From the text:In Swedish cohousing one of the goals is to increase access to attractive indoor space by abstaining from some private space in favour of common rooms. Therefore cohousing constitutes an example of saving by sharing. Facilities shared are common meals, playrooms for children, hobby rooms, guest rooms, saunas and exercise rooms. Space may be saved both by reducing the normal apartment and by accepting fewer private rooms than in non-collective living.
The paper shows how cohouses may be designed to promote both a sense of community and saving through the sharing of resources. Common spaces should be connected to apartments through indoor communication, located where residents pass frequently and provided with glazed walls in order to stimulate spontaneous use. Spatial organisation may influence the level of social control, which in turn may constitute a determining factor for pro-environment behaviour.
In the paper examples are given of communal activities in various types of cohouses in Sweden. The question is raised how to promote cohousing in a society dominated by neo- liberal doctrines, and how to save by sharing more generally in the urban landscape.
The main methods used to write this paper are analysis of literature and practical experience of the author. The author has carried out research on collective housing since 1964. Since 1996 he lives in a cohouse in Stockholm and since 2006 he has been the chairman of the national Swedish organization Cohousing NOW, which keeps regular contact with 50 cohouses and 10 starter groups for cohousing.
Contribution to the 3rd International Degrowth Conference for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity in Venice in 2012.