Units around a central courtyard in popular West Asheville. These quality living spaces will be Healthy Built certified and will feature bamboo floors, solar heating. Residents will be able to walk to access most of their daily needs in 5 minutes.  You can see a site plan here.

For interesting information about Healthy Built Homes including the Gold, Silver and Bronze Ratings Scale
click here.

 

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Comments 25 New Comment

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Jeff...I need to get you talking with Corey (see comment just above this) who can give you the answers to  your questions..."Who finances this though. Meaning,,,, if people designed a community as this... does a builder come in and build this. Is it expensive to buy there, because land is not cheap. Meaning... builders would sometimes rather build more houses closer together to get more a bang for their buck."..AND you have inspired me to write an ariticle on this...after the holidays.
December 11, 2006 06:29 PM
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Chris..Not sure if Utopia is for everyone...but ecovillages ARE beoming more and more desirable to more and more investors.
December 11, 2006 06:31 PM
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Hi Kelly...your comment on a "village for the boomers" made me smile. I cannot imagine the Woodstock Generation going down quietly
December 11, 2006 06:33 PM
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Bill...your comment that " multi-generational concept will be the wave of the future " also made me smile. I like to think  that grandparents and babies can coexist in ecoVillages.
December 11, 2006 06:34 PM
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Everyone~

I have been thinking about Bill's comment that..."..the multi-generational concept will be the wave of the future as more and more families reject the notion of putting their parents in nursing homes. For that matter many baby boomers may also start looking ahead to where they eventually want to spend their golden years. This concept just makes too much sense.." 

I wrote a post about baby boomer trends and now am wondering if you are seeing co-housing evolve in your areas of the country.

October 25, 2007 06:06 PM
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10+ YEARS SPECIALIZING IN LAND BROKERAGE & FOREVER HOMES. "Boomers" Properties. LAND for Pocket Neighborhoods. Family Retreats on Large Acreages. Horse/Organic Farms. Sustainable innovation, quality of property and life in with YOU IN MIND. ******************

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