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Books & Audiovisual

Great cohousing and intentional community books, as well as a link to a slide show, a video about Canadian cohousing, and a radio documentary.

Cohousing Communities: Design for High-Functioning Neighborhoods

by Charles Durrett

Explore a groundbreaking and holistic new approach to designing community-first neighborhoods

In Cohousing Communities: Design for High-Functioning Neighborhoods, distinguished architect and affordable housing advocate Charles Durrett delivers a complete, start-to-finish guide for designing anything where the emphasis lies with the community. This book describes the consequential role that architecture and a healthy design process can play in the success of neighborhoods, churches, towns, and more. It’s an inspiring collection of ideas that prioritize high-functioning neighborhoods.

In the book, the author draws on the success of hundreds of community-first projects to show readers how to design a project that addresses both timeless and modern challenges—from aging to climate change and racism—in its architecture and urban design. He compiles facts and concepts that are essential to the design of a high-functioning community, where people can participate in a way that reflects their values, improves their social connections, and retain their autonomy and privacy.

Community Led Housing: A Cohousing Development Approach

by Ronaye Matthew and Margaret Critchlow

Everything you need to know to achieve your dream of living in community, all in one book!

A “how to guide” that summarizes a proven approach. If founding members and their professionals follow the experience-based path we outline, they can learn how to be effective in a development context where time is money but collaboration, self-responsibility, and community connection are equally important.

Collaborative Happiness: Building the Good Life in Urban Cohousing Communities

by Catherine Kingfisher

Collaborative Happiness explores the joint production of the good life in two urban cohousing communities: Kankanmori, in Tokyo; and Quayside Village, in Vancouver. Understudied relative to other forms of intentional community, and under-recognized in policy-making circles, urban cohousing communities situate wellbeing as simultaneously social and subjective. In expanding beyond mainstream approaches to happiness focused exclusively on the individual, Quayside Village and Kankanmori provide an alternative model for how to understand and practice the good life in an increasingly urbanized world marked by crisis of both social and environmental sustainability. The research for Collaborative Happiness was itself collaborative in nature, involving filming by residents and exchange visits between the two communities.

Building Community with Cohousing

film makers Dany Gagnon and Regan Payne

To view on your browser, please click the play button on the player on our home page.

In Building Community with Cohousing, film makers Dany Gagnon and Regan Payne interview cohousing residents from WindSong Cohousing Community (completed 1996), Cranberry Commons Cohousing (completed 2001) and Roberts Creek Cohousing (completed 2005). This video is entertaining, informative, heart-warming and inspiring. It provides a general overview of the concept and can be used to help educate the general public, developers, planners, and people interested in joining a completed or forming cohousing community. The video was produced by the Canadian Cohousing Network, funded by the membership of cohousing communities in Canada.

Creating Cohousing: Building Sustainable Communities

by Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett

Introducing the new cohousing “bible” with many new North American case studies, design principles and sustainable design practices. With over 120 cohousing communities now in existence in North America, Katie McCamant and Chuck Durrett bring us a totally updated “must-have” book for anyone interested in creating more people-friendly neighborhoods. The new book is a fully-illustrated manual that combines nuts-and-bolts practical considerations, design ideas and real life examples – all of which are illustrated with extensive case studies of diverse communities in Europe and North America. Creating Cohousing draws on the author’s wealth of experience designing, developing and living in these cutting-edge neighborhoods, with chapters on cohousing and sustainable design principles, and illustrates how cohousing offers a uniquely rewarding type of housing for anyone who values their independence but longs for more connection with those around them.

The Cohousing Handbook: Building a Place for Community

by Chris ScottHanson & Kelly ScottHanson

As pioneers in the development of cohousing in North America, Chris and Kelly ScottHanson offer individuals and new groups a wealth of information and practical hints on how the process works. The Cohousing Handbook covers every element that goes into the creation of a cohousing project, including group processes, land acquisition, finance and budgets, construction, development professionals, design considerations, permits, approvals and membership.

Vivre autrement: Ecovillages, coopératives et cohabitats

de Diana Leafe Christian (Auteur), Sylvie Fortier (Traduction)

Devant l’incontestable urgence de changer notre mode de vie, de plus en plus nombreux sont ceux qui se tournent vers des alternatives , comme les cohabitats, les écovillages et les communautés intentionnelles. La vie en communauté est un choix parfois difficile, mais intelligent, qui permettra à de plus en plus de gens de rejeter le système égoïste de l’« auto-boulot-bungalow » et de vivre en harmonie avec l’environnement et avec leurs valeurs.

House A Home

by Susan McFee

Over the past 12 years of living at WindSong and going to Evan’s school and activities, I’ve often found that there was no simple way to explain cohousing without showing people around WindSong. That is where this idea for the first children’s book about cohousing came from. In it we playfully ask the question “What makes a house into a home?” and through Marjorie’s fantasy and reality styled artwork we find that cohousing can lead to the answer. To order please contact

The Senior Cohousing Handbook

2009 Edition
by Charles Durrett

Excerpt from this new edition (available in May 2009):

Currently, seniors represent a record 12.4 percent of the American population, which, with the swell of post-WWII baby boomers entering seniorhood, will increase to 20 percent by the year 2030. Clearly, action must be taken, and quickly, to correct these household and community shortcomings. But what can be done, and by whom? How can we better house ourselves as we age? I believe that the answer lies in senior cohousing communities.

Having visited many of these communities, I’m now a firm believer that 20 seniors stranded on a desert island would do better at taking care of most of their basic needs than the same 20 left isolated or in an institution.

— Charles Durrett

Living Together: Cohousing Ideas and Realities Around the World

by Dick Urban Vestbro

Edited by Professor Dick Urban Vestbro, this book is based on the first International Conference on Collaborative Housing, which took place in Stockholm, Sweden in May 2010. The book contains 11 plenary papers, three specially written papers and elaborate reports from the 16 conference workshops. It includes examples from Europe, North America, Australia, Japan and other countries. With its 234 pages and 180 illustrations it is an excellent resource for researchers, housing companies, politicians, activists and non-government organizations.

CoHousing Cultures: Handbook for Self-Organized, Community-Oriented and Sustainable Housing

by Michael La Fond

This handbook presents a selection of the most significant integrative, autonomously organized housing projects in Europe today, from barrier-free renovations of old buildings in Berlin, to communal living for the elderly in Stockholm, to zero-emissions cooperatives in Vienna. CoHousing Cultures also includes in-depth discussions and photographs of all relevant projects.