Tag Archives: Ecovillage

Types of Communities

There are many types of communities. Some develop organically in neighborhoods and apartment buildings, some retrofit abandoned or neglected spaces in cities, and others design and build new buildings. Most are interested in building a community that is as green and sustainable as feasible.

We focus on developing new communities in collaboration with groups of people who intentionally come together to develop and build communities. We help groups accomplish their dreams.

Some of the types of communities are described below, with links to additional information. There is also information on the Resources on Cohousing page.

Cohousing Communities

Cohousing provides the privacy we are accustomed to within the community we seek.

Cohousing is a type of intentional, collaborative housing in which residents actively participate in the design, operation, and management of their neighborhoods. It is composed of private homes supplemented by shared facilities. Common facilities might include a kitchen, dining roomlaundrychild care facilities, offices, internet access, guest rooms, and recreational features. Cohousing communities strive to be intergenerational and socio-economic and ethnically diverse.


An Ecovillage is an “… intentional community whose goal is to become more socially, economically, and ecologically sustainable. Most range from a population of 50 to 150 individuals, although some are smaller, and larger ecovillages of up to 2,000 individuals exist as networks of smaller sub-communities. Certain ecovillages have grown by the addition of individuals, families, or other small groups, who are not necessarily members, settling on the periphery of the ecovillage and effectively participating in the ecovillage community.”

Collaborative Communities

A collaborative community, like Cohousing, is a type of intentional housing in which residents actively participate in the design, operation, and management of their neighborhoods. They develop in more diverse ways both socially and physically. They sometimes have particular beliefs and goals as a community and feature many more types of living styles than cohousing, including shared houses, less clustered dwellings, and experimental architecture. They do not generally provide shared facilities.

Pocket Neighborhoods also called Cottage Neighborhoods

A pocket neighborhood is a grouping of smaller residences, often around a courtyard or common garden, designed to promote a close-knit sense of community and neighborliness with an increased level of contact. Architect Ross Chapin partnered with The Cottage Company founder Jim Soules to build the first contemporary pocket neighborhood. Considerations involved in planning and zoning pocket neighborhoods include reducing or segregating parking and roadways, the use of shared communal areas that promote social activities, and homes with smaller square footage built close to one another (high density). Environmental considerations often play a role in the planning of pocket neighborhoods, and those advocating them promote their design as an alternative to the sprawl, isolation, expense, and commuter and automobile focus of many larger homes in suburban developments.