Simple Living Neighborhoods

A better family life environment.

What can be done to stop the frantic unfriendly, unfamily social storm that so many of our lives are centered in? Too much work, too many wants and stresses, and too little peace, pleasure and family time. The persuasions to live this way seem to dominate as pressures to acquire more are thrust at us daily. More people would live simpler and happier lives if others were doing so, if they would not stick out from the crowd. But it is difficult to resist purchases, for example, when families nearby are buying the latest branded products.

The social family neighborhood.
From an existing location imagine an emerging neighborhood that develops containing families with similar, uncomplicated, sensible lifestyles. With enough interest a small interactive group of like minded residents is formed. Interests would be such as outdoor evening and weekend play, pot-lucks, multi-family projects, TV guidelines, etc. Keeping up with or ahead of others would not be an issue here. As an internet group ideas could be freely exchanged and a set of suggested guidelines established.

Successfully started such a community would expand in size. By example, where you now see a landscaped and tidy neighborhood adjacent to a totally unkept neighborhood of the same era and original home values. New buyers are attracted to either neighborhood based values as well as on similar interests such as the landscaping and house appearance.

So imagine: Well kept home for sale. 'This is a simple living, family oriented social neighborhood.'

With a bit of research it turns out that there are a variety of well established communities with just those similar, sensible family lifestyles. However these appear to be pre-designed rather than evolving occurrences in spotty areas.

An intentional community is a planned residential community designed to have a much higher degree of teamwork than other communities. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, political, religious, or spiritual vision and are often part of the alternative society. They also share responsibilities and resources. Intentional communities include cohousing communities, residential land trusts, ecovillages, communes, survivalist retreats, kibbutzim, ashrams and housing cooperatives.

Types of communities
Some communities are secular; others have a spiritual basis. One common practice, particularly in spiritual communities, is eating communal meals. Commonly there is a focus on egalitarian values. Other themes are voluntary simplicity, interpersonal growth and self-reliance. Some communities provide services to disadvantaged populations, for example, war refugees, the homeless, or people with developmental disabilities. Some communities operate learning or health centers.
Read more at Wikipedia . . .

The Intentional Communities Website came online in 1994 and has information and resources needed to find, create, maintain and support intentional communities of all kinds. There is a wiki and a magazine.

Cohousing communities are old-fashioned neighborhoods created with a little ingenuity. They bring together the value of private homes with the benefits of more sustainable living. That means common facilities and good connections with neighbors. All in all, they stand as innovative answers to today's environmental and social problems
More on Cohousing "Building a better society, one neighborhood at a time." Articles, resources, and news.

The Community Page of Planetfriendly has a comprehensive introduction, overview and directory of links to a wide variety of ideas and projects that help create stronger, healthier community. They review a number of alternative and experimental forms of community, including ecovillages, cohousing, intentional community, cooperatives, related topics and links.

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