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Operative communities : sustainable localized urban community building Gaudet, Bernie 1995

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OPERATIVE COMMUNITIES: SUSTAINABLE L O C A L I Z E D U R B A N COMMUNITY BUILDING by BERNIE GAUDET B E.S.The University of Waterloo, 1988 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF M A S T E R OF ARTS in THE F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES School of Community and Regional Planning We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA December ! 995 ©Bemie Gaudet, 1995 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholariy purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Sc-boo / D e p a r t m e n t of C O M M U M l-pf A M D fcEftioMAL. f tAN^'Mfr The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) Abstract The purpose of this thesis is to investigate some of the factors that optimize sustainable community building initiatives in localized urban communities. What is a "community" and what is required to build communities that inform and represent personal values and address common needs? Building private community-based social structures in Canada is relevant in light of the current dismantling of the public social system. When connotations of the term community are explored, a wide range of interpretations surface. However, some components of the term can be extracted from expert opinion, including those who actually live in communities. Of interest to this thesis are community building processes that are operative. A literature review was first conducted. Five components are evident from the literature. They include co-operation among members, inclusive participation, a commitment and concerted effort to partake in activities that are socially, ecologically and economically sustainable, localization and urbanity, and finally, the conscious formulation and application of values. For the purposes of this thesis, operative communities are therefore holistic though concentrated, collaborative, deliberate and sustainable social structures that are designed to achieve common values. To explore the manifestation of these components, twelve international communities were visited between 1993 and 1995. Four of the communities are in Canada, four are based in the United States, two of the communities are located in Denmark, and the remaining two communities are located in Sweden. The communities were selected from an extended list of community initiatives because they are self-professed proponents and examples of operative sustainable environment initiatives. Each community is vastly different and is continually evolving. However, it was generally evident that in order to be operative, a high level of co-operation and participation is required on the part of the community members. As well, sustainability is concientiously pursued in operative communities, althought the focus of the efforts depends on the locality and needs of the members. Furthermore, communities that are close to urban centres have better access to the services of the city, and personal values were represented in the decision-making process that determined the social structure, particularly on the smaller-scale community level. Using the information generated from the literature review and field research, there are several policy implications, listed in Chapter 5, which public governing agencies and communities can undertake in order to support community building initiatives. The policies are predominantly focused on facilitiating a process-oriented social structure, and can have a direct impact on the effectiveness, or operativeness of community building initiatives. iii Table of Contents Abstract ii Table of Contents iv List of Figures vii 1. Introduction 1 1.1 The Value of Knowledge 1 1.2 Method of Research 5 2. Exploring Definitions 10 2.1 Operative Community 10 2.2 Co-operation 18 2.3 Inclusive Participation 20 2.4 Sustainability 22 2.5 Localization and Urbanization 24 2.6 Formulation of and Application of Values 27 2.7 Summary of community concepts 29 3. List of Communities 30 3.1 Canada 3.1.1 Community Alternatives Co-op (Vancouver) 30 3.1.2 Kitsun Co-op (Vancouver) 37 3.1.3 Bain Street Co-op (Toronto) 42 iv List of Communities Continued 3.1.4 Oak Street Co-op (Toronto) 49 3.2 United States of America 3.2.1 Lost Valley Education Centre (Oregon) 55 3.2.2 The Farm (Tennessee) 60 3.2.3 Arcosanti (Arizona) 64 3.2.4 Taos Pueblo (New Mexico) 69 3.3 Scandinavia 74 3.3.1 Galgebakken (Denmark) 75 3.3.2 Tinggarden (Denmark) 79 3.3.3 Slottit (Sweden) 83 3.3.4 Solby (Sweden) 87 4. Analysis 91 4.1 Cooperation 93 4.2 Inclusive Participation 95 4.3 Sustainability 103 4.4 Localization and Urbanization 110 4.5 Formulation of and Application of Values 114 4.6 Analysis Conclusion 117 v 5. Policy Implications 118 5.1 Support Participation 118 5.2 Encouraging Diversity 121 5.3 Education and Learning 124 5.4 Monitoring, Flexibility and Change 127 5.5 Holistic Perspectives 128 5.6 Policy Implications Conclusion 128 6. Conclusion 130 Bibliography and References 136 Appendix 1: List of Interview Questions 142 Appendix 2: Chart - List of Communities 143 Appendix 3: Chart - Policy Implications Chart 144 vi List of Figures Figure 1 - Community Building Process 3 Figure 2 - The Foundations of Community 29 Figure 3 - Community Alternatives Co-op 30 Figure 4 - Kitsun Co-op 37 Figure 5 - Oak Street Logo 49 Figure 6 - Lost Valley Housing 55 Figure 7 - The Farm School 60 Figure 8 - Solar Shower, a product of The Farm 63 Figure 9 - Arcosanti 64 Figure 10 - Taos Pueblo "Hlaukwima" 69 Figure 11 - Galgebakken "Skraent" 75 Figure 12 - Galgebakken Transition Apartment 76 Figure 13 - Tinggarden 79 Figure 14 - Slottit 83 Figure 15 - Solby 88 Operative Communities: Sustainable Localized Urban "Community" Building 1. Introduction o Community and Regional Planning encompasses a diversity of perspectives. There are many interpretations of what planning entails and who planners are. This thesis will examine planning from the perspective of people who reside in communities that are structurally and operationally place-based, and essentially intentional. Specifically, this thesis will examine some of the components that define "operative communities" and the role that operative communities perform to address the developing needs of individuals who reside in them. In other words, what are some of the components of social structures that most contribute to the operation and maintenance of a healthful community building process? 1.1 The Value of Knowledge The reverse side also has a reverse side. (Japanese Proverb) The mind precedes all things, the mind dominates all things, the mind creates all things. (Gautama the Buddha) There are no facts, only interpretations. (Friedrich Nietzsche) Everything we do is futile, but we must do it anyway. (Mahatma Gandhi) The Believer is Happy, the Doubter Wise. (Greek Proverb) It is important to reflect on these words of wisdom while considering the contents of this thesis. An intrinsic element of this study is to consider alternative ways of thinking about how people interact in and with their environment - ways of thinking that have been 1 manifested into different patterns of social organization, based on ecological, economic, and social stability and personal enrichment. "What is required is a new social order. To arrive at it we need new patterns of thinking. The accepted or conventional wisdom's of our time have demonstrably failed us." (Benello, 1989, p.73) Benello advocates a new social order on a grand scale - one that will make a significant contribution to drastic change in conventional social structures. Alternative patterns and practices of social organization already exist in small pockets around the world. There are social organizations that directly and efficiently translate thoughtful values that are often variant from the mainstream into action. These organizations can be regarded as living laboratories of greater society and incubators of alternative patterns and practices of thinking. Within them may be the underpinnings or predecessors of a widely applicable new social order. There are many ways of knowing, based on a great diversity of personal experiences. In what Wes Nisker ironically refers to as "crazy wisdom", there are many truths. Nisker refers to the teachings of many Gods, spiritual leaders, scholars, politicians and philosophers as he discusses the relevance of establishing truths. "[C]razy wisdom gets wise and crazy ... by gaining many perspectives: by changing points of view, getting into another place or a distant space and looking at things from there; by finding an odd angle, climbing high for an overview, seeing what is behind it all or underneath it all, stepping outside or going inside. With all due respect to Albert Einstein, crazy wisdom has known for a long time that a lot depends on where you're standing and how fast you're going. There are many ways of looking at things." (Nisker, 1990, pl2) 2 Since there is no reality without observation, a person's point of view is critical to the way that person assumes knowledge. Everyone has a point of view, from where the world is seen and interpreted. A person's perspective is influenced by the surrounding environment at the time of reflection. Their chosen environment is at most determined and at least influenced by the values they have formed and the method by which they have formulated them. Circuitously, a person's values are also informed by the environment which they occupy at the time of reflection. Since values are the basis of most decisions, and decision-making is an intrinsic part of the community building process, it follows that a person's environment, both natural or cultural (in the anthropological sense), as well as their values and points of view, have an important impact on the health of the community building process they participate in. This relationship is illustrated in figure 1. Figure 1 - Community Building Process 3 Discussed in this thesis is the premise that place-based, urban communities are particularly conducive to stimulate, challenge, and assert personal values. When the social structure enables real influence by the membership in decision-making processes - processes that provide opportunities to apply and challenge personal values - the resulting community is apt to be more responsive, reflective and therefore perhaps more sustainable. Canadian society is structured to promote a high level of top-down governance, rather than grassroots participation. Elected and appointed members of government are asked to be familiar with and represent the values and opinions of millions of constituents with respect to decisions about how to allocate vast quantities of resources. The constituents in turn are expected to accept decisions with resolve and understanding, or else adversarily oppose them. As Pierre Berton describes in Why We Act Like Canadians (Berton, 1986, pi6) Canadians do as they are told. Canada has been described in general terms as a nation of pacifists - most of the population or their ancestors having at some point in history fled turbulent political or religious order and persecution, and now desirous of peace, order and good government. It seems that the Canadian electorate however, has become wary and distrustful of governing bodies. Over the years public services have taken over the role of family and community as educators and care-givers. Because of budget constraints, there is a political agenda that calls for severe cut-backs in the public service programs that Canadians have come to take for granted. Government can no longer be expected to provide security against economic, social and ecological stability. How will Canadians find support in times of need or opportunities for equitable growth? What will replace public services if they are diminished? Canada may be slowly turning into a 'survival of the fittest' society in which every person will be aggressively self-interested. Or, are there accessible alternatives that can be promoted and supported? 4 Many believe that the solution will have to come from within the private realm of social structures - such as family and/or private community endeavours, rather than from public institutions. Families and communities can organize themselves and learn the skills of providing support and opportunities for growth to its membership, instead of depending on an increasingly volatile public system of support and guidance. For this thesis community initiatives that exist in Canada and in other countries around the world - communities that are making efforts to provide enriching environments based on local personal values - were visited. Living in an urban community, as illustrated in this thesis, offers the possibility of greater control over one's environment, and consequently more opportunity to develop and implement personal values that are sustainable, expandable and vital. In fact, support for genuine community building may be one of the most effective ways of promoting responsible and healthy living environments. "It is clearly time for a change. Just like a stream that carves a new channel if the old one is blocked, societies need to circumvent existing institutions that have proven ineffective. A new approach to problem solving and a new set of values are needed in this era of energy shortages and stagnating economics. Self-help efforts, in which individuals and communities take greater control over the issues that affect their life, constitute a more effective way of dealing with many of today's problems. (Stokes, 1981, pl7) 1.2 Method of Research The research used in this thesis was conducted over a time span of many years. The information that has been documented here was readj spoken, felt and otherwise observed at the community sites visited for this study, as well as other intentional community initiatives. 5 Over 50 place-based social organizations around the world that are experimenting with the concept of sustainability have been visited by the author. These organizations are called communities by resident members or by other experts. Most of these communities were visited prior to formulating a focus for this thesis. They were visited to experience successful, practical and alternative ways of meeting short term and long term environmental needs, and learn the techniques that are supposed to render them sustainable. After visiting a number of communities, it became apparent that they are all in some way struggling to maintain support, both from within and from the outside. Two questions arose from the preliminary visits. Why are these entities considered communities? How are these communities inhibited? These questions became the focus of this thesis. Once the focus of the thesis was determined, some communities were selected as case studies. The communities that have been included as case studies in this thesis include those that seem to most successfully consider short term and long term environmental needs and those in which information was most available. The communities that have been included in this study are self-professed supporters of sustainable living. The community-based interpretations of "sustainable", evident from the data collected, is diverse. Because operative communities are relatively private enterprises, one of the issues of researching this thesis was the level of sensitivity required to respect private boundaries when visiting and interviewing the community members. The delicacy of investigating a private subject for essentially a public purpose produced some awkward moments of building trust and credibility. As well, individuals that live in communities generally extend themselves to others, both inside and outside the community, on a regular basis. Some of the communities have been studied extensively, and as a result the members are tired of explaining themselves. Other communities, perhaps because their mission and/or goals may differ from the surrounding status quo, have been stigmatized and criticized by observers. These communities have consequently developed a well-earned caution about extending themselves to the public. Although some of the communities contacted were unwilling to accommodate inquiries, the communities profiled in this thesis were all willing and co-operative participants to being queried. A genuine interest and need to be flexible about the way the information was obtained was required in order to learn about the operations of the communities within the personal boundaries of the residents. Some of the information describing the communities was obtained through various official brochures, and other literature distributed by the community. Most of the information came from personal interviews and chance meetings with one or more of the resident community members. Some of the meetings were arranged well in advance, while others were conducted in an impromptu fashion. Two of the communities visited, Arcosanti and Taos Pueblo, organize regular paid tours for the public, but the guides provided extra time after the public tour to discuss community related issues. Most of the communities were visited from afar, and since in most cases the time spent in the vicinity of the community was at a premium due to time constraints, orchestrating focus groups, as was originally intended, was not possible. Most of the communities had an attitude or approach of "call when you get here" and could only commit to sparing a small period of time. As a group, community members generally meet relatively frequently to coordinate community activities, and so most community members were not receptive to the prospect of an additional group meeting. Interviews were conducted exclusively at the site of the communities. Some of the interviews took place inside the member's home within the community, while others were 7 conducted outdoors while on tour or in a meeting room. Most of the interviews included a tour of the community grounds and facilities. The individuals interviewed for this thesis are generally people who interact and participate in community events. Some of the interviewees are considered, officially or unofficially, community-public liaison representatives. They have informed the study from the point of view of people who are already active and desirous of improving the quality life within the community, as well as outside the community. Some of the opinionated information received by the members interviewed is consequently not necessarily representative of the entire membership. As well, communities that were visited in Scandinavia were often selected by local representatives. The communities that were chosen represents the cream of the crop - or best examples of eco-villages and highly grass-roots oriented communities. Some of the interviews were taped while others were noted, depending on the wishes of the resident member and the availability of a recorder. The impromptu meetings were informal discussions about the components of community. Formal interview discussions were centered around the questions that are included as Appendix 1. The questions were intended to gain a better understanding of what comprises "community", and how it is sustained. The focus of the questions changed over the course of time in which interviews were conducted, as the topic became more narrowly defined. Communities also evolve quickly. Information concerning the demographics of the community, the focus of the community and even the survival of the community generally become dated in short order. The process of community building is obviously an organic 8 one, existing through the ebbs, flows, and directional tides of the social, economic and ecological environment. Researching the communities was a challenging project, but one worthwhile. The personal meetings between the researcher and community members often ended in a renewed pride in the community by the member, and a sense of deep appreciation and admiration on the part of the researcher. After this introduction, the thesis has been organized into five additional chapters; Exploring Definitions, List of Communities, Analysis, and Policy Implications. In Chapter 2, Exploring Definitions, the term community is dissected into 5 components; Co-operation, Inclusive Participation, Sustainability, Localization and Urbanity, and the Formulation and Application of Values. These components are examined according to their role in the effective operation of a community. Chapter 3, List of Communities provides a general profile of the 12 communities that are referred to in this study. Chapter 4, Analysis examines how the communities manifest the components of community, and to what end. Chapter 5, Policy Implications considers how to effect change in the community building process. Finally, Chapter 6, Conclusion, briefly summarizes the relevance of the policy implications as well as briefly outlining the experience that the author has had building community. 9 2. Exploring Definitions The following chapter examines some interpretations of the main concept studied in this thesis - operative communities - as they are understood by a variety of theorists and academics. 2.1 Operative Community The term "operative community" is defined in this thesis in two parts; the first part involves contextualizing the term to narrow its broader meaning; and the second is determining the actual physical and philosophical distinctions of the communities that were visited for this study. This chapter focuses on the first part - to ascertain a narrower definition of the term "operative community". The second part is outlined in Chapter 3, List of Communities. The state of being in a community is valued so reverently by some that the article which precedes it is sometimes dropped, such as when using the term Heaven or Mecca. "I would only raise a child if I were living in community"- a community member had said when casually discussing the difficulties of parenting. Predictably, those who live in communities often fall into this habit. But is there only one place called community, as this practice would imply? "Community" can invoke connotations or sentimentsof purity and goodness, inclusiveness, and proactivism. It can also conjure up images of an intense communal state or intricate and self-sufficient social organism. It can even signify a lack of community, as will be discussed later. Or, community can be interpreted to mean a group of people simply co-existing in the same spatial area and generally sharing the same values or characteristics, such as income 10 level. In its broadest definition, the term can be manipulated to include any collection of living organisms. In modern language, people who use the term community do so perhaps rather flippantly. For example, community is interchanged with words like city, town, village or neighbourhood district. Although some of these social structures may have been at one time more orderly, many have evolved into groups of people sharing only the same infrastructure, co-existing within a defined constituency or space, such as a subdivision or service area. Does that constitute community? David Karp, Gregory Stone, and William Yoels, in their book entitled Being Urban: A Sociology of Urban Life, view the term community as one that can be applied to a variety of circumstances. They, however, make a significant distinction by identifying communities as essentially sociological entities. "[The concept of community] has come to be applied to such a wide diversity of situations, settings and forms of group life that it has lost much of its distinctiveness as an analytical tool for investigation. We speak, for example, of rural communities, urban communities, neighbourhood communities, and communities of scholars. We have come to use the term in its most generic form to describe any collectivity of persons sharing values, ideas, or lifestyles." (Karp, Stone, Yoels, 1991, p49) The Communities Directory, in an article edited by Dan Questenberry entitled "Who We Are?: An Exploration of What Intentional Community' Means", Allen Butcher describes the contrast between what is called "intentional" communities and those which are described as "circumstantial" communities. "Essentially, any association may call itself an "intentional community" by common agreement. The lack of such an agreement results in an association being termed a "circumstantial community", which is similar 11 to nations, cities, towns, or neighbourhoods where individuals live proximity by chance, and may or may not actively choose to be a part of the association imposed upon them. Both intentional and circumstantial communities can at times function as the other, depending upon the degree of common agreement and community action." (Fellowship of Intentional Communities, 1995, p35) An intentional community is; "...a group of people who have chosen to live together with a common purpose, working co-operatively to create a lifestyle that reflects their shared core values." (Ibid, pi8) There is a distinction then between a broader use of the term community, used loosely to describe what Butcher refers to as the "circumstantial" community, or communities "by chance", and the concept of an operative community that is often prefaced by words such as conscious, intentional or healthy. It stands to reason that communities with a specific agenda to express common values tend to be more structurally operative since a process must be developed in order to facilitate these values. Using the term "operative" is appropriate to qualify genuine communities because the term denotes a sense of united action, or engagement, in a process-oriented social structure; people sharing a common purpose and working toward common values. The authors of Being Urban (1991) have observed commonalties between communities that are more precisely defined and active. They include: 1. A delineation by geographically, territorially, or spatially circumscribed area, 2. Members are bound together by a number of common characteristics or attributes, including values, attitudes, ethnicity, and social class), and 3. Members are engaged in some form of sustained social interaction. 12 Within this synopsis of community attributes are four components that contribute to the process of operating and maintaining operative communities. They include active membership participation, efforts to be sustainable, a locational delineation, and the formulation and application of values. A fifth component, the presence of co-operation, is inherent in the definition of an intentional community, and is therefore also relevant to the definition of operative communities. In their book Builders of the Dawn; Community Lifestyles in a Changing World (1985). Corinne McLaughlin and Gordon Davidson observe the importance of co-operation in communities. "The word 'community' contains the word 'unity' and, on the deepest level, community is the experience of unity or oneness with all people and with all life ... A conscious community, as distinct from a neighborhood or town, is a group of people experiencing a common purpose in being together, with an agreement to cooperate and create a sense of unity together. (McLaughlin, Davidson, 1985, ppl0,11) In his book entitled Cooperative Communities at Work (1947), Henrik Infield describes the existence of a variety of influences from both within and outside the confines of the community. "A community is a blend of contradictory trails. It must be anchored in the minds, attitudes and emotions, and depends on the full participation of all concerned. Such participation must not be forced, but remain free and voluntary. The vitality of a community depends mainly on the intensity of the we- feeling it engenders. Yet it cannot thrive on an unsound economy. To avoid the pitfalls of isolation, a community must keep in step with the world around it; to preserve its identity, it must know how to shield itself against adverse influences. In short, it must succeed in being at the same time a world within itself and a part of the world as a whole." (Infield, 1947,pl95) The external influences that Infield speaks to are regarded as impelling forces for community development by Gillian Walker. Walker's contributing essay "Reproducing Community", is 13 included in the book Community Organization and the Canadian State. In the essay, Walker defines community as a process of... "...replacing or creating forms of connectedness and social cohesiveness in the face of the upheavals and massive social dislocation engendered by the industrial revolution." (Ng, Walker, Miller, 1990, p41) Pluralism also influences the operativeness of communities. Herman Daly and John Cobb understand the presence and importance of pluralism and diversity in communities. "Diversity may make positive relationships more difficult, but it adds greatly to the richness of the whole." (Daly, Cobb, 1989, pi70) As Daly and Cobb continue their discussion about the diversity that pluralism injects into society, they observe the combinations and permutations of relationships between people. "An important and precious characteristic of our time is that many people are members of several communities, including ones that are not geographically defined." (Ibid, pi80) David Clark, in his book entitled Basic Communities: Towards an Alternative Society (1977), reinforces the theory that communities consist of a diversity of human relationships, a situation produced by people with a variety of interests and backgrounds from within the community, and perpetuated from influences outside the community. Whether pluralism is an asset partially depends on how it is managed within the community structure and the decision-making process. Amitai Etzioni, in a book entitled The Spirit of Community; Rights, Responsibilities and the Communitarian Agenda (1993), qualifies the value of pluralism and some dynamics that occur when individual interests compete against common unity. 14 "Some political scientists argue that special interest group representation adds to the democratic process. As they see it, each community is made up of groups, each of which has particular interests that it holds dear...The act of satisfying this assemblage of groups, referred to as "pluralism", is a way to serve the community as a whole. As I see it, there are two kinds of pluralism: the kind that is unbounded and unwholesome, and pluralism-within-unity. In the former, each group is out to gain all it can, with little concern for the shared needs of the community. In the latter, groups vie with one another, yet voluntarily limit themselves when they impinge on common interests." (Etzioni, 1993, p217) This citation also confirms the ambiguity that exists surrounding the term community. Is it a single group, or a collection of groups? Does it perform as one voice? How is representation in the decision-making process achieved? The nature of the dynamics within the community, are addressed in this Chapter, in a section entitled Inclusive Participation. In any case, as Etzioni explains, pluralism-within-unity are characteristic of sustainable communities, and is therefore a feature of operative communities. Many community theorists seem to understand the establishment of community when like-minded individuals collaborate to achieve common values. In a book entitled Who Is This We?; Absence of Community (1994), Karim Benammar asserts a contradictory theory; the passion to exist in a community is present only when the sense of common unity is absent. "The passion for community is the passion for our ex-static selves to transcend individuality and to project ourselves as members of a group, community, or society. But this project is doomed if we proclaim our allegiance to a community on the basis of common needs or common goals, common attributes, skills or defects. The passion for community is not realized in the social organization of a group or club with inclusive or exclusive membership. Our passion for community delineates absences of community... Kinship of any kind produces ties, commitment, responsibilities; it weaves a social fabric of exchanges, contracts, acknowledgments; it defines civil duties, solidarity, family obligation...And yet the passion for community is not satisfied by membership in these pathetic groups; by communities 15 based on rational calculation or social ties. It is only when one has nothing in common that one can face the other, naked, alone, and trust the piercing depth of these eyes with one's life, one's self, in a ritual of time immemorial...The true community, fleetingly glimpsed, manifests itself as an absence. It cannot be maintained in a world ruled by practices, exchanges, projects, obligations; it dissolves as soon as one is re-integrated in the civilized social circus." (Godway, Finn, 1994, pp31, 39-40) From Benammar's perspective, the force of standing alone is a catalyst for self-examination. Collaboration, in Benammar's opinion, interferes with the process of being deeply in touch with oneself and the pureness of being connected to another, if only by virtue of having nothing in common but the vulnerability of a personal void. This challenge to the virtuosity of conventional community efforts, reduced to the ranks of "pathetic groups" in the "civilized social circus", seems on the surface to discredit the value of a community that is based on co-operation and commonalty. However, it does reinforce a critical element of the community building process as stated earlier - that being a continual process, a perpetual need to accomplish something unfinished or lacking, and of the presence of an invested interest. It seems reasonable that a critically motivating force that continues the process of community building is the absence of a desired state, as well as the process of self-examination. However, Benammar differs from conventional theorists in that she casts a shadow on any collaborated effort to rectify the absence of community. The act of collaboration, according to Benammar, is counter-community. Benammar does not say that collaborative efforts should not be accomplished, only that they should not be referred to as "community" efforts. One could argue, however, that collaborating toward common values is not an end in itself, and that the process of collaborating fills no void except the need to find accompaniment -which is the origin of the community spirit. Furthermore, the trust referred to in the citation seems unlikely to happen in an environment of hostility, inequity or hopelessness. A community requires the federation of at least two people, the conception of which is not 16 likely to happen if the environment is not fertile. Why bother examining oneself if there is no hope for betterment? Without a personal examination, ones needs are not likely to be identified. Why expose oneself, naked, and alone, if the response is likely to be painful and compromising? A state of self-examination may be better served in an environment of support, an environment conducive to honest reflection and validating feedback. Once the self-examination is complete, administering an antidote to address the needs of the individual is more efficiently executed in co-operation and compliance with other individuals, some of whom may have like-minded values. Communities can facilitate this state of co-operation and compliance. In contrast to Benammar's view of social interaction in communities, while focusing on the process of community building, Scott Walker describes the effects of community relationships in positive terms in his publication Graywolf Annual 10: Changing Community (1990) as follows; "The social relationships, the responsibilities, the larger values all help us know who we are. In an ideal community, a person's place would be so clearly defined as to make him [or her] indispensable. This engenders a sort of horizontal growth, as our lives touch and are touched by many others, and it fosters in us a greater compassion and awareness of the human condition." (Walker, 1990, p4) The importance of community initiatives and the relationships that are necessarily formed from them should not be undervalued. While community building requires an initial impetus other structures must be in place in order to sustain the involvement. From the variety of interpretations referred to in this section, those that most closely resemble an operative community are those in which the social organization promotes and supports holistic collaboration between a pluralistic collection of individuals, in a deliberate and 17 sustainable effort toward realizing mutually beneficial values. Cornmunities contain at least 5 relatively consistent components, which are elaborated on in the following section. Beyond that, defining the term community, for the purposes of this thesis, remains in the domain of the individuals who pursue living in them. In other words, the act of defining the relevant meaning of the term is in itself part of definition, and varies between communities. 2.2 Co-operation Co-operation is important to the organization of the community because without it, the community would operate considerably less efficiently, if at all. "All the technique in the world will come to naught in an organization if co-operation does not exist...The social view of organizations focuses on the ways organization members sustain more or less meaningful relationships every day." (Forester, 1989, p69) Ross and Usher recognize that communities are the "purest application of the principles of the cooperative movement." (Ross, Usher, 1986, p60) When the co-operative effort is directed toward community operations and the realization of shared values, the membership inherently develops a sense of connectedness to the community. "A committed person is loyal and involved: he [or she] has a sense of belonging, a feeling that the group is an extension of himself [or herself] and he [or she] is an extension of the group. Through commitment, person and group are inextricably linked." (Kanter, 1972, pi42) Individuals who are involved in the co-operative effort are doing so freely, sharing the risks, responsibilities, duties, rights, and benefits of their collective effort. As stated in the Cooperative Housing Federation of Canada (CHF) Research Document #4, the principles of 18 co-operation include voluntarism and the proportional sharing of results among participants. (Cooperative Housing Federation, 1984, pi) This combination of principles helps to ensure a sense of commitment and interest on the part of the membership. The result is a sense of empowerment. Six co-operative principles were formulated by the International Co-operative Alliance, based on the Rochdale Principles of 1844. In Canada's Housing Co-operatives: An Alternative Approach to Resolving Community Problems (1988), Selby and Wilson list the Co-operative • Alliance principles as follows: 1. Open and Voluntary Membership 2. Democratic Control - one member one vote 3. Limited return on investment 4. Not-for-profit operation 5. Continuing education by staff and members 6. Co-operation among co-operatives. The report continues with a synopsis of the advantages which co-operative living provides. They include, among other points, the creation of communities, personal growth and development, benefits to the community-at-large, and social integration and neighbourhood revitalization and stabilization. No matter what the genre of community, be it a co-operative proper, a co-housing or simply other intentional community, people that live in communities agree that the cooperative effort is the core of what makes the community function. In the Communities Directory: A Guide to Cooperative Living, published by the Fellowship of Intentional Communities (1995), several definitions of community are listed, most of which include an element of co-operation. These definitions include: 19 "...a group of cooperating nonrelated humans, living by their own choice on one piece of land or in one house, for reasons which go beyond mere convenience-for at least some of the members." (Matt Bojanovich, Adirondack Herbs, Broadalbin, New York) "[a]n interdependent, cooperative grouping of aligned humans, animals, plants, earth energies, and benevolent multidimensional beings who together comprise a sensitive, sustainable ecosystem." (Mariah Wentworth, Rainbow Hearth Sanctuary, Burnet, Texas) "[ljiving and working together cooperatively, making decisions by consensus, common economy." (Dieter Bensmann, Kommune Niederkaufungen, Kaufungen, Germany) (Ibid, pp36,37) John Craig strongly links extensive co-operation with community in his book, The Nature of Co-operation.. "Comprehensive co-operation involves people co-operating with each other on a day-to-day basis. They participate in common decisions, and from this process a sense of community can emerge." (Craig, 1993, pl07) 2.3 Inclusive Participation Intrinsic to the definition of community is the notion of inclusive participation. McLaughlin and Davidson were quoted earlier as stating that community, on its deepest level, includes all people and all life. The term community therefore denotes a type of organization that can and should include all members of that society in an inclusive and direct structure of public participation. "Direct participation means the ability of all people involved in any situation - industrial, community, trade unions - to be personally involved in the planning process. The history of representative democracy is that representatives are separated from their constituents, i.e. there is indirect participation. There is therefore no sense of involvement on the part of the 20 rank and file in any situation. For our requirements, participation must be direct." (Wright, 1979, pl3) Under this structure, citizens are planners and experts. Jules Gregory and Gerald Hodge, authors of Community Design by People (1977) and Planning Canadian Communities: An Introduction to the Principles, Practice and Participants (1991) agree. Gregory understands, 'the limitless wealth of insight and creativity which citizens are able to bring to projects affecting their daily lives and environments." (Gregory, 1977, plO) Hodge views participation in much the same way. "Usually the more widespread the participation, the better the planning decision" (Hodge, 1991, plOl) Daniel Folkman, editor of Urban Community Development: Case Studies in Neighbourhood Survival (1978) advocates a qualified public participation process to overcome the limits of representation. "There is no way of involving all of the people in community programs. No organization, group or individual speaks for alL Instead, a structure of institutions and organizations best represents the people. The key, then, is to provide as much involvement of as many diverse groups and individuals as possible and understand the limitations of our efforts - in short, be honest about it." (Ibid, p3) What Folkman may not be accounting for is the consideration of scale and the capabilities of effective social structures. While no individual speaks for all, through the process of consensus in which ideas are discussed and decisions are made by everyone, the final result is likely to be a direct and certified representation of all members. Otherwise, the "unbounded and unwholesome" scenario which Etzioni referred to earlier would prevail. Royce Hanson on the other hand considers each citizen to be an official. 21 "...if one begins to take the notion that citizenship is an official act, then one begins to say that the citizen is an official and every citizen who acts in his [or her] office as a citizen shares responsibility for the development of his [or her] community." (Golany, Walden, 1974, p80) Therefore, the greater the level of participation, the higher the level of individual responsibility. Taking the time and extending the resources to allow for an inclusive process of participatory decision making is not only possible in a community that is reasonably sized, it is essential toward attaining the full benefits of a community. Peter Boothroyd and Margaret Eberle qualify the term community as healthy when: "...all organizations, from informal groups to governments are working effectively together to improve the quality of all people's lives." (Boothroyd, Eberle, 1990) In the definition of an operative community, the quality of health as it is defined by Boothroyd and Eberle is guaranteed since all people are necessarily included in the social organization and decision making processes. Inclusive participation is therefore an essential ingredient to a healthy or operative community. 2.4 Sustainability Sustainability is another component to consider when examining operative communities. As the meaning of the term operative community unfolds, it becomes evident that each component is intrinsically tied in with the others. The holistic social structure of the community operates as a system working in perpetuity. For example, sustainability becomes inherent if there is co-operation and inclusive participation. Co-operation is only possible when there is actual commitment and interest, or sustainable inclusive participation, etc. As 22 other components come to light, they too are inextricably linked to the entire system, and vice versa. The delineation of the term sustainability by community members is developed when individual values are adjusted to consider local environmental conditions. Sustainability as it is holistically defined by the British Columbia Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (BCRTEE), is tailored to local needs. "The three building blocks of the sustainable community model are ecological limitations, economic viability, and social equity." (BCRTEE, 1991, p7) Ecological, economic and social systems represent three main areas of the environment on which to focus shared community values and ensuing activities. Economic and social structures are developed within the community to address shared values regarding the ecosystem. Since values are greatly influenced by the circumstances of the environment in which they are formulated, community structures can be routinely modified to address any changes in the environment that may threaten the long-term stability of the community while meeting its needs. In that way, the ecological health of the community is also taken into account. As the World Commission on Environment and Development, otherwise known as the Bruntland Commission, pointed out, sustainability means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations. (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987, p43) While community members can not overtly mandate a guaranteed future into their operational activities, they can ensure the security and protection of natural resources and culture by considering those elements in the decision-making process as a way of providing ecological, economic, and social stability and growth. 23 A final consideration of sustainability is the level of self-reliance. The degree to which an operative community can function with minimized undirected interference from external influences, using a continuous reserve of indigenous natural and human resources, the less vulnerable and more stable the community will be. "The goal of a self-reliant community is to enhance the pool of local wealth through the discovery and development of a community's existing resource base." (Gerecke, 1991, p81) Benello, Swann and Turnbull, in their book Building Sustainable Communities (1983) and Ross and Usher, authors of From the Roots Up, (1986) agree that self-sufficiency and self-management are efficiently achieved in a community. "Particularly conducive to self-management are those social relations growing out of or based upon a sense of community." (Benello, Swann, Turnbull, 1989, p80) 2.5 Localization and Urbanity Communities may be geographically widely dispersed among other social structures, as is the case for example with committed users of Internet computer systems. Alternatively, communities may be contained within a confined area, such as an apartment complex or bingo parlour. As well, communities can be affiliated with a range of political and sociological ideologies from athletics to arts, and from spiritual to scientific. Does the size and level of density have an impact on the success of the community? Communities that are geographically concentrated, place-based, or localized, offer greater opportunity for individual growth. The more dispersed the membership of a community, the 24 more inefficient and precarious the organism ultimately becomes. David Engwicht wrote about the importance of proximity in his book Reclaiming Our Cities and Towns: Better Living with Less Traffic (1993); "It is the rich diversity and concentration of culture, information, institutions, public places, bushland and, above all, people that give a city vitality and interest. The relationships between these elements, concentrated together in one place , constitute the heart and soul of a city." (Engwicht, 1993, p45) The diversity that accompanies a concentration of people helps to strengthen the social fabric and security of the community. For example, while telecommunications has enabled people to interact more readily, without the intricate provision of fibre-optic technology and the energy needed to run such systems of communication the service would not exist. And if by some misfortunate the conduit line is severed, so too is the opportunity for participants to dialogue by computer. "To create the reality of a [community] requires the kind of proximity in which face to face human relations are possible and where a sense of belonging is well developed." (Melnyk, 1985, pi36) Paolo Soleri, the founder of Arcosanti, which some consider to be an urban laboratory using the practice of arcology (architecture and ecology literally and theoretically married), advocates the "urban effect" as the optimum human organism that leads to sustainability. He believes that an urban environment promotes complexity, miniaturization, and duration owing to the following order; 1. In any given system the liveliest quantum is also the most complex. 2. In, any given system the most complex quantum is also the most miniaturized. 3. The most complex-miniaturized quantum is also the most durational. 25 (Soleri, 1983, p94) "The complexity-rniniaturization-duration paradigm epitomizes interdependence, co-operation, and synergy. At a higher level, it epitomizes reflection, anticipation, passion, compassion, love, grace, transfiguration, mind." (Ibid, p94) Urbanity and the opportunities for interaction that arise from it, may be fundamental toward nurturing a sense of community. The complexity which Soleri refers to may be interpreted as diversity, and diversity in turn leads to stability and sustainability. Togetherness necessitates understanding and tolerance between people and with their environment. Community living requires sharing space as well as ideas. A potential effect of living in an urban context is a propensity to become alienated and desensitized socially, and from the natural environment. However, alienation and desensitization are products of urban centers that do not have an established operative community base. The matter of scale is an inevitable issue when discussing operative communities. The number of people within the community, the procedures that it develops to address shared values and to inclusively meet the needs of the inhabitants, the nature and size of the environment which it inhabits, the extent of external reliance, and the ability of the community to respond to the environment are all determinants of establishing an appropriate scale. By maintaining co-operation, inclusive participation, and localized urban vitality, the community will ensure a scale that is sustainable, while still respecting the values that have been formulated by the members to address the needs of the community. 26 In discussing the merits of urban centers, Engwicht endorses two of the components of operative communities, those being what Boothroyd and Eberle outline as the positive effects of an interactive population, and what Soleri advocates as the vitality and importance of urban places. "Cities are not just units of economic production. Nor are they institutions for the paternalistic custodial care of the unwashed masses who must be kept under control for their own good. Cities are for people, or to be more correct, cities are people, or to be even more precise, cities are a concentration of people interrelating." (Engwicht, 1993, p73) 2.6 Formulation and Application of Values Values are the by-product of interacting with and learning from the environment. Ideally, they are formulated to address the needs of the people who embrace them. When people make an effort to co-exist in a chosen environment, they are typically more sensitive to the needs of the environment. Traditionally, communities have been an arena to formulate, test and apply values. As communities have over time relinquished control to government organizations, particularly in Canada, instead of informing the values of the institutions that have been developed to service the people, they have also adopted the institutional values that have been developed from the top down. "Individuals have historically relied on their communities for survival. Because of this dependence, communities have traditionally been the source of people's values. But as governments, corporations and professional elites have gradually assumed responsibility for the provision of human needs, they have also begun to shape human values, fostering dependency, helplessness, and powerlessness." (Stokes, 1981, ppl38 -139) 27 Without a channel for their values, people are likely to feel disconnected from their community, further perpetuating a feeling of segregation and possibly an abandonment of their personal values. Other symptoms stemming from lack of community presence may include a shift of values from an outward respect of the needs of the environment toward an inward and individual interest based on self-gain and/or self-destruction. Community members instead aspire for a balance between the individual, the family and community. "Community is the intermediate stage between individuals and families on the one hand and society on the other. It is community that mediates between the personal closeness of the family and the obligations of society." (Melnyk, 1985, pl35) Communities attempt to balance the needs of both the individual and the collective by providing individual representation in the process of establishing common values. The values are in turn used to form deliberate and effective structures of social organization. Robert Blauner in his book Alienation and Freedom (1964) advocates the use of public participation as a means to alleviating feelings of powerlessness, meaninglessness, isolation, and self-estrangement toward creating sensible values. (Blauner, 1964, pp 15-34) In an operative community, values are the response to an understanding of the environment, and are used to formulate policies and procedures that address the broader needs of the community. 28 Summary of Community Components The term operative community encompasses the components of co-operation, inclusive participation, ecological, economic, and social sustainability, place-based localization and urbanity, and the formulation and application of personal values and are essential to completing the whole vision of Figure 2 - The Foundations of Community community. They work together toward ensuring self-perpetuity. The effort provides support, growth opportunities and stability to the people who contribute to their realization. When illustrated graphically, the components can be seen as bricks in the foundation of an operative community. 29 3. List of Communities The following is a general list of the communities that were visited for this study. Included is background information pertaining to each community, a profile of the residents, and a brief description of the structure adopted by the community. The communities have been geographically divided into three sections; Canada, the United States of America and Scandinavia. In total, 12 communities were visited. A chart listing the communities and identifying some of the dominant characteristics, is included as Appendix 2. Each community is as individual as the collection of people who comprise it. The combinations and permutations of categories are many and varied. The following catalogue is indexed according to traits that relate to the 5 components of communities listed earlier. 3.1 Canada 3.1.1 Community Alternatives Co-operative (Vancouver) Information Source Information collected about Community Alternatives Co-operative was collected on several visits to the community, an interview with one of the current and long-time residents Heather Figure 3-Community Alternatives Co-op _ Pritchard, and from literature. Heather and her partner Michael live in a 4 bedroom "pod" with another person and her 30 daughter who are "exploring" membership. Heather has been a member of Community Alternative Co-op for 14 years. Location Community Alternatives Co-op is located in Vancouver, B.C., which, according to Robert McNulty, Leo Penne, R. Dorothy et al., authors of The Return of the Livable City; Learning From America's Best (1986) is... "...growing with enviable grace. The city is managing its growth and development process by using the interaction of contrasting demands to develop an aesthetically and socially well integrated urban fabric..[T]he city has found a balance between the problems associated with tremendous physical growth and the opportunities available through economic and social diversity." (McNulty et al., 1986, p268) "Vancouver has many distinct neighbourhoods that lend stability and local identity to the urban fabric." (Ibid, p258) The neighbourhood in which Community Alternatives is located is Kitsilano. Year and circumstances of establishment; The urban Community Alternatives Co-operative was established in 1977-78. A group of people interested in co-operative living initially purchased group homes in Vancouver in the early 1970's, British Columbia to experiment with co-habitation. A 10 acre farm was purchased in 1976 by some of the members, with the intention of establishing a rural village and cottage industry. The membership subsequently decided that they would rather remain urban dwellers, and doggedly approached Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to finance the building of a self-designed urban co-operative. The design of the structure was specifically intended to represent the values of the membership. After a few design changes, the construction of the three storey building at the present location was 31 completed in 1981. C M H C approved of the concept, eventually satisfied that if the co-operative did not survive, the building could be converted into regular apartments. "The idea of these large units is to allow for more communal living than would normally occur in separate apartments where family groups would live in comparable isolation. The building of an innovative communal structure caused us many squirmishes with both C M H C and the building codes." (Co-op Housing Research Project, 1981, p22) Classification Community Alternatives Co-op is a registered co-operative. Type of Accommodation All residents of Community Alternatives Co-op rent their accommodations. Physical Environment The community is described as an urban village because it contains households ("pods") within a village-like situation. The Co-operative is organized into 9 "pods". Each pod has been designed to represent the needs of a group of people ranging in size from 3-8 people. Three of the pods have 8 bedrooms. Four of the pods have 3 bedrooms. Two of the pods have 4 bedrooms. Each pod is also equipped with a full kitchen, and a large shared living space. The pods that contain 8 bedrooms have converted one of the bedroom spaces into an additional common area. There is also one large common room located on each floor of the building which is shared by the entire Co-op. These rooms are used as a library, a meeting room and a craft room. The basement space was blueprinted as an exercise room, and was later converted to an overflow guest room. City building regulations have compelled the community to remove the guest space in recent years. A small, narrow courtyard is enveloped by the external face of the 32 building, and the property is fully planted with gardens. There is also a roof-top deck along part of the building. The person interviewed believes the communities should be designed to accommodate both commune and non-commune social organizations. Community Alternative Co-op has been designed for both at once. The larger pods are like communes, and the smaller pods like regular family situations. The larger pods have become less popular as living spaces. The community is currently going through a phase of needing more private spaces - smaller family-type units. The building design of the larger pods does not lend itself well to smaller units. Community Alternatives Co-op is part of a larger organization called Community Alternatives Society. Included in the Society is the Co-op, the Fraser Common Farm Co-op and members-at-large. The community is described as a sanctuary within a sanctuary within a sanctuary, each level representing the "pods", the Co-op and the parent Society. Number of Members Theoretically, 43 people can live at the Co-op. However, one bedroom in each of the 8 bedroom pods have been converted into common spaces, reducing the number of possible residents to 40 people. Currently, approximately 38 people live in the Co-op. Nature of Membership People residing at Community Alternatives Co-op are either "renters" or "members". Renters pay a flat rate, based on market value. Members usually pay 25% of their income toward renting the housing. 33 Age Distribution The age distribution in the community is broad. The youngest resident is 2, the youngest member is 27. The oldest member is a senior citizen. Responsibilities of members The members of Community Alternatives Co-op, as opposed to the renters, maintain the community infrastructure, such as leadership at meetings, social itinerary and physical maintenance duties. There is an understanding and expectation that members will contribute 4 hours of physical work per month. In addition, on a rotational basis, once every 6 months members contribute to a planning team. Becoming a Member Becoming a member has been described as an organic but very serious process. Often, potential members become renters at the Co-op first. They then "explore" membership, at which point they are assigned a buddy. The buddy acts as a support and liaison over the course of several weeks between the potential new member and the community. Once it is clear to all parties that the potential member belongs in the community (i.e. values are compatible or negotiable, etc.), a membership meeting is called which are usually attended by everyone in the community because they are considered extremely important. During these meetings, the membership tries to reconcile the personal feelings that have arisen in the process of considering the new member. Currently, less than half the residents are members. Through experience the community has learned that it is more costly to bring people in more quickly, then to select new members carefully and slowly. 34 Social Structure The members do not live as one big family unit, but there are connections within the "urban village". The structure has been described as a "flexible home." There are three types of membership meetings; an Urban Co-op Business Meeting, a Processor - Education Meeting, and a Community Alternatives Society Meeting. As well, there are several committees. Ideally, everyone should contribute to the committees, although there is not an strong expectation. The committees include the Social Action Committee, the Maintenance Committee, and the Finance Committee. The community supports a functional affinity group system. The pods are working independently and in combination toward the collective health of the entire community. Previously, when a conflict arose in one of the pods, people were shuffled between pods to separate the two sources of the conflict. The result was a disruption of the stability for the whole group. The operative capabilities of the entire Co-op depends upon functioning smaller groups. The membership of Community Alternatives Co-op has been identified as somewhat anarchist. This group is reluctant to formalize rules on paper because policing would then be required. Most of the rules are general understandings and there is forgiveness to oneself and by the membership about abiding by the indoctrinated written or unwritten rules. Social Sustainability It is thought that the community would be better equipped to live sustainably if it was able to accommodate the different stages of the lifecycle. Sustainability does not mean "stay the same" to the membership. Change is valued. 35 Respecting personal boundaries is an important objective in the community. "If you talk about sustainability... I would say that to be sustainable, people have to feel very safe at home, really comfortable at home. Where the primary place they have has to reflect who they are and what their values are and what they want to extend and there are all kinds of ways of checking that. And then beyond that, they need to know themselves well enough to know what their boundaries are, and to be able to put that out in a way so that other people can respect that and everyone's boundaries are different...and I guess people living alone sometimes don't learn that about themselves." (Heather Pritchard) The community needs to recognize people's natural and biological families as well as the extended replacement family created by community living. Environmental Sustainability Members recycle, compost, and plant edibles on the grounds. Concerted efforts are made to share resources and the group has a high level of environmental consciousness. There are solar panels on the roof of the Co-op and an educational outreach program is part of the mandate of the community. Economic Sustainability The Farm (Fraser Common Farm Coop) is owned by the entire membership. The Co-op is C M H C supported. As well, the community markets an organic waste composter that was designed on-site. Urban Issues The person interviewed thought that urban communities are more prone to having the membership live independently from one another, since it is more difficult to schedule common activities together, such as dinners and grounds work. 36 Although living in an urban or rural context was not immediately identified as important to the member that was interviewed, she did say that she "had the best of both worlds" because her time was split between living at the Farm and in the urban Co-op. Creating community wherever you are is considered more important, though it was thought that living in urban communities provided single parents with access to better support systems, people can maintain a broader circle of friends as well as stronger connections with family, and there is an intense social connection to theatre and dance. Values The level of diversity in personal values has been an issue in the community. Past experience has demonstrated that a critical balance exists. Too much diversity causes irreconcilable differences between members. The community facilitates membership values by discussion and project implementation. Members also initiate and facilitate proactive environmental campaigns using community resources. 3.1.2 Kitsun Coop(Vancouver) Information Source J Information about Kitsun Co-op was derived from the Orientation Package, and an interview with one of the three young children- Darleen Yano, current members, a single mother of and other literature. Darleen has been a member of Kitsun Co-op for 8 years. Figure 4 - Kitsun Co :op 37 Location Kitsun Co-op is located in Vancouver, B.C. Eight of the units are located in a newer building that faces Broadway. The remaining 9 units are located in the older building accessed from Vine Street. The location of Kitsun is central and desirable, in Kitsilano. Year and Circumstances of Establishment Construction at Kitsun began in 1913 and finished in 1979. The Co-op was incorporated in 1979. "Our Co-op was organized by the Kitsilano Housing Society and consequently it has political and philosophical roots." (Co-op Housing Resource Project, 1981, p26) Classification Kitsun Co-op is an incorporated co-operative. Type of Accommodation The residential units are rented to the members according to size of the unit and the income level of the occupant. Physical Environment The entire community consists of 17 units in two buildings. The older of the two buildings is a traditional three storey walk-up apartment, with stained glass windows and wood trim. The contemporary building has been designed for passive solar heating. The buildings partially enclose an inner courtyard, equipped with a children's playground and some lawn space. Each unit is self-contained. Beyond laundry and the inner courtyard, there are no other shared facilities. 38 Number of Members In total, there are 46 people living at Kitsun Co-op. Nature of Membership Despite differences in rents, all members (adults) have an equal voice in the management of the Co-op. Age Distribution Residents range in age from 2 years to a senior citizen resident. Responsibilities of Members Members are expected to participate in the management of the Co-op. There are committees such as the Membership Selection Committee, Grounds Maintenance, and Finance Committee. The actions of the residents are highly accountable, so there is a tendency to be more responsible. Becoming a Member Membership selection is determined by the financial and sociological needs of the Co-op at the time of a vacancy. Members are selected by a membership committee with considerable care to ensure harmony and balance. When new people move in there are "new rhythms". Change is easier in the community when there is a feeling of security with who is moving in. New members have been screened to determine compatibility of values and principles, so a high level of security is attained. Being open, trusting and honest, knowing personal boundaries and setting boundaries, feeling secure about voicing what's important are all requirements of new members. 39 Social Structure Kitsun has been described as a genuine community. "Participation makes Kitsun a community." "It's a nice feeling to feel like you are part of the solution." The people who reside at Kitsun Co-op are apparently "approachable". Decisions have to go through committees, and opportunities exist where people feel they have a say in what goes on in their environment. Social Sustainability The membership composition has gone through a transformation in the last two years. Consequently, the focus has changed from maintenance and improvement projects to "getting along". Participation within the co-op had dropped because of widespread conflict with one of the newer families. After two years of focusing on resolving these internal conflicts between residents, the community has grown closer together. The members of the community have hired facilitators and they are working toward social stability. The community is comprised of an abundance of blended families and single parents. The community has an "extended family feel". The diversity of ages and interests within the community provides opportunities for intense interaction. Having a range of role models has been highly beneficial. Differences in family units and interests in the community provide opportunities to learn about new traditions and activities. One example is that of an elderly woman teaching children who are interested in learning how to knit. Split families and people who are ill receive care and support during difficult situations. Marriages, childbirth and divorces are all celebrated and/or acknowledged. The entire community directly or indirectly experiences the lifecycle of the individual members. "It's nice that we share but we have our own space to live in. It's sort of a balance. We are not just secluded in our own space [where] nobody interacts with each other." (Darleen Yano) 40 A children's playground in the centre of the community provides a safe place for children to amuse themselves under adult supervision. Environmental Sustainability The solar energy technologies that have been installed in the contemporary building directly improve the ecological soundness of the structure. Incorporating an existing building structure when establishing the community also contributes to the ecological sensitivity of the community. Economic Sustainability Kitsun is financially stable. Some of the residential units are rented at market value and others are subsidized by the community. "Living in the community provides more security because costs are something that can be discussed". "Critical funding came from the Buy Back Kitsilano Fund, the United Church, and a Federal Government (for solar components). Currently, the financing is provided by a C M H C mortgage and a High Impact Grant." (Co-op Housing Resource Project, 1981, p26) Urban Issues "Communities are important monuments in the city because they can be a learning tool for the city." The interviewee felt that living in an urban context provides several advantages, including anonymity. Individuals who live within urban centers can leave the home environs of the community and attain a certain amount of liberation from being personally and intimately examined and known by others. Confidentiality is difficult at Kitsun because the co-op is quite small. 41 Living at Kitsun is said to provide a balance between the intimate and anonymous aspects of both the community and city and the advantage of having access to support from both living environments. As well, urban amenities are abundant and diverse, and the infrastructure is well established and accessible. For example Community and Recreation Centres are within close proximity, public events are frequent, and public transportation is well developed and nearby. Safety and Security is higher in the community than in the city. "If I lived in an apartment building, I would have to be more selective about who my children would play with." The environment is more protective. Values The interviewee believed values change somewhat when you live in the community because perceptions change. Change happens much more quickly in a smaller community. Also, members have more opportunity to take direct action. A willingness to be accepting of other people's view points and to listen to others is said to be crucial to sustain harmony in the community. 3.1.3 Bain Coop(Toronto) Information Source Bain Co-op was visited in May 1995. The community was listed as one of the participants in the "Green Think Tank on Housing and the Environment Proceedings" in Ontario. Jane 42 Walker, a 15 year resident at Bain was interviewed. She is a single parent of a 14 year old son. Impromptu conversations were also held with two other community members. Location The community is located in a mature and desirable neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario. Year and Circumstances of Establishment The development was originally constructed as a social housing project in the 1920's. Bain Co-operative was established in 1971 by the residents at the time when the government was no longer interested in managing the development as social housing. Classification Bain Street Co-operative is a registered co-operative. Type of Accommodation The units are rented to the resident members of the Co-op. A variety of accommodation sizes are available. Physical Environment There are 262 units at Bain Street Co-op. The buildings are two storey, red brick row houses. Only some of the residential units have been retrofitted over the years but others have substandard electrical, plumbing and weather-proofing. There is disagreement about what type of upgrading should be undertaken. There are no units equipped for the physically disabled. Approximately 30 units cluster around 8 courtyards. Each cluster is given a name, such as the Maples, or the Oaks. The courtyards are designed and used predominantly by the 43 members who live adjacent to them. The earthen and mostly grassed courtyards are outfitted with gardens, playgrounds and meeting areas. Below a parking garage are office and meeting spaces known as the "bunker", that has been described as "dark and dismal". An old Boiler Room has been identified as a potential space for additional community rooms. The staff have been relocated from the bunker to one of the units to improve the quality of their work environment. Other than the courtyards and meeting rooms, there are no other common spaces. Number of Members Approximately 450 adults live at Bain Street Co-op. Membership of approximately 6-700 people. ' Nature of Membership Adults are considered voting members of the Co-op. Age Distribution The residents vary widely in age. Sometimes 4 generations are represented in the community. The membership is comprised of predominantly middle income families. Responsibilities of Membership Because a full-time grounds-keeper was laid off "to please the banking masters", the members have assumed the responsibility of maintaining the grounds. A stationary engineer, accountant and general manager are employed to carry out other duties. The members are entitled but not forced to attend community meetings. 44 Becoming a Member There is an extensive waiting list to become a member of Bain. Membership selection is the responsibility of a committee who reports to the Council. Members are selected according to their position on the waiting list, their willingness to comply to co-operative rules and regulations and the unit available. Social Structure At one time, General Meetings were once per month. They are now held every three months, though they can be called at any time. The structure of the Co-op operates on two levels; the organized constitutional and administrative level, in which the community meets formally to discuss broad community or courtyard-scale business; and informally in typically smaller groups, to pursue personal issues and activities. The Residence Council, a 12 member group, takes care of the day-to-day decision-making. Annual General Meetings are held once a year. Attendance at all meetings is voluntary. Informal meetings are held frequently and with less structure. Compulsory work hours do not exist at Bain Street Co-op. The option to participation is left entirely up to the individual members. The issue has been discussed several times in the past. Whenever the community tries to approach compulsory work participation, the definition of "work" begins to need qualification. For example, child care, minor building maintenance and other domestic services are carried out on a regular basis by the membership. The question of whether these services account as community work is in debate. There does not seem to be a common vision of where the community is going. The last mission statement was constructed in the mid 70's. The question of "how much of a community does this community want to be?" has yet to be determined. There is a re-missioning process going on, though the process is said to be faulty. Robert's Rules of Order 45 is practiced, which is a decision-making process in which participants can only speak directly to the issue raised with a supportive or oppositional response. The process is said to be efficient by some and adversarial and stifling of creative discussion by others. There is a feeling by some that a new decision-making process needs to be established and practiced. Social Sustainability It is felt that additional indoor community space would enable the community to be more integrated and interactive, bringing people together in greater numbers and with more frequency. Formal participation and attendance at meetings at Bain Co-op has diminished over the past eight years, owing to member apathy. "Being able to exist and maintain ourselves into the future means getting along. There is nothing you can do with the fabric of the building to make it sustainable if the community is at war...It's about getting to know each other as people and caring for each other as people." (Jayne Crow) The community is said to be virtually an extension of the membership when a solid bond exists between the two. When a member feels committed and responsible for their community, they have more of an invested interest. That bond is somewhat manifested at Bain Street Co-op, particularly on the level of the courtyard community where there is a greater opportunity to interact with others on a regular basis and to have a direct impact on determining the environment. The stability of the community is partly measured by the ability of the community social structure to meet the needs of the members as they move through the lifecycle. For example, members who desired solitude or a family that required additional "hang-out" space for an adolescent could not be facilitated at Bain. These members then searched for alternative housing. 46 Human resources are well used in the community. Sharing of individual expertise continually occurs. For example, gardening skills, art making and organizational skills are shared between members. As well, the community is "well rooted" and stable. In such an environment, people have been supported to pursue a variety of new interests and professions. Environmental Sustainability Bain Street transects the development, separating the residents into north and south divisions. The members feel split by the road barrier. Safety and noise pollution are big issues concerning the road. The building structures were due to be renovated 8 years ago. The community began planning the renovations with extended vision. One group within the community commissioned a builder who utilizes revolutionary sustainable building concepts to draw up an environmentally benign development proposal for the community. The proposal was presented to the committee who was in charge of determining the course of renovations. It was decided by the committee that the price of renovations utilizing revolutionary sustainable building practices would require excessively high capital costs. The concepts in the proposal were disregarded entirely. The community, given the funding provided by C M H C , were only able to accomplish minimal renovations, such as upgrading the wiring and plumbing of some units. The storm water run-off and sewage has however been separated. Consequently, the potential exists to recycle gray water in the future. 47 Economic Sustainability The community has attempted to secure additional funding for upgrading projects. C M H C , who contributes financially to the maintenance costs of the community, is not supportive of additional sponsors. The stability of the population at Bain is, in part, determined by the prevailing housing market. When interest rates are reasonable and the housing market favourable, some members of Bain Street Co-op have left the community to invest in their own private housing. The aesthetics of the development has resulted in Bain Co-op seldom having a vacancy problem. Urban Issues The person interviewed felt particularly isolated while living in the suburbs, before moving to Toronto. Although it is no longer important for her to be living in an urban setting, her search for a vital "community" brought her to Bain Street Co-op. There was also the consideration that living in a community in the city would infringe on an individual's sense of privacy. There is an awareness at Bain that a balance is needed. Like most of the communities visited in the course of researching this thesis, the residents at Bain are experimenting with boundaries around the private and public realms. "Learning how to be yourself in the community is difficult." Children love living in community. The adults are more mindful about controlling social interaction. 48 Values Living at Bain Co-op has provided opportunities to learn, which results in the formulation of personal values. "My own contact with the land has increased over the years, and it is to the point where it is my great desire to live on the land and be in the country." (Jayne Walker) The learning that takes place at Bain helps to determine the lifecycles of the individuals who reside there. While the person interviewed wanted to relocate into the country, her 14 year old son had no such ambitions. Having been raised at the Co-op, he developed an appreciation for the lifestyle associated with urban community living. Since the community can not provide the essence of country living because it is thickly surrounded by the city, the family is forced to compromise on their individual needs. 3.1.4 Oak Street Co-op(Toronto) j • Information Source Brynne Teall, one of the managers at Oak Street Co-op, was T r • • s~* r Housing. Co Oaerative Inc. interviewed. She provided literature „. c ~. , c . . T n n n . F • Figure 5 - Oak Street Logo ; —~-about how the Co-op operates as well as information from the management perspective and sentiments expressed by the members. Oak Street Location Oak Street Co-op is located in Toronto, Ontario. The surrounding neighbourhood is called Regents Park, an area with a reputation for street crimes. 49 Year and Circumstances of Establishment Oak Street was established in 1985. Toronto Board of Education had originally bought the land on which the Co-op is situated to build a school in 1968. Fifty-one houses were demolished to clear the site. The local residents were strongly opposed to the decision to expropriate and demolish the houses. Dropping school enrollment caused the Board to later abandon the site for school purposes. "In 1975, at the Board's request, a committee of Board Trustees, aldermen and community representatives came together to develop a report on the future use of this site. This community planning process continued in one form or another for the next six years." (information Package on Oak Street Housing Co-operative Inc.) The Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto was selected by the Board to work with the Regent Park Residence Association and develop a proposal for the area. Resident-controlled housing was identified as in demand for the area. Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC) provided the funding. The result was the Oak Street Co-op. Classification The community is officially incorporated as a co-operative. Type of Accommodation The residential units are rented to the member occupants at slightly below market value. Some of the members receive a rental subsidy. Physical Environment The community consists of three rows of townhouses and an apartment building. There are 149 residential units, 18 of which have been adapted for wheelchair access. The high-rise has 101 units, and there are 48 stacked townhouses. There is a small park with a children's 50 playground beside the Co-op, maintained by the Toronto Parks Board. A common room is located in the high-rise building. A separate building houses the office area, a food store and a video outlet/Laundromat. Number of Members There are 250 people living at Oak Street Co-op. Nature of Membership The adult residents are voting members of the Co-operative. Age Distribution The residents of Oak Street are diverse in age. Several youth live in the community, as do single parents and visible minorities. Responsibilities of Membership The membership is "encouraged" to participate in community operations and events. There are two Managers, one for property concerns and another for financial and administrative concerns, a Book-keeper/Administrative Assistant, full and part-time Maintenance Worker/Caretaker. The staff have an instrumental role in the operation of the community. Becoming a Member Membership selection is conducted by an application and interview process. Two participants from the Member Selection Committee interview all the candidate members over the age of 16 years. The interviewers give their recommendations to the other members of the Committee. The criteria for membership includes a commitment to co-op principles, support of the Oak Street Co-op vision statement, willingness to participate in the Co-op's 51 decision-making process, demonstration of financial responsibility, indication of long-term commitment, responsible tenancy, and a non-discriminatory disposition. Social Structure The vision statement of the community supports the concept of co-operation and a holistic operating perspective. "Oak Street will once again provide decent and affordable housing. But moreso, a sense of community - a co-operative community...The Oak Street Co-op will become a community with its own directions and aspirations. It will also be interdependent with its surrounding well-established community, as well as with the larger co-op movement." (Oak Street Co-operative Inc., 1995, pi 1) General Meetings are held once every two months. There are 7 elected members of the Board of Directors, half elected on alternate years. The Board meets twice a month, once to deal with membership issues, and again to deal with administration matters. There are also a number of committees. Some of the committees are staffed strictly by volunteers, such as the Gardening, Education, Security, Social Recreation Coordinator, Recycling, Newsletter, Member Selection and Finance committees. The volunteer staff of some of the committees are appointed by the Board. They include Member Relations (grievances) and On-Call Team (pager for emergencies). Each committee has operational guidelines. Approximately 50-60 members actively participate in Co-op affairs on a regular basis. Social Sustainability The needs of the community are communicated during the General Meetings, or directly to the various committees and staff. 52 A questionnaire was distributed in the spring of 1994 to better understand and address community issues and needs. The questionnaire touched on such topics as improved distribution of information, communication techniques, membership concerns and contentment's. The responses showed an interest in re-energizing the membership, more social activities, finding innovative ways of carrying out operational procedures, public information workshops and distribution of literature on a variety of general interest, health and safety issues. The membership has always been politically active in social justice issues as well as housing issues. Oak Street Co-op has a history of accommodating social service programs. For example, they have an arrangement with the Toronto Christian Resource Centre and provide homes for hard-to-house men. They also have designated units available for the Jesse Centre for Teenagers. The Co-op is also a Domestic Violence Free Zone. Exploring the idea of having a safe house network with other Co-operatives is in progress. The community is working to inhibit unwanted activities on-site with a range of activities, including the formation of a grass-roots security force and pumping classical music through the park. Environmental Sustainability The community has recycling and composting facilities. Economic Sustainability As the Co-op has recently approached the C M H C for more financial support, the C M H C has recently been involved in the management of the Co-op. Consequently, in order to secure financial stability, the Co-op has had to compromise on its ability to be self-directed. 53 Vacancies, and correcting the building deficiencies that have plagued the development since construction have been the most dominant issues affecting financial sustainability. Although the community has vacancy problems under control now, in the past 5 years, vacancies have cost the non-profit agency hundreds of thousands of dollars. The lucrative housing market is said to be mostly responsible for the loss of membership. The result is that the Co-op does not have any remaining cash reserves and is therefore hindered from investing more than voluntary human resources to improve the community structure. Urban Issues Because Oak Street is located in a crime-ridden urban neighbourhood, security is one of the most dominating issues. Prostitution and other street crimes are common in Regent Park. The problems in the surrounding neighbourhood are also necessarily the problems of the Co-op community. Living in the community has enabled the teens in the neighbourhood to have a refuge from the high crime rate of the surrounding neighbourhood. The Co-op is also recognized as a responsible and safe place by the surrounding community. Values The political values actively voiced by members of the community translate into a variety of innovative projects and programs which are incorporated into the operating structure of the Co-op. Some of these projects have been discussed in the Social Sustainability section of this listing. 54 3.2 United States of America 3.2.1 Lost Valley Educational Center(Oregon) Information Source Lost Valley Educational Center was visited in fall 1994. Although the entire community participated in conveying information, Dianne Brause was the main contact person. Pamphlets from the community were also used as a source of information. Location The Center is located 18 miles southeast of Eugene, Oregon. The surrounding environment is agricultural. Year and Circumstances of Establishment The Center was established in 1988 by a group of people from San Francisco, California who desired an alternative community structure. After a wide reaching search for an appropriate site, the group decided on Oregon because it was the most economically feasible and the property was equipped with many of the structures the group required to realize their vision. Formally, the land was owned and operated as a Christian summer camp. Classification The Centre is officially a not-for-profit organization. 55 Type of Accommodation The members who reside at Lost Valley year round are called "residents". Other community users include people who visit the International Youth Hostel, the Conference Centre and interns. Physical Environment The community is situated on 87 acres, much of it a recovering forest. Facilities include a Conference Centre, a dormitory-type lodge, a camping meadow, walking trails, a commercial kitchen and dining facility, an International Youth Hostel, a woodworking shop, and a community garden. The Center is a blend of public and private, urban and rural. Community members live in a variety of housing styles. There are cabins scattered on the land, a YURT, and the Youth Hostel. Meals are usually shared by the residents. The bathhouse is adjacent to the dining hall, and is also shared by the community. Most of the residences do not have cooking or bathing facilities. Number of Members There are approximately 13 adults and 13 children living at Lost Valley Educational Center. Additionally, non-resident members share operating expenses and some managerial decision-making. Nature of Membership In addition to the residents, there are often student interns who reside at Lost Valley from 1-4 months. All residents who work the required community hours, who contribute the allotted amount of fees per month, and who are accepted into the community are eligible to participate fully and equally. Visitors are also permitted to contribute in most community activities. 56 Age Distribution The residents range on age from 2 years to almost 60 years. Users include a variety of ages and religious or political affiliations. Responsibilities of Membership Members are expected to work 30 hours per week on community activities. Each adult member is assigned (by common agreement) a regular duty. In addition, the community works collectively to accomplish some of the duties. Becoming a Member The process for people who are interested in becoming members is fairly extensive. "This process is designed to ensure that people who join the community are compatible with our mission, goals, values and realities of community life." (Brochure on Lost Valley Education Center, 1994-95) The potential member is asked to fill out an application form describing their values and interests, experience living in communities, expectations, income sources, and skills. The potential resident then comes to live with the community for a three month period. Their presence and perspectives on the community are discussed openly and continually at the frequent community meetings. On or before the third month the potential resident member and community generally know how well the union will work and a consensual decision is made. Social Structure The resident members work the required 30 hours per week toward the operations of the community and Education Center. The adults are expected to contribute to the Education Center by planning, co-ordinating and/or teaching one or more of the educational seminars and workshops. For example, the topics of the workshops for 1994-95 include; Low-cost 57 Underground Housing, Building a Cob Oven, Canta Bella: Vocal and Harmony Empowerment Camp for Women, Responsible Tourism, Introduction to Permaculture and Solar Food Dryers, Ovens and Electricity. A group had also scheduled a 6 week silent meditation retreat at the Center in the spring of 1995. "Lost Valley Educational Center is an intentional community and learning center devoted to developing, both in ourselves and in those who come to us, the skills and awareness that will enable us to create sustainable lifestyles for ourselves and a sustainable future for all of us." (Brochure on Lost Valley Educational Center, Fall & Winter 1994-1995.) When expertise and training are required, residents are paid for their work if possible. The community hopes to generate enough income through the activities of the Education Center to provide staff incomes for everyone living in the community. Currently, the adults each pay 75 dollars per month toward food and accommodation. Parents determine and contribute the cost of food for the children. The community garden provides much of the community's fresh produce in season. The residents meet at least twice a week, once to discuss the administrative and operational issues, and again to discuss personal and emotional issues. As well, the residents usually collaborate on work projects. Most of the younger children are collectively home-schooled. Social Sustainability Although the community is situated in a rural setting, the intensity of the interaction and the continual influx of visitors to the Center gives it the vitality of an urban centre. The community has become, and continues to evolve into, a teaching and learning centre for both visitors and residents. As the community learns about new processes and technologies, they actively incorporate them into the operational structures. For example, attunement circles, experimental 58 inclusive decision-making processes, alternative architecture such as straw bale homes and renewable solar energy is being developed and practiced. Environmental Sustainability The community actively programs workshops that promote discussions and new technologies for ecological health and welfare. As well, the community is reforesting the land it occupies. Economic Sustainability By reducing the amount of living expenses required buy each resident, the community is trying to establish financial security for each individual. A range of entrepreneurial activities has helped to generate a stable source of income. The Youth Hostel, Educational Seminars and Workshops, grants and membership support, and resident's contributions provide relatively strong economic stability. Urban Issues The residents have indicated a desire to have more ready access to outside services. Currently, they must rely on private transportation to access these services. The residents are also expressing a will to obtain more privacy. The transition of residents in the recent past has created a need to focus inward to strengthen the community base. A constant flow of outside visitors enables the community to be exposed to and experience the perspectives of a broad range of people. However, with few indoor private places to retreat, the community is having difficult processing the experiences. Values Through an intense process of interaction and exposure, the residents of Lost Valley constantly challenge and test their values. The open-minded structure of the community has allowed for a range of experimental applications of values. 59 3.2.2 The Farm(Tennessee) Information Source The Farm was visited in the Spring of 1995. Two long-term residents were interviewed. Michael Amundson was one of the original "pioneers". Vicki Markain came to The Farm purposefully to deliver her child under the supervision of a professional mid-wife 9 years ago, and stayed. r Figure 7 - The Farm School Location The Farm, like Lost Valley Educational Center, is located in rural country, near a town called Summertown, south-central Tennessee. The area is predominantly agricultural. Year and Circumstances of Establishment The Farm originated as a commune in 1972 when a group of "hippies" followed Stephen Gaskin, a professor from the University of California at Berkeley, and left from San Francisco in a caravan of old school buses. "The Farm was born as a child of the Summer of Love, an exodus of the faithful from the Holy but Hung-up Hashbury to a groovier place to be." (Bates, Bull. Sci. Tech. Soc, pi83) The community began in a pioneering spirit, utilizing primitive technology; no electricity, spartan resources; basically their collective minds, bodies and spirits to survive. Though the 60 structure of community has been greatly altered, many of the current residents have the same ideals of living alternatively as the original settlers. Classification The Farm is still officially registered as a church, though it operates as a co-operative. Type of Accommodation Residents of the Farm contribute a monthly income based on the square footage of their house and number of occupants. The residents are responsible for the maintenance of their own residence. Physical Environment The community is on 760 acres of rolling fields and forest. A variety of housing is located on-site. Some of the residences are occupied, others are abandoned, while most have been demolished. What remains is an eclectic assortment of shacks, make-shift buildings, and modern buildings, some incorporated with solar technology. The residences are mostly single detached houses, though some multi-use buildings also include housing. A solar schoolhouse is located on-site, as well as a growing eco-village project. Other facilities include a Gate house where information is distributed and visitors register, a campground for visitors, an apple orchard, a grape vineyard, a cemetery, a swimming hole, a general store, fields for hay, small industrial factories and warehouses for various commercial operations. The buses that were originally used to deliver the first community members can still be seen. Some buses were buried, their south sides exposed to the sun, and used as the original homes. Others were parked side by side to extend the size of the living quarters. The buses are not used 61 today, but lie as monumental reminders of the pioneering spirit that came to be known as "the juice". Number of Members The community grew from the original 300 people in 1972, to approximately 1400 in 1980. Over 4000 people lived in the community at one time or other in the first ten years. Currently, approximately 320 people reside at the Farm. Nature of Membership All residents of the Farm are equal. The over-riding rule governing the member's behaviour is strict non-violence. The children and youth are particularly active in community life. Age Distribution The Farm is celebrated for advancing mid-wifery. Consequently, young children are omni-present. Some of the original pioneers, who are now over 45, still live at the Farm. There is a wide age range of residents and visitors who interact in the community. Responsibilities of Membership Residents of the Farm are encouraged to participate in community activities. There are no contribution requirements beyond the monthly financial contributions. Becoming a Member There does not seem to be a membership selection as such. The Farm lost many residents because of the structural changes to the social system- the switch from a commune to a co-operative. New members are asked to partake in a trial residency period before corrimitting to become a permanent member. New residents must also provide their own shelter. 62 Social Sustainability The Farm environment is evidently a productive conduit for social and technological discovery. The Farm is a community where ideals can find expression in daily life. The community... "...has pioneered in the fields of midwifery, soy technology, Third World relief, solar energy, and co-operative living." (Communities Directory, 1995, p247) A l l these fields contribute to a sustainable society. As well, clusters of residents who live in close proximity to each other interact on a regular basis. Many of the residents also work at the Farm and consequently share additional time together. Environmental Sustainability The eco-village uses alternative technologies and designs that have been conceived in the community, to provide a living example of how to live lightly on the earth. The book publishing company specializes in publishing information about alternative living and energy conservation The crops grown on the Farm are organic, and the industries are responsibly selected and conducted. . _ „ . Figure 8-Solar Shower, a product of The Farm Economic Sustainability b The community markets solar technology products as well as products from for soy, mushroom, and book publishing industries. 63 Urban Issues The Farm is a rural community and has been included because it was at one time relatively densely populated. Additionally, the Farm receives thousands of visitors per year, the community has an outward operating philosophy, and some of the residents work regularly outside the community. A l l these circumstances increase the opportunity for concentrated interaction at the Farm. Values Throughout the history of the Farm leading up to present activities, and members of this community have translated their values into practice, regardless of how unconventional or counter-culture. The mid-wifery clinic, P L E N T Y - a third world relief agency, and the recently established eco-village testify to the value-based activities of the community. 3.2.3 Arcosanti(Arizona) Source of Information Information gathered about Arcosanti came from an organized tour, conversations with community member architectural literature, and information brochures distributed by the community Location F i § u r e 9 " Arcosanti Arcosanti is being built on 860 acres of high desert, 70 miles north of Phoenix in Arizona. 64 Year and Circumstances of Establishment Arcosanti is being developed as an "urban laboratory". It was originally established in 1970 as the brainchild of artist/architect, Paolo Soleri. It is still essentially accredited to and driven by Soleri himself. Classification The project is operated as a no-for-profit Foundation. Type of Accommodation The residents pay a monthly fee to reside in the community and partake in the community building process. Physical Environment Although the entire site is large, the community is intentionally situated on a small portion of the land. An additional 3200 acres are leased by the Cosanti foundation as a preserve, dedicated to food production, recreation and wildlife. The surrounding environment is visually barren. The overall design of Arcosanti follows Soleri's philosophy that healthy human settlements are "concentrated". The development is consequently mixed-use and dense. The backyards of some of the units, for example, are incorporated into an amphitheater, while others combine long-term residences and industry. An assortment of pathways move pedestrian traffic only through the development. Most of the buildings have been fabricated from concrete formed from earthen molds. The texture and design of many buildings are organic, shaped in irregular configurations, and coloured in the same tones as the indigenous environment. Passive solar and wind technologies have been incorporated into the design. 65 Future plans for the community include an extensive greenhouse development, a multi-million dollar alternative energy plant supported by the Department of Energy, and a high-rise residential building. Number of Members Arcosanti is a community building project aspiring to reach a population of between 3000 and 5000 people. The relatively incomplete community currently has between 60-75 full-time residents and interns; including Soleri himself. Nature of Membership The Foundation members basically govern the course of the development. The Residential Association can submit design proposals to the Foundation for consideration. All residents partake in the operation and physical construction of the community. Age Distribution The vast majority of the residents are in their twenties and early thirties. Few children of elders live in the community full-time. Responsibilities of Membership Members must contribute their term fees and participate in the construction activities. Participation in the Resident's Association is voluntary. Becoming a Member Membership is determined by payment of fees and commitment to the "arcology" building process. 66 Social Structure The Residential Association accomplishes the community goals during the course of developing the project. In the past, community members have had a difficult time having their needs addressed by the Foundation. Like The Farm, Arcosanti is a community experiment intended to provide an alternative to mainstream social and physical form. The focus of development at Arcosanti, is on the physical form and how form impacts the natural and cultural environments, or "arcology". "Arcology is a term coined by Paolo Soleri to describe the concept of architecture and ecology working as one integral process to produce new urban habitats."(Brochure on Arcosanti and Cosanti) The community is governed by the Cosanti Foundation, chaired by Soleri. The buildings are designed by Soleri and his staff, who report to the Foundation. The members of the community contribute to the construction of the buildings, public education, and the crafting "Cause" or "Wind" bells at the Foundry. The Foundation's development process is focused on constructing the physical structures, improving the infrastructure, and raising the profile of the eventual end community product. Although the community has a master plan and model, it is being modified as funds for construction slowly materialize. The pace of development is largely determined by the available funds. Social Sustainability Only recently has an actual community at Arcosanti emerged, consisting of longer term residents and supported by the more transient school term residents. Part of the reason why people do not 67 return once they have finished school, or non-student new-comers do not stay for an extended time, may be the quality of accommodations available. "It is not a commune for a few dozen dropouts being built, but an "arcology" planned to house no less than three thousand inhabitants. Who these may be is unclear, but they will not be the builders, who will return to their colleges at summer's end. Meanwhile, they live in concrete boxes, cubes twelve feet on a side, with porthole windows." (Jencks, Chaitkin, 1982, p284) Environmental Sustainability The mission of Arcosanti, through the principles of arcology, is to develop an ecologically responsible community. Indigenous materials, on-site food production and energy generation, minimal urban sprawl, and restricted use of automotive transportation are components of the arcology design. Economic Sustainability Funds are derived through a diversity of sources, including donations, the sale of the bells as well as other Soleri art, visitor fees, grants and residence fees. The residents also have opportunities for salaried employment in the community. Urban Issues As discussed in the chapter Exploring Definitions, Soleri is an advocate for urban vitality. Welcoming visitors, providing a range of residency opportunities, concentrating the physical structures and providing opportunities for mixed use are all strategies for increasing the vitality of the community. Values Soleri's values are forming the physical fabric of Arcosanti. The values of the Association of Residents are becoming more prominently addressed. 68 3.2.4 Taos Pueblo(New Mexico) Information Source Taos Pueblo was visited in the fall of 1994. Information was obtain while participating in one of the public tours and speaking further to the guide and other Village residents. Public literature was also consulted. Location Figure 10 - Taos Pueblo "Hlaukwima" Taos Pueblo is located 70 miles north of Sante Fe, New Mexico. The Pueblo is adjacent to the Town of Taos, a popular art-based community. Year and Circumstances of Establishment Probably built nearly 1000 years ago, Taos Pueblo Village is one of the oldest surviving, relatively unchanged communities in North America. It was established by Hopi Indians who were practicing agrarianism- self-sustaining agriculture. (Jencks, Chaitkin, 1982, p226) Classification The Pueblo is located on an Indian Reserve. It is administered as a traditional Indian Village. Type of Accommodation Most of the dwellings are single or two room occupancy. The residents are bequeathed the dwellings from their ancestors. 69 Physical Environment "The two structures called Hlauuma (north house) and Hlaukwima (south house)...are said to be the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the USA." (Brochure on Taos Pueblo-Answers to Questions About Taos Pueblo) The Pueblo village is separated from the remaining 95,000 acres of Taos Pueblo lands by an adobe wall. Within the wall is a series of cubist buildings, some of which are stacked 4 units high. The structures are made from adobe clay, and have been outfitted with windows and doors. Narrow alleys and roadways wind between the dwellings. Some of the Village roads and paths are restricted for the use of local residents only. A large area used for ceremonies and visitor parking is located in the middle of the community. A small river flows through the central area , from the nearby mountains. The river is the source of the drinking water, and the mountains, or "wilderness" is the source of some food. Facilities that exist within the walls of the Pueblo Village include a Catholic church, some ceremonial Kiva's, several small arts, crafts and food stores, the main ceremonial square, a fresh water stream from where the Villagers carry their water, and a cemetery. There is also a medical clinic, staffed by doctors who are employed by the Department of Indian Affairs. Outside the village walls but still within the Taos Pueblo lands are modern homes, typically single-family and detached. These homes are also occupied by Taos Native Indians. In fact, most of the residents of the Village dwellings also own and occupy conventional homes outside the Village walls. Some village dwellings are used for ceremonial purposes only. The area of the Pueblo of interest to this study is the Village. 70 Number of Members Approximately 150 people live at least part-time within the walls of the old Pueblo village. The Village is also used by the entire Taos Pueblo Indian population. Nature of Membership Members are born into the Taos Indian people. Heirs of the Village dwellings are willed the right to use the space. Age Distribution The Village residents are primarily adults. The primitive conditions of the dwellings discourage very young and elder people from using the space comfortably. Responsibilities of Membership The dwelling owners are responsible for their own property maintenance and must comply with Village traditions. Becoming a Member It is not possible to become a member of the Taos Indian people outside of birth. However, the public is welcomed to participate in many of the Village ceremonies throughout the year. Social Structure The governing structure of the Pueblo is patriarchal. A Tribal Governor, War Chief and their staff are appointed yearly by the Tribal Council, a group of approximately 50 male elders. The Tribal Governor and his staff are concerned with civil and business issues within the Village. The Pueblo has a centralized management system where tribal members are employed in a variety of occupations. 71 The Pueblo Village organizes regular public education tours for visitors from outside the Pueblo. These tours are well attended and provide additional income for the Taos people. Owing to tradition, there are strict regulations guiding the activities that occur in the Village. For example, no electricity or running water is permitted within the Pueblo walls. Decisions carefully follow the established doctrines of traditional order. The Villagers who reside year round in their abode homes have a firm coinmitment to the traditions of their ancestors. They accept the restrictions of living simply and without many of the modern conveniences available to dwellings outside the Village wall. When speaking about their decision to remain residents in the Village, they speak of the wisdom of their ancestors, about keeping the integrity of the Taos traditions alive, about the responsibility and honour of being a Village resident, about spirituality linked to respecting the ecosystem, and about family loyalty and pride. Social Sustainability Probably the single most important characteristic that perpetuates the community is a commitment to maintain the traditional social structure. Recently however modern issues have arisen that focus on gender equality and the desire to incorporate modern technologies into the Village dwellings. These sentiments are a direct challenge to the traditional ways. Because of the increased burden which accompanies primitive living and the intimacy that occurs when living in close proximity of other people, the Village members tend to interact and help each other frequently. The Village is coveted for its spiritual importance. As well, the international recognition which the community enjoys provides opportunities for economic prosperity. 72 Environmental Sustainability The Taos people have traditionally shown respect and appreciation toward "mother earth". Consequently, their lifestyle, as demonstrated by the resistance to modernize the Village dwellings, and the physical form of the community is designed to minimize the detrimental impact of people in the environment. Economic Sustainability Many of the Village residents make their living from the sale of traditional art and food. Also, visitors fees cover much of the operating expenses. Many Village residents work in the nearby town of Taos. Urban Issues The multitude of visitors and proximity to the town of Taos ensures opportunities of vitality and diversity in culture and values. Values The customs of the people who live in the Village closely represents their values. The values of the Taos people are well established. Some Village residents respectfully believe the values should modernize. There is however an appreciation of the origins and purpose for the values. 73 3.3 Scandinavia: Information Source Cornmunities in Denmark and Sweden were visited as a field study, May-June 1993. In most cases, local officials were contacted prior to leaving on the trip. The local contacts provided personal tours of the communities and provided introductions to some of the residents and other community leaders. Thirteen communities were visited in all. Four are represented here. In Denmark, operative communities began taking the form of co-housing, which is a vehicle for operative community structure, in the 1960's. "At that time, new attitudes toward design placed residents in a position of responsibility concerning their housing. The Danish Building Research Institute declared "Dwellings and cities must be administered by the people who live in them. Decisions in connection with programming, projecting, daily functioning, and reshaping must, to the widest possible extent, be made by the inhabitants themselves." (Fromm, 1991, pi9) The Danes were in a position to enact that declaration since the Danish national housing policy, through the General Federation of Danish Housing Associations, has traditionally left the responsibility of determining housing requirements to the individual Housing Associations. (International Labour Office, 1964, pp36-38) The Danish government has also provided tremendous support to housing projects. In the same way, Sweden, via an organization known as Hyresgasternas Sparkasse - oche Byggnadsfonening (HSB), also encourages localized housing development. (Ibid, pi6) 74 3.3.1 Galgebakken( Denmark) Location Galgebakken is located 30 kms west of Copenhagen in the suburb of Albertslund. There are farm fields, other community developments, and commercial outlets surrounding Galgebakken. Year and Circumstances of Establishment F i S u r e 1 1 " Galgebakken "Skraent" Galgebakken was constructed in 1974 after a lengthy public consultation process which was initiated by employees of the local correctional institute. Classification The community is officially a co-operative. Type of Accommodation The accommodation is rented at market value. A membership deposit is required at the outset. There are a variety of unit sizes. Each resident family pays a rental fee according to the square footage of their unit. Physical Environment Galgebakken is a large community with a total of 750 units. The plan has been designed around the 'skraent' or pedestrian laneway, of which there are 52. Each skraent has a variety of rental unit sizes, ranging in size from bachelor/studio units to 3 bedroom suites. The buildings are split level row housing, the front yards of which are accessed by the skraent and are partially concealed by a separate storage shed. Inside, the units are efficiently designed. 75 For example the 3 bedroom units have approximately 750 square feet of living space, yet feel roomy. An open plan and high ceilings help to provide a sense of airiness. There is a bike maintenance shop, a laundry facility that is scheduled to use recycled gray water, and a community house. There are also transitional apartments, one room occupancy living quarters which are available to people who are recently separated, young adults who require their own space etc. No cars are permitted in the laneway, but parking areas are located in close proximity to each skraent. T Figure 12 - Galgebakken Transition Apartment Age Distribution Members who reside in the community range in age from infants to elders. There is an abundance of children living in the community. Responsibilities of Membership Members are encouraged to participate in community affairs. Members of each skraent are responsible for the maintenance of their own lane. 76 Becoming a Member There is a waiting list to become members of the community. The process involves submitting an application and attending an interview with the Selection Committee. Social Structure The community is managed by a Danish social housing company. The social structure of Galgebakken is fashioned around the skraents. Each skraent is organized as a sub-community and is responsible for the grounds maintenance in the laneways. A grounds keeper is employed to maintain areas outside the skraents, although members are encouraged and do participate in the overall grounds maintenance. The members of each skraent, or laneway generally have frequent social gatherings, and share work projects. The community has a Board of Directors consisting of 12 people, and General Meetings held 4 times annually. Social Sustainability Galgebakken has been designed and adapted to consider the various lifecycles of the residents and to nurture a sense of community ownership. "It has been an important feature of the design of this estate that each dwelling unit should be capable of being adapted to the requirements of different types of families and that the residents should be able to fashion the immediate surrounding to their own taste. In addition, it was desired to provide facilities for developing a community spirit, within the different groups of dwellings as well as in the estate as a whole." (Arkitektur D K 3, 1974) There is a prevailing sentiment amongst the residents that the population of Galgebakken is too large. The sense of community in the skraents is much stronger than that of the entire 77 development. The inhabitants interact more, share the responsibility of the grounds maintenance and other community work. Twenty five percent of the residents have virtually no activity outside of the immediate community since most domestic and other services are attainable within the community. There was once a cafe in which a group of residents would prepare meals. It not longer exists because of lack of patronization by the community. Environmental Sustainability The residents continually work toward reducing their resource consumption. In fact, the energy consumption at Galgebakken dropped so substantially when the community began to directly share the cost of hydro that the utility company called to check that everything was operating properly. Solar collectors are not permitted in the municipality because the utility company wants to maintain a monopoly to keep prices down. A water purification system is being tested on-site, a project initiated by the Green Council of the community and supported by the local municipality. Composting and recycling are undertaken on a community-wide level. Economic Sustainability Each family or single adult is required to seek their own employment. Most of the population who work outside the home transit into Copenhagen by bike or commuter train. The community is financially secure because of the income generated through monthly rental fees. 78 Urban Issues Because of its close proximity to Copenhagen, and access to other bustling commercial centres and services, Galgebakken is considerably pedestrian active. Values The Danes are very vocal about their values. Galgebakken has an active resident population, and values are translated into the social and physical fabric of the community. The ecological initiatives that were described earlier, regular social gatherings, such as Sunday afternoon soccer games, Saturday evening skraent-based dinners, and a community wide child care facility that is supported and maintained by resident parents. 3.3.2 Tinggarden(Denmark) Location Tinggarden is located south of Copenhagen in Herf0lge. Year and Circumstances of Establishment The process of designing Tinggarden was initiated in 1971 as a national design competition in Denmark and took six years to complete. The winning entrant, a company by F i g u r e B _ T i n g g a r d e n the name of Vandkunsten, then went on to design Tinggarden via a process of public participation with potential residents. Tinggarden was built in two phases. The first phase was completed in 1979, and second phase was completed in 1984. 79 Classification Tinggarden is a private cohousing development that is managed in consultation with the residents. Type of Accommodation The units are rented at market value or slightly higher. "Tinggarden is generally recognized as the first rental cohousing development, and as one of the best examples of government-subsidized nonprofit housing." (McCaniant, Durrett, 1989, pl41) There are a variety of accommodations at Tinggarden. As well, the floor plans are flexible in that they can be expanded and reduced in size. Physical Environment Tinggarden 1 has 76 units divided into six clusters of 12-15 units. There are 16 supplementary rooms in the flexible floor plan. Each cluster has a common house, facilitated with laundry, community cooking and dining, playroom and lounge. There is also a larger community centre, servicing the entire phase of the community. Tinggarden 2 has 76 units and 14 supplementary rooms. A service road is available to access the units, but parking is segregated from the living environment. Members essentially live privately, though some interaction does occur on informal and formal levels. The units are self-contained though smaller than housing without the quantity of common indoor spaces that is featured at Tinggarden. The occupants rent the units at slightly higher than market rates. Apparently, the location is desirable - close to Copenhagen for commuting purposes - and the development pleasant 80 enough that filling vacancies is not a problem. Rather than maintain their own grounds, the members have opted to hire a full-time grounds-keeper at a higher cost of living. The supplementary rooms have access doors that open into two separate dwellings and can be adopted by either unit. Number of Members The number of residents living in the entire community is approximately 250. Nature of Membership Adults are eligible to participate in the decision-making process. Age Distribution The community contains a relatively even division of age groups. Responsibilities of Membership The members are responsible to pay their monthly fees and are encouraged to maintain the property around their residence. Becoming a Member There is a waiting list to become a member of Tinggarden, perhaps owing to the relatively close distance to Copenhagen. Potential new members are asked to submit an application, and they are selected according to the availability of their requirements and their willingness to comply to the community rules and regulations. 81 Social Structure The project was designed and operates as public rental housing with emphasis on the collective living forms and on community living. General Meetings are held to provide direction to the employed management team and to ensure the needs of the community members are being met. Social Sustainability Although the membership includes the entire community, residents of Tinggarden 1 and Tinggarden 2 live independently from each other. A rivalry exists between the two phases of development, which sometimes causes animosity. Conflicts generally centre around the allocation of resources. Community participation is low at Tinggarden, though the members have a great deal of pride in the community. The residents generally do not use the common houses for shared meals. The adaptable floor plan enables the needs of a variety of family sizes and lifecycles to be met. Environmental Sustainability Two unique features of Tinggarden relating to ecologically responsible design centres around alternative and renewable energy sources. The first is solar panels on each of the common houses. The second is a central straw-fueled heater. The heater is efficient, inexpensive clean burning and the fuel grows nearby. 82 Economic Sustainability Members of the community are responsible for generating there own income and support services. The community is entirely reliant on the rents of the occupants for meeting operating expenses. Urban Issues The close proximity of the community to Copenhagen provides an urban element to the community. Values Community values are encouraged but not heavily expressed in the social structure of Tinggarden. . Slottit (Sweden) Location Slottit is located in Lund, Sweden. Year and Circumstances of Establishment The building was formally an abandoned and run-down apartment building. A group of ° future residents bought the building from the city and converted it into co-housing condominiums. The group of interested residents, mostly professionals, were assembled via a list posted at the municipality in 1983, the year Slottit community was established. 83 Classification Slottit is regarded as strata condominiums by the municipality. Type of Accommodation The occupants of Slottit own their individual units and pay a minor maintenance fee to support the cost of build and grounds maintenance. The occupants have determined the size and configuration of their own units. The units vary in size. Physical Environment There are 16 units in the building occupied by Slottit. Each unit has 1-6 rooms. There are 5 additional rooms for guest occupancy. Slottit is located in a brick heritage 4 storey walk-up building. Facilities include a common kitchen, sauna room, T.V. room, music room, games room, common room, roof-top deck and laundry. Each unit is equipped with a full kitchen, living, dining and bedroom space. The renovations were supervised by professional architects and contractors, most of whom eventually moved into the community. A courtyard is shared with an adjacent senior citizens residence Number of Members There are approximately 30 people living at Slottit. Nature of Membership Each resident is an equal partner in the operational decision-making process. Age Distribution The members of the community range widely in age, though most are between 30 and 50 years old. 84 Responsibilities of Membership The adults take responsibility for the maintenance of the property. Becoming a Member The units are market valued. New members would need to purchase the units and comply with strata regulations, including contributing to property maintenance. Social Structure Common dinners are prepared by the residents on a rotating basis 4 times per week. As well, meetings are conducted regularly to address operational issues and membership needs. The community members also meet informally for social occasions. A co-op food and supply store is located in the basement, enabling residents to buy in bulk. The store stocks such goods as food staples and soaps. Social Sustainability The emphasis of the social organization within the community is toward cultural enhancement. One of the projects jointly accomplished for example was the painting of doors in the common areas by residents, with various designs and mosaics. Music is shared among members and movie nights are held in the common lounge. Each member has contributed to the furnishing of the common areas. The common kitchen for example has an assortment of personal items, the result being a cosy and practical work and dining space. Members also show great pride and ownership in their common spaces. 85 Environmental Sustainability No notable initiatives regarding ecological concerns were noticed or spoken of during the visit, nor were any listed in the documentation. Economic Sustainability Initially renovating the building was cost-effective because the future residents were able to utilize their own knowledge and expertise. Eating common meals has reduced the cost of living. Organizing a store room has also reduced the cost of living. Otherwise, the residents are responsible for generating their own income. Urban Issues The community is located in the heart of Lund, itself a vibrant city. The level opportunity to interact with others is therefore considerable. Within the community, the amount of social interaction and exchange is also considerable owing to the abundance of well used common spaces. Values The values of the residents are evident in the aesthetic appearance and form of the community, the acoustical sounds that filter from the various units, the gregarious and mutually expressions of greetings, and the commitment to remain socially active. Values are openly expressed at Slottit, and everything seems deliberately self-organized. 86 3.2.4 Solby(Sweden) Location Translated in English as Sun Village, Solby is located twenty minutes by regional bike path from Lund, Sweden. The community is surrounded by agricultural fields. It was one of the first eco-villages in Sweden. Figure 15 - Solby Year and Circumstances of Establishment The project was started in 1987 by ecologically conscious people who wanted to inhabit affordable and ethical housing while saving for their own property. They desired to be more self-sufficient. Because of construction practicalities and economic considerations, the full vision of the project was not realized. Classification The community was financed and is managed by HSB. The community operates as a co-operative. Type of Accommodation The units are rented at market value. 87 Physical Environment There are 50 apartments arranged in rows of townhouses on-site. Each row of houses is placed slightly higher up a gradual south facing slope. The buildings were erected too close together to maximize the full potential of the passive and active solar design. The rows are in the shadow of their adjacent neighbours to the south. Most of the units at Solbyn are two bedroom dwellings. When the community was established, the members were predominantly single. The current demand in the community is for family housing. Therefore the dwellings are not large enough to fully accommodate the needs of the members. There is a co-operative daycare and laundry facility located in the common house. Number of Members There are approximately 150 people residing in the community. Nature of Membership Adult members are eligible to participate in the decision-making process. Age Distribution Young families currently dominate the demographics of Solby. Responsibilities of Membership Each member is encouraged to participate in the decision-making process. Additionally, each member is encouraged to participate in the maintenance of the community garden. 88 The common house, used as a daycare facility during the day, is cleaned by two couples (who are parents) every weekday. Parents are generally scheduled to clean for one week every 5 weeks. Social Structure The community meets every two months to discuss community related issues and make community decisions. The group tries to operate with consensus, but that is not always possible. Conflicts are mediated by other members of the community. Social Sustainability Residents of Solby were described as very busy by the person interviewed, due in part to an abundance of small children and working parents. The opportunities to gather generally focuses around children. Environmental Sustainability There are several ecological features incorporated into the design of the community. Some of the units have compost toilets. Even those that are facilitated with compost toilets however are connected to the main sewer line. There are earth cellars, in which vegetable produce from the community garden is stored. All the trees on-site are fruit bearing, and the community garden, divided into plots, is adjacent to the dwellings. The surrounding environment has some forested trails. Parking is segregated from the units and a paved bike path provides an efficient route to the city of Lund. There were some concerns that the community was far enough away from the city to render the bike trip unreasonable on a daily basis, particularly with children present. 89 Economic Sustainability The residents are required to generate their own income. The cost of the units are expensive enough to warrant at least one person per family working full-time outside the community. Urban Issues Some of the resident members, particularly those who live and work out of the home, feel secluded. While the city is relatively close, the effort to access it is difficult without a car, particularly when the weather is inclement. Values The values of the community are firmly planted in ecological sensitivity, a fact that is facilitated by the physical infrastructure. The values stemming from social and economic ideals are less easily achieved by the community because the members are extremely busy and find it difficult to arrange joint collaborations. 90 4. Analysis After investigating the case study communities it is time to revisit the questions "What are the components of an operative community?", "How are these components manifested by the communities?, and "To what effect?" The data collected for this thesis reinforces the premise that an operative community is the totality of many intertwined concepts. The individual communities included in this study are actively and intentionally pursuing at least some of the components that are engendered in the definition of operative communities, namely co-operation, resident-controlled inclusive participation, ecological, economic, and social sustainability, localization and urbanity, and the formulation and application of personal values. As well, each component nourishes and perpetuates the others. Three explanations come to mind regarding why there is a divergence in operating structures between the communities. First, there is a difference in social, ecological and economic environments between the communities. Second, the range and availability of resources, such as human expertise and natural assets, within and around the communities vary widely. Finally, the pluralistic fabric of the community membership produces a diversity of interests and values, on which the concepts are cultivated. These explanations will become clear as the concepts are explored using the various communities as case studies. Community structures are continually modified in order to meet the needs of the membership. The members of operative communities actively and continually search for new ways to improve their social structure and physical form. The communities are informed about alternative structures and forms in two distinct ways; i) by experimentation, utilizing the wisdom and resourcefulness of local community members; and 91 ii) through outreaching, by discoursing with other communities and agencies to gain from their wisdom and resourcefulness; The support available for communities in Canada, particularly by government agencies such as C M H C and the Ministries responsible for social services and health, was once considered forthcoming, and is now viewed as diminishing and restrictive. Some members of Canadian communities have observed less stability in the past 8 to 10 years as a result of reduced government grants and subsidies. Also the lucrative real estate market in Canada between 1989 and 1992 has attracted the interest and investments of former community members. Canadian communities are now struggling to meet financial obligations, maintain growth, control vacancies and resolve member apathy. In the United States, the situation is slightly different. The communities that were visited are generally private enterprises that do not rely on the public purse for support. Commodities and services are instead offered by the community. Donations are also solicited and accepted. The focus of survival for communities in the U.S. is largely on the entrepreneurial spirit, a reality that existed several years ago as confirmed by the International Labour Office. "A feature of American housing co-operatives has been their tendency to seek financial aid for building projects from private bodies in the first instance." (International Labour Office, 1964, pi 12) Organized pay tours (Taos Pueblo and Arcosanti) or the exploiting of a unique natural or social phenomenon that may exist in the community are tools that generate support and financial income. Some projects receive government support, such as the new energy generating plant that will be installed at Arcosanti, or the support of the Department of Indian Affairs at Taos Pueblo. All the communities visited in the U.S. had a community business 92 that generated money for the community as a whole, rather than solely to individual members. The Scandinavian communities are financially and managerial supported by government and private agencies. In fact, social housing projects are supported by the government over other projects for new development. There is a demand for space in social housing developments by Danes and Swedes because the developments are high quality, resident-controlled and usually well designed, efficiently managed, within close proximity to vital amenities, and usually reasonably priced. The residences are not located in marginal areas. Too, the average citizen can not afford to buy real estate in the major urban areas of Denmark and Sweden unless they are part of a collective purchase. One of the most notable differences between Canadian and Scandinavian communities is in the mind-set of their members; Generally, Scandinavians regularly take more of an active role in the local decision-making process, a phenomenon that will be discussed later. For this analysis, the components of community that were listed and defined earlier as being crucial will be used to order the discussion their applicability and manifestation. The "communities" referred to in this chapter are those listed in the previous chapter. 4.1 Co-operation From the information collected, it is apparent that community success in Canada generally requires co-operation and commitment on the part of the members, the general public and particularly the support of government agencies. Communities in Canada are vulnerable because they are susceptible to reductions in co-operation from the outside, especially government funding. 93 The level of community voluntarism in Canadian communities is generally wavering. As predicted, the reduction in the amount of co-operation has had a direct impact on the realization of the other community components, such as inclusive participation, sustainability, and the levels with which the values of the members are reflected in the operating procedures of the community. In the past, co-operation has resulted in the advancement of significant projects in the communities. These projects range in scope from the actual creation of the community in the beginning, to consensually agree upon major policy changes. The depth and persistence of the co-operative effort in some of the more unconventional communities is most extraordinary. Community Alternatives Co-op for example was created against formidable odds, since by design it physically and socially challenged conventional wisdom. The commitment of the original members to work together voluntarily toward a mutually beneficial project that was an expression of their collective values was substantial. The result is a uniquely structured community that requires the continued and active commitment and co-operation of its membership for survival. Not surprisingly, Community Alternatives Co-op was one of the most operative communities visited. The Farm and Lost Valley Educational Center are also examples of communities that have •*> illustrated major advances through co-operative efforts. The Farm underwent a major restructuring at the beginning of the last decade in response to shifting social and economic needs. The community went through a difficult but necessary process of collectively re-establishing individual membership responsibility. The process was conducted co-operatively in order to ensure that opinions of all the remaining members were represented and complied with. 94 Co-operation is also prevalent within the communities where resources are shared intensively and efficiently. The members of Kitsun Co-op and Slottit, for example, have allocated times to each unit for laundering clothes. Instead of purchasing more washers/dryers to meet the community needs at peak demand in an arbitrary system of laundering, the demand is spread out. The co-ordinated times are mutually agreed upon and are voluntarily observed, with some flexibility. Other resources that are shared within communities include food growing, food and grocery stores, food preparation facilities, transportation, childcare, energy fuel, meeting spaces, recreational facilities, membership knowledge and skills, woodworking shops, community governance, and income. By co-operating, the community can conserve resources and engage in a participatory operation. 4.2 Inclusive Participation The amount of participation within the communities that were visited for this study varies. Also, the level of community participation has fluctuated over time. Authentic inclusive participation does not often occur, but participation on the whole is relatively high within communities. Participation is typically manifested both formally and informally at General Meetings, Committee and Board meetings, at sub-community meetings, during community celebrations and gatherings such as meals and ceremonies, during work projects and between members and staff. Participation includes attendance at meetings and gatherings, as well as partaking in discussions and the decision-making process. "Good meetings are ones where people leave feeling satisfied and look forward to the next one, where people who needed to be there were there and even arrived on time, where everyone stayed until the end, where clear-cut decisions were made, where feelings could be aired, and where 95 conflict was dealt with rather than avoided without the group self-destructing, and where participants felt rewarded for their contributions." (Jones, 1979, p27) There was a great deal of animosity expressed when larger group meetings were present. Larger communities such as Oak Street Co-op, Galgebakken and Bain Street Co-op seem to have difficulty achieving inclusive participation at General Meetings. The intricacies of an inclusive participatory social structure for a larger community is apparently difficult to manage. Instead, responsibility for decision-making that direcdy impacts the entire community is usually apportioned to a hierarchy of governing groups. The structure of decision-making is intended to be representative. The members that choose to be represented in the decision making process are involved in the election and/or appointment of community representatives. Oak Street Co-op, for example, has a hierarchy that includes three mandated decision-making "institutions" within the overall community organization, plus the general membership. The decision-making bodies include the Board, the various Committees, and the Staff. The general membership informs the decision-making process either at General Meetings, or with individual submissions to the Board, Committees or Staff. Other larger communities, such as Bain Street Co-op, Community Alternatives and Galgebakken have similar arrangements. Each Board is meant to be representative of the community, and is given the power to determine major decisions, in a manner similar to that which Folkman advocates. The Board usually reports to the membership at the General Meetings. In the larger communities however, attendance at the General Meetings is 50% or less of the total community population. The result is that the decisions are made by the Board and are not necessarily addressed and/or endorsed by the general membership. 96 In communities such as Lost Valley Educational Center and Community Alternatives Co-op, the option of participating in community meetings and gatherings is heavily encouraged and supported within the structure of the organization. The value of meeting and inclusively participating in the decision-making process is understood as one of the fundamental responsibilities of the individual members - important to living harmoniously together - and the responsibility is taken seriously by most members. Since the community members share a significant portion of their professional and person experiences, meetings and gatherings are important to maintain a high level of synchronous activities within these communities. General Meetings are held at all communities and are open to all community members. Since the entire community is invited, General Meetings are potentially good forums for inclusive participation. As mentioned however, the level of participation at General Meetings is quite low. Bain Street Co-op, for example, has difficulty reaching a quorum of 25 people in which four to five hundred adults are eligible to vote. Kitsun Co-op, Tinggarden and Oak Street Co-op are other communities that have wavering levels of participation. Because the units in each of these communities are designed to be self-contained, members are able to live autonomously. The incentive to participate more actively in community affairs is reduced because each member is able to realize their own needs independently, from others. The structure of community meetings influences the effectiveness of the decision-making process. Communities that have flexible or dynamic meeting formats tend to generate more interest and participation by members. The General Meetings at Bain Street Co-op are described as pitting community members against each other. The dynamics at these meetings have apparently dissuaded members from attending. Meetings that are adversarial in nature foster polar views within the community. Community members who do not participate in community affairs are generally less informed about community issues. The combination of polar views and member apathy tends to precipitate social unrest and instability. The 97 structure of informal meetings are sometimes more conducive to allowing people to be understood and supported, and are consequently better attended. Membership apathy is particularly less apparent in communities that are smaller, or ones that are organized to involve a smaller number of community members at operational meetings. "Charles Darwin once observed that there was a tendency for all living things to advance in complexity of organization. His prophecy seems to be especially true of social systems. Our nations, our cities, our corporations, our school systems, our health systems, and our governments all seem to be growing larger and in the process becoming more complex. As a consequence, policymakers are placed in a virtual race against Parkinson's third law: Expansion leads to complexity. Complexity leads to decay. Thus the more complex, the sooner the dead." (Mason, Mitroff, 1982 , p5) Community social structures resist this tendency to advance in complexity of organizations. They often disintegrate first. Committees, sub-groups and informal interaction are examples of community gatherings that occur at smaller scales. At these levels, membership responsibility and involvement is often more direct and accountable. The "clustered" units at Bain, the "skraents" at Galgebakken, the "pods" at Community Alternatives and the two separate phases of Tinggarden provide natural lines of division on which the community can form sub-communities. Activities within these sub-communities are generally better participated than those involving the entire community. Smaller communities of less than 50 people such as Lost Valley Education Center and sub-communities (skraent, cluster) have what was often described as a high level of commitment and motivation to participate in community building. Collaterally, members expressed a deep appreciation for having an opportunity to be an effective part of the decision-making process. It seems therefore that the level of participation is related to how well the social 98 structure can directly and satisfactorily accommodate and inform the opinions of the membership. Over half (70%) of the communities employ staff, both from within the membership and from outside the community, to accomplish some of the administrative and maintenance duties. Other communities rely solely on the voluntary human resources within the membership to remain operational. As the membership shifts and evolves through different stages of the lifecycle, the needs of the community and the availability of resources tend to change. Staff are hired to provide the community with skills and services when needed. Such skills and services include childcare workers (Solby, Galgebakken), managers (Oak Street Co-op, Galgebakken) and accountants (all communities). Volunteers from the community are typically used to supplement and assist the Staff. The employment of staff affects the level of participation within the communities in one of at least four ways. First, the cost of providing the services of staff relative to the size of the community influences the living expenses of each member, since the cost of the staff is typically generated from increased rental charges. Some of the residents of Bain Street Co-op, Kitsun Co-op, Oak Street Co-op, and Community Alternatives are low-income earners, and are able to afford to live in the communities by virtue of a sliding rent scale determined on the basis of income. If the rents of low-income members are increased, the members would be forced to find other accommodation or supplement their incomes by working longer hours. If the member moves out, they are clearly not participating in the community. If they are forced to find additional work outside the community to supplement their income, the members have less time to spent participating in community affairs. Instead, many of the organizational duties within each of these communities is done by volunteer members in an effort to keep the cost of 99 living down. All the members who were interviewed and are voluntarily active within the community, profess a higher level of appreciation and understanding about community affairs over those who are dormant. The membership of Bain Street Co-op in fact has recently eliminated one of the staff positions rather than increase rents. The responsibilities of the position that was eliminated has been allocated back to the membership via the individual unit clusters. The clusters have consequently become the most vital social organisms within the community. Oak Street Co-op is considering the same option. When the community members decide to hire staff, they are effectively reducing their own need to participate in community work. Tinggarden is an example of a community that has chosen to increase the cost of rent per residential unit and employ staff rather than to minimize maintenance expenses. The members of Tinggarden are predominantly professional career-minded individuals who value their work outside the community and consequently have made little time to invest in maintenance or administrative duties inside the communities. The result is a compromise in the amount of interaction that occurs between members as well as a community of only higher income earners. The level of participation within communities that employ staff is also affected when the staff are members. Staff who are also members have increased opportunities to participate in the community by those members. Lost Valley Educational Center, Taos Pueblo, and the Farm, for example, are communities in which at least some of the membership spend most of their professional working time accomplishing community related affairs for money. Also providing pay for services rendered elevates the importance of the task. The apparent aggregate result is a much higher level of community interaction, appreciation and invested interest in the operational capabilities of the community by the working members. 100 Finally, the level of participation within communities that hire Staff is influenced by the nature of the relationship between Staff and members. The most successful relationships are those that advocate, validate, and respond to membership input. Oak Street Co-op is an example of how staff and members have formed a solid relationship based on trust, open communication and responsiveness. Some communities have different classifications for residents. Community Alternatives for example has two classifications, renters and members. The membership is expected to participate more actively than renters, and they have a stronger voice in the decision-making process. Other communities draw lines according to age. At Taos Pueblo, the Elders have a stronger voice in the decision-making process. Youth and children are considered in the decision-making process, but they are generally not as included as adults are. The children at The Farm, Lost Valley Education Center and Slottit are an integral part of the process which determines the activities of the communities. Other communities such as Oak Street Co-op, Community Alternatives and Galgebakken consider children in the design and decision-making process. The result is that the children and youth in these communities have a reputation as being responsible citizens both inside and outside their communities. Apart from organized meetings, shared meals are another way in which the members in a community interact. Shared meals occur both formally and informally in all of the communities, with varying degrees of frequency and inclusiveness. Meals are used as occasions for the community to learn about each member, to celebrate occasions, to express interest and commitment to the other community members, to use resources efficiently, and to balance work and enjoyment. 101 There is a strong relationship between the overall level of participation within the communities, and the frequency and commitment with which the members share meals. Community Alternatives, Lost Valley Education Center, Arcosanti, and Slottit share several meals per week, and seem to have the highest degree of social interaction. The first three of these communities share meals by necessity of shared cooking facilities. Members of Slottit have made the commitment to share meals despite having separate kitchens in each of the units. Participation in common meals is voluntary at Slottit, but the effects are the same in all the communities- more inclusive interaction. Some of the members in communities such as Kitsun and The Farm occasionally share meals informally. The commitment to share meals voluntarily stems from a common understanding and belief that shared meals are mutually beneficial. The level of inclusive participation affects the economic and social stability and longevity within the communities. In communities such as Oak Street Co-op that are under considerable financial strain, the decision-making process becomes dominated by this single issue at the expense of other community matters. One of the Co-op managers for example has spent the majority of her time in the last two years trying to resolve the vacancy problem and ensuing financial crisis in the community while other administrative duties were ) neglected. Under these circumstances, the needs of at least some of the community members are not met, sometimes causing animosity and compromises to the effective decision-making process. In communities that experience high membership turnover there is a higher degree of social instability. In order for these communities to achieve a state of genuine operativeness, meetings are used to continually build trust and understanding among all community members. Otherwise, when participation is not inclusive, social equity becomes difficult to achieve. 102 4.3 Sustainability The pursuit and focus of sustainability fluctuates between communities and over time. The fluctuation is largely caused by differences in mission statements and the availability of resources. In the communities visited, the notion of sustainability tends to be viewed predominantly in terms of economic and social stability and longevity. Some communities, such as The Farm, Community Alternatives, Lost Valley Educational Center, Galgebakken and Solby have also specifically included ecological sustainability as part of their mission. Communities in general nurture ecological, economical, and social consciousness because the members are often directly responsible for maintaining a healthy environment. In the process of having direct exposure to the effects of environmental influences, such as a miscommunication or garbage in the garden, community members naturally become more aware of those factors. Sustainability has been identified by community members, in for example Bain Street Co-op and Community Alternatives Co-op as involving self-determined change, as opposed to no change. Determined change applies new knowledge, wisdom and flexibility toward intentionally addressing the community needs. The actions manifested by the new knowledge can be applied within the community as well as outside the community. Oak Street Co-op has been trying to resolve a problem identified by the community; street crimes including prostitution, drug dealing and loitering in an adjacent park. The activities in the park were destabilizing the social fabric of the community because the members felt insecure and unsafe. Potential new members were deterred by the environment around the community. In addition to forming partnerships with local social service agencies, the community mobilized investigated other methods of alleviating the presence of the street 103 crime. One staff member learned that classical music generally deters street crime. Speakers were installed on the outside of the office building and classical music is now heard in the park with good results - street crime has been significantly reduced. The action that was taken by the community has informed the perceptions of members about street crime and has changed the structure of the community to include responsibility for street criminals. At Lost Valley Educational Center the structure of the meetings were changed because the community was in need of more emotional support. Also, the previous meeting structure was decidedly too rigid for constructive exchange. Change was necessary in both situations to secure sustainability. Market forces and other external interferences affect the sustainability pf the communities. In fact, one of the difficulties of conducting this study was that communities are constantly failing or evolving into obsolescence, due primarily to external market forces and social resistance. Other external interferences include the level of community support. In Canada, the C M H C has provided a safety net against the communities financial liabilities by supplying funding and guidelines. Some community members are concerned that the C M H C has developed an authoritarian approach to providing support. Critics complain that the C M H C effectively disregards the wisdom and management strategy of the affected communities. These strategies are intended to address community needs. Canadian communities such as Oak Street Co-op and Bain Street Co-op feel stifled by the control that the C M H C is professed to exert over them. Sustainable community initiatives in Denmark and Sweden have strong Government support at different levels. As well, 700 non-profit Housing Associations own and manage some 104 426,000 dwellings in Denmark. (Dansk Almennyttigt Boligselkab, DAB, Presentation Paper, 1993) Discussions with local governments and community leaders from the Municipality of Aarhus in Denmark, The Danish Association for International Urban and Regional Planning in Copenhagen and the University of Lund in Sweden confirms that projects that consider the ecological limitations, economic viability, and social equity of community development are favoured by national, regional, municipal and local governments. This support and expertise works to enhance the prospect of community sustainability. In addition, the support provided is intended to be "from below" (Interplan Publication No. 5, Planning and Public Participation in Denmark, 1990). In other words, community initiatives are supported rather than directed by government agencies. The employment of staff affects community sustainability in two ways; the affordability of staff by the community and the skills which staff bring to and instill in the community. Non-profit Housing Associations in Scandinavia provide the necessary staff services to a number of communities cost-effectively because of the economies of scale. North American communities tend to hire staff that work exclusively to satisfy the needs of the individual community. Fluctuations in population size have an impact on the sustainability of communities. Communities that rely on a certain quota of members to achieve a specific amount of revenues are less economically stable than communities that are supplemented by alternative sources of revenue - other than rents. Amplifying the potential of lost revenues due to vacancies is the fact that some communities are located in less than desirable areas. Communities that experience reduced economic sustainability because of vacancies include Oak Street Co-op and Solby. 105 The process of membership selection has a substantial impact on social stability. Communities such as Community Alternatives, Kitsun Co-op, and Lost Valley Educational Center have placed more emphasis on establishing a new membership procedure because of detrimental experiences in the past. New members are consequently introduced into the community after careful consideration by the entire community. Prospective new members are given an abundance of information and queried extensively when they indicate an interest in joining the community. These communities try to maintain harmony and balance in values and interests. Communities are also subject to reduced sustainability when the social fabric changes drastically and frequently. Arcosanti, The Farm, Community Alternatives and Lost Valley Education Center have experienced social instability owing to substantial unit vacancies and migration. On the same note, sub-communities that are operational help to stabilize the entire community. The experiences of Community Alternatives, Taos Pueblo and Galgebakken, illustrates that communities become more sustainable when members remain stationary, providing members needs are met throughout their lifecycle, and there is an active evolution in the social structure to accommodate changing membership needs. Accommodating the lifecycle in a community contributes to ecological, economic and social sustainability. The members of society that are usually marginalized, such as children and the elderly are cared for in communities. When the lifecycle is served, the community gains a better understanding of the needs of themselves, the community and the environment. When the lifecycle is ignored, the stability of the community is compromised and common values are not expanded. Under those circumstances, the environment becomes controlled, leading to homogeneity and a loss of vitality. Galgebakken, Slottit, Tinggarden, and Lost Valley Education Center are examples of communities that provide flexibility in design and social structure in order to accommodate the lifecycle. Galgebakken for example has provided 106 temporary accommodation for recently separated couples and young adults, or people that are in need of solitude. These temporary lodgings, signify that members requiring their own space can remain in the community. Several community members indicated that social equity was crucial to maintaining stability and longevity. Establishing and respecting personal and community boundaries was identified as one of the most effective techniques used to achieve social equity. Members of Community Alternatives, Kitsun Co-op, and Lost Valley Education Center have commissioned the help of communication and conflict resolution specialists to better understand how to assert needs effectively and reasonably in an intensely social environment. Ironically, The Farm originated as a commune, but experienced deterioration, partly because the members did not provide social equity. The distribution of labour was disparate, member's needs were disregarded, and financial obligations were not met. The social structure of the community was altered to put more emphasis on the individual rather than the collective. All the communities that were visited had initiated programs to ensure some level of responsible natural resource management. Recycling and conservation programs were included as a normal part of the lifestyle in all of the communities, and most composted their organic waste. The communities had an understanding and appreciation for ecological limitations and the impact of human life on the ecosystem. The focus of ecologically benign programs varies between communities since the programs have been developed to address local environmental needs. Galgebakken in Denmark for example has a gray water recycling program in response to a forecasted water shortage in the area. The members of Lost Valley Education Center have implemented a reforestation program to revitalize a forest on-site. Taos Pueblo members restrict the use of modern technology within the Village to preserve the purity of the surrounding wilderness, and Arcosanti is actively seeking support for the 107 development of hydroponic greenhouses to grow produce in the desert. Oak Street Co-op has developed a "Don Garden" in which indigenous plants from the nearby Don Valley have been planted to recreate a depleting ecosystem. Environmental projects are experimental and educational for both the community and the public. Communities are considered by many to be the laboratories of society. The projects that are developed in communities are typically available for public inspection. Communities that facilitate outside visitors require additional organization and resources. Communities that have a clear rationale, schedule, and procedure for visitors seemed to benefit more from the service. The learning that takes place within communities increases appreciation for the ecosystem and natural environments. Many of the members that were interviewed are desirous of having a closer connection with "the land". Most urban communities however do not have the facilities to provide intimate or intense experiences within nature. Although members of the communities visited for this study generally appreciate the vitality and services of living in the proximity of an urban environment, they are usually torn between choosing one environment over another - urban or rural. Some of the communities occupy aged and/or renovated structures, while others are in newly developed buildings. Some communities occupy a mixture of young and old buildings. The quality of the building, its ability to meet the needs of the inhabitants, and the equitability of housing and services within the community seem to be the important factors that maximize sustainability. Animosity develops in communities in which the units are not equally equipped. Bain Street Co-op, Lost Valley Education Center, Arcosanti and Tinggarden have indicated that significant conflicts occur relating to housing inequities. 108 Structures that provide opportunities for future modifications and a range of uses for the whole community seem to be the most economically, ecologically and socially beneficial. Bain Street Co-op for example can consider the option of water recycling at minimal cost in the future because the storm and waste water pipes were installed separately. Community centres at Lost Valley Education Center, Galgebakken, Tinggarden and Solby are facilitated to be used for several purposes, including community meals, laundry, child care, and meetings. This flexibility eliminates the necessity to build several structures and increases the social interaction possibilities within the community. Bain Street Co-op is considering the renovation of an old boiler room to provide cost-efficient indoor community space. The availability of these opportunities allow the communities to actively pursue future goals toward sustainability. In North America, physical and technological improvement projects that enable communities to operate more sustainably are difficult to fund because they are typically more capital intensive at the outset without the financial backing to rationalize the initial high cost. Alternative energy sources, conservation technologies such as composting toilets and community meeting spaces are theoretically available since zoning and public acceptance is generally favourable. In fact, according to community members, the physical form of a community can attract less adverse attention than the alternative social structures used by most communities. Alternative technology, however, is financially inaccessible to most communities because most incomes are invested directly into environmental and social maintenance. One of the factors affecting the cost of implementing alternative technologies is the requirement to also provide conventional technologies as a back-up. In Toronto for example, communities may retrofit or develop using new technologies such as solar panels and compost toilets, but the community must also be outfitted with hydro and flush toilets if it is 109 used for residential purposes. (Conversation with Chris Morgan, Environmental Planner, Toronto, May 1995) Alternative technologies that enhance the ecological sustainability of community operations are thwarted by lack of capital investment. Places of spiritual worship such as forests, churches, water, cemeteries, mountains, and/or Kivas are important features in communities if they represent the values of the membership. Places of spiritual worship are used by communities as a source of knowledge, security, rejuvenation, and groundedness. Communities such as The Farm, Lost Valley Education Center, Taos Pueblo and Solby utilize spirituality to recognize and generate personal and environmental wellness, and to seek direction for future endeavours. Transportation also has an affect on the sustainability of community operations. Communities generally try to minimize the use of the cars on-site, while at the same time ensuring that accessibility throughout the lifecycle is maintained and other membership needs are met. Communities located in urban surroundings are particularly capable of minimizing the use of the car, since social services and public transportation are generally within closer proximity to the communities. The advantages mentioned by community members about reducing the number of automobiles include more opportunity for human interaction, safer play environments for children, reduced cost of living and improved physical health. 4.4 Localization and Urbanization Localization and urbanization are characteristics that seem to play a subliminal role in the success of operative communities and are therefore more difficult to identify. The symptoms of localization and urbanization however, such as the availability of a diversity of services and cultural experiences, opportunities for pedestrian fueled transportation such as walking and cycling, and an abundance of educational opportunities, are more easily identifiable and 110 appreciated within communities. Localization and urbanization as labels are not commonly used when discussing community values, and are perhaps less recognizable by community members. Remembering that "the rich diversity and concentration of culture, information, institutions, public places, bushland and, above all, people that give a city vitality and interest" (Engwicht, 1993, p45), the communities that were visited for this study have achieved some of these characteristics. The pursuit of vitality is however conducted differently by the various communities, depending on whether they are situated in urban or rural environments. Vitality in rural-based communities includes bringing people to the community, as well as maintaining the community bushlands. Lost Valley Education Center operates a Conference Center and Educational Seminars to lure people into the community. While the members of Lost Valley Education Center may not be enticing people simply for the sake of increasing the communities own vitality, the effect of inviting them into the community creates an atmosphere that is the essence of urbanism - diversity and exchange of information. Urban-based communities are focused primarily on integrating the already abundant sources of cultural vitality into the community structure in a way that is compatible with the values of the residents, and increasing the opportunities for bushland, or nature experiences. Most people interviewed do not associate living in an "urban environment" as being particularly crucial to the health of the community insofar as the needs of the members are addressed by the community or access to other support services is available, though community members do appreciate easy access to cultural and educational facilities that are associated with urban living. The close conglomeration of buildings helps to sustain the cohesiveness of communities and sub-communities. Conversely, healthy social structures enable physical forms to be 111 clustered. Closely clustered residential units are proven to be effective and natural ways of organizing smaller communities within a large community and to increase the urbanity of the overall community. Because members interact more in smaller vital communities, there is a greater exchange of information and expression of culture. Smaller communities, sub-communities, or "affinity groups" as they are called by a member of Community Alternatives, are akin to home environments in which relationships are personal, tolerant and committed. The result is a living environment conducive to open-minded learning and growing. Communities are a balance between private and public realms. Within the private realm, community members have indicated an appreciation for solitude and the opportunity to reflect inwardly on personal issues. The private realm offers a respite from constantly considering the needs of the community. The public realm is viewed as an opportunity to learn from the values and interests of other members. The communities operate effectively when they achieve a balance between the two realms, and when they accommodate the needs of members to indulge in one realm or another during certain periods of their life. Most community members prefer living environments in which members reside in private units within the context of a sharing community. Members of Lost Valley Education Center, Arcosanti and Community Alternatives have extensive experience investigating methods in which public and private spaces can be negotiated and honoured. The balance can at best be described as changeable, since individuals within each community seem to require differing combinations of private and public, at different moments in their life. The margins between public and private spaces can be determined physically, verbally, and/or intuitively. The personal boundaries that were determined earlier to foster and sustain social health are again called into play to assist in distinguishing personal spaces from public places. Boundaries are conventionally understood as expressions of forbidden private zones. Boundaries can also 112 help to ensure that individuals clearly feel welcomed in common spaces and in public conversations and activities. Communities that are located in urban environments can be advantageous as well as detrimental. Urban environments outside of communities provide opportunities for community members to observe the world anonymously. "As our private world grows in breadth, our public world becomes more remote and impersonal. As a result, our public space lacks identity and is largely anonymous, while our private space moves toward a narcissistic autonomy. Our communities are zoned black and white, private or public, my space or nobody's." (Calthorpe, Van Der Ryn, 1986) The urban environment outside of communities can also, depending on a person's gender, family situation and alignment, race, religion, and age, be a source of discrimination and abuse. As the member of Kitsun Co-op pointed out, living in a community in an urban context provides a combination of the excitement associated with cosmopolitan living, and the sanctuary of a home support system in which to process the outside world. Communities that deliberately and successfully attract a variety of age ranges are usually more vibrant and educational. All the communities that were visited for this study recognized the importance of multiple ages and have provided for the needs of many different age groups. A diversity of ages and interests within a community provides opportunities for pluralistic interaction and learning. The opportunity exists for differences in interests to inform values. 113 4.5 Formulation and Application of Personal Values The Formulation and Application of Values is seen as the ultimate intention or goal of operative communities by many members. Communities originate and are perpetuated because members have carved out and continue to create channels for their values. Fish environments can be used as a metaphor to describe the dynamics of values within the context of communities. Communities are spawning ponds for personal values. Values are like fish. Values grow on the food of newly learned wisdom in a bountiful operative community pond. There are different values moving through the community pond, co-existing. Some values challenge others for support. The community pond can only support a limited number of values at one time. The supportive climate within the pond is influenced by external factors that filter into the community pond from the surrounding environment. Some of the factors are fresh and nourishing, others are tainted and retarding. Values venture out into the surrounding urban waters in search of sustained growth. Some values are lost, some return fattened and compounded by the fertile nutrients of urban waters, others return damaged and in need of the supportive community pond to revitalize. This metaphor illustrates the movement of values through communities in an ongoing dynamic process. Communities that provide nurturing environments in which a variety of values can flourish and grow are healthy. Co-operation, inclusive participation, sustainable environments, and a concentration of supportive people and their culture contribute to the survival and growth of values. Values are manifested within the ecological, economical and social environments of the communities. Community spaces that are an extension of the individuals who use them provide opportunities for community members to interact as well as places to discuss and apply 114 community values. Communities that frequently use common spaces tend to live more actively by common values. The members of Community Alternatives for example use the common areas often as organizational headquarters for political activities that represent the values of at least some of the membership. Careful membership selection is crucial to maintain common values. A moderate amount of diversity between individual values within a community is effective in providing healthy and constructive challenges. An over-abundance of diversity within communities tends to create inefficiencies that are too antagonistic to reconcile, or that drain the community resources. Kitsun Co-op for example has invested much time and money into attempting to resolve differences in values between contesting members. Rather than realizing values in daily activities, the community members are engaged in a labourious effort of establishing common values that form the basis of a united community structure. Consequently, the community structure has been fractured and rendered less operative during the time of conflict resolution. On the plus side, the process can and has brought the community closer together by providing an opportunity to be self-critical and.aware with a desire to want change. Living by personal values within the community must be open to negotiation. A member of Community Alternatives has suggested that members have "a sense of humour", particularly when values are newly instilled within the community organization. Although values are based on personal conviction, it seems that any change takes time to be embraced by communities. The debate about how much to modernize or change values is on-going in communities. In Taos Pueblo for example, members share a long standing and deep appreciation for 115 ecological limitations and the importance of spirituality. A patriarchal social structure and a desire to maintain traditional methods of extracting resources within the Pueblo walls are also antiquated values. Contemporary ideas about gender equity and comfort living has introduced challenges to conventional wisdom, but are being stubbornly resisted by traditionalists. There is consequently a threat of a split in the membership regarding which values are more virtuous. The ecological, economical and social health of the community affects how well the community can embrace united operational values. Communities, such as Taos Pueblo and Bain Street Co-op have stagnated when members did not embrace similar perceptions of how the community should operate. Community values are virtually an extension of the individual members if a solid bond and coherence exists between the two. A united community is dependent on its members embracing common values. Supporting community concepts such as co-operation, inclusive participation, sustainability and localization and urbanity assist in the formulation and application of values. 116 4.6 Analysis Conclusion In this chapter, the actual and practical structure within the communities that were visited was applied to the components of a theoretical community constitution. It is clear from the research that communities are the culmination of intentional individual efforts to realize common values. Although there is a range in the focus of these efforts, they do contribute to the success of operative communities that are co-operative, highly participatory, sustainable, locally concentrated and vitally urban, and above all, reflect personal values. These components are intrinsically interconnected. It is also clear that communities are constantly struggling to maintain support. Operative communities are beneficial to the learning process, for both the resident members and society as a whole. But they rely not only on the interest and support of the members from within, they also require the economic, social and ecological support of the outside environment. The following chapter will examine policies that would support operational community building. 117 5.0 Policy Implications The preceding chapters were intended to develop a better understanding of the theoretical and practical components of operative communities. The following chapter is intended to outline some principled strategies or options that would assist in the development of operative communities in Canada. What can be done to enhance the community building process? The suggested strategies focus on two main sources of action; i) the community members; and ii) organizations external to the community Each of these actors play a pivotal role in the success of operative communities and can provide support in the community building process. The suggested policy initiatives are listed in general order, since they can be applied to a number of components within the definition of community. The focus of policy initiatives, to be assumed by both community and other organizations, can be outlined by the following categories; Support Participation Encouraging Diversity Education and Learning Monitoring, Flexibility, and Change Holistic Perspectives 5.1 Support Participation Communities begin to form when people recognize united values. Communities are activated when those values are actually enacted, rather than simply deliberated. 118 Establishing commonalties, both in discussion and in execution, is the responsibility of every citizen. The responsibility of participating in discussions and decision-making processes, and actively co-operating on value-based operations should be reinforced and supported by both the community members and organizations outside the community. The following strategies summarize the resources needed by communities to facilitate and support participation; Public Space for meetings and social interaction. Communities need both public and private space to share. General and special-interest Community Centres, natural Parks, cultural venues, and common rooms already exist in most urban centres, but they generally do not feel owned or invested to any particular person or group. More measures need to be taken to assign title to common areas, to remove them from the realm of the generic. That is not to say that parcels of land or indoor spaces should be appointed a particular sole user. Instead, they must be shared by a range of people, particularly those who are within easy access of the facility. Initiatives are already currently happening that illustrate this point. A project called Mosaic Creek is being designed and constructed by hundreds of residents in the east end of Vancouver. The residents are collaborating to design sections of a metaphorical creek made from tile. The efforts taken to entice the residents to participate in the Creek project will also ensure the use of the Park upon completion. , Also, existing spaces should be programmed by local citizens. Currently, public spaces are usually designed by professional landscapers and buildings by architects. The concept behind the design will likely be lost if the local users are not aware or warm to the idea. Buildings and outdoor spaces in Scandinavia, for example, that have been designed by the local residents are typically more heavily occupied. 119 Also, many of the communities that were visited expressed a lack of semi-private common space within the smaller community. In other words, although there was a community centre down the road from Bain Street Co-op, the resident that was interviewed felt a desire to have a space right in the Co-op to use as an extended living room or lounge. Accessible and Effective Decision-Making Processes Decision-making must be directly available and approachable by those affected. The style of the process should reflect the values of the constituents as they are formulated. In order to facilitate these requirements, the decision-making process should be scaled down in larger communities to enable inclusive participation. General meetings should be information sharing and socializing opportunities, rather than places of significant decisions about the social structure. Galgebakken, for example, displays an effective decision making process on the level of the skraent. There is significant ambivalence however on the community-wide level. More resources should be allotted to sub-communities when larger communities are unable to show significant interest in the General Meeting decision-making process. Funding The issue of funding is controversial and charged. With the optimistic view that public money should be spent on organizations formed to implement special interest programs, there is no better investment of tax dollars than on community participation projects. "The citizens are a primary source of information about the problems that are being experienced in the community, about the impacts of proposed solutions, and about the values and aspirations of the community members." (Hodge, 1991, p351) 120 Hodge then continues by suggesting that politicians and planners should apply their expertise once the needs of the community have been determined. What Hodge does not acknowledge is the vast quantity, quality and availability of expertise that can be contributed by community members. Communities are excellent reservoirs of resources that are often untapped unless directed toward a project based on personal values. Public funding is cost-effective when allocated to community based groups, because the decisions stemming from the participatory process efficiently meets the needs of the constituents. Private funding is also appropriate and should be solicited for community participation projects when available, particularly by resident members. Funding shows a sense of commitment and invested interest by the participants. 5.2 Encouraging Diversity Diversity greatly enhances the stability and security of most systems. Diversity within the structure of a community is beneficial. Diversity can be achieved in a variety of ways, including physical form, membership composition, accommodating the lifecycle and variations in lifestyles, financially and in the natural and cultural environments. Physical Form The physical form of the community contributes to how well the needs of the members are met. A diversity of facilities and variety in housing models are advantageous in communities. They help to ensure that a divergence of members are accommodated and that the lifecycle is considered. 121 "[C]ornmunity is something that demands that there be diversity of housing types - housing for the young, the old, the middle-aged and the single - and services that permit people to live in these different ways close together. It requires meeting places where a meal can be shared, places where casual meetings with people one knows are always possible..." (Perloff, Sandberg, 1972, pl23) Diversity in physical form provides members with choices and the ability to adapt to changes. Diversity in physical form includes places of business, recreation, a variety of housing styles and places in which to apply personal values, such as gardens, social environments, and architectural technologies. Membership Composition A balance between diversity and sameness is required, particularly concerning compatible values. However, by ensuring that tolerance is exercised and boundaries are honoured, diversity in membership will contribute to the formulation of full and enriching values within a community. The level of understanding and personal growth increases in communities in which interaction with a variety of alternative lifecycles and lifestyles exist. The stability of the community is enhancedwhen members can remain connected despite evolving through different stages of the lifecycle and showing interest in various spiritual and other cultural pursuits. The diversity of interests which new members bring into the community can provide vitality and learning experiences for the overall membership. The balancing act between compatibility and diversity is the responsibility of the Membership Selection Committee, which ideally should be the entire membership. Community Alternatives and Lost Valley Education Centre, for example, are communities that try to create a balance between harmony and provocation by necessitating extensive membership exploration periods. 122 Financial Support The financial support which the community requires should be derived from a variety of sources. Membership contributions through time and/or money should be the main source of financial security. The skills of the membership and environment should be continually illuminated, utilized and potentially marketed sustainably. Financial reserves help to buffer the community against financial hardships, including vacancies. However, they are inadequate to provide long-term security. Support from outside the community is also important. Governments and the population at-large should recognize the importance of communities as being the anchors of society, and programs should direct funds to communities to be used at their discretion. Natural and Cultural Stock The diversity in the natural and cultural stock of the community should be maintained by the members. Cultural experiences within the community, what Tyler Miller Jr. and Patrick Armstrong refer to as "micro-culture" in their book Living In The Environment (1982), should be supplemented by experiences from outside the community. "Preserving global biological and cultural diversity must be a primary goal. To preserve long-term stability, survival and adaptability it is essential that we preserve and encourage cultural diversity..." (Miller, Armstrong, 1982, p310) As the term "preserve" implies, biological and cultural systems are diverse by natural design - their original state is to be pluralistic. Communities recognize the diversity. Natural preservation, or "representative" ecosystems as Reed F. Noss refers to them in a contributing article in a book edited by Doug Aberley, entitled Futures by Design (1994, 123 pi30), and cultural diversity are attainable when they are supported by communities and governing Ministries. Multi-cultural government programs, events and practices are useful because they encourage and celebrate diversity. A blend of natural and urban opportunities within easy access to communities provides residents with a balance between the cultural and social services offered in human settlements and the important sense of groundedness that being immersed in the natural ecosystem can provide. 5.3 Education and Learning By entrenching the concepts of education and learning into the essence of community, the idea of permanency in community structures is challenged. Where community structures fail is often by being stagnant or unresponsive to informed change. The Farm, for example, went through a serious crisis and lost the majority of its residents when they could not accept the need to change. "Sustainability is about gradually understanding how human society can live within acceptable limits. It is based on the principle of learning...[Tjhis is a process that is designed and driven by the participants themselves creating real ownership and commitment to the change process that is generated." (Franklin, 1993, ppl,2) Since community structures need continual adaptation to meet the changing needs of the membership, the process by which that change is informed needs to be carefully examined and actively managed by the community decision-making process. Both education and learning are important in the process of informing change. 124 Canadian society is unfamiliar with the tools of co-operation and participation. One of the most important skills that must be learned is how to work together. Education about co-operation techniques should come from public schools and private community development companies. Partnerships between communities, schools and, businesses could help to teach and incorporate the principles of co-operation, and temper the competitive realities of mainstream economics. Networking Networking is important to provide both challenge and support to the community structure. Systems of networking could be better established through existing organizations, such as the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada, Greater Vancouver Housing Corporation, the Fellowship for Intentional Communities and other community organizations. There is a growing number of community directories available on Internet. The exchange of information can be greatly enhanced through increased communication opportunities between the community members and the general public. The Regional Municipalities can also provide a Directory service for communities, based on community mandate and location as is the case in Scandinavia. In order to strengthen the sense of connectedness among residents, inquiries by citizens to the municipality could be relayed to other community members who have expressed an interest in similar issues. Projects on public land should go through a process involving calls for proposals by community groups. As well, various communities could collaborate on community building activities, fund raising, and education projects. Visitors Community members and visitors have a great deal to offer each other. By welcoming more visitors and providing an organized tour, the profile of the community is enhanced, 125 and the operations of a genuine community begins to demystify. The time spent introducing visitors to the community may translate into more funding, membership interest and new ideas for the community. As well, the community can experience a heightened sense of pride and accomplishment for its endeavours, and more public support in general. Visits to communities are interesting to visitors because they are three dimensional experiences and highly educational. Visitors can gain an appreciation for the co-operative work process by actually experiencing the results first-hand. The visit can also generate ideas about other community building opportunities for the visitor. Communities members that spawn other communities strengthen their own environments since they are directly impacted by the world around them. Visits can be detrimental to the community process if they are not managed within defined boundaries. Visitors should have a clear purpose. Visitors that pry into the private domains of the residents without invitation, or offer nothing in return for the hospitality are disruptive to the social structure of the community. There are also occasions, such as at Lost Valley Education Center, when the community needs to withdraw from the public and, for a time, be introspective. Boundaries of privacy should be available, clearly set and respected. Staff Staff provide expertise that is most efficiently used when it is shared among the members. Staff should therefore be assisted by other members. Members should assist and even assume the responsibilities of staff as much as possible insofar as members needs are met. Conversely, staff should be available to the community whenever there is an identified need, if only to train or instruct residents to eventually be more self-sufficient. 126 To some degree, the staff must also assume the role of the learner, since their job description will depend on the needs and direction of the members. Staff most effectively contribute when there is open and direct communication between staff and residents. 5.4 Monitoring, Flexibility, and Change The process of decision-making in communities must continually reflect the changing needs of the members and their environment. "Each place is a unique integration of nature and human culture. The natural features of a place are its most enduring attributes; the most changeable attributes are its human modifications." (Owen, 1991) In order to account for the changes and to assess whether the structure of the community is indeed meeting community needs, a monitoring system must be in place. Components of the social structure and physical form should be periodically revisited by the membership for critique. Components could include the process of the General Meetings, social services, maintenance of the property and land, generation and dispersion of income, celebrations and gatherings, lifecycle needs and community outreaching. The monitoring process is effective in a community if it is capable of modifying its existing structures. Allowing flexibility in design is the responsibility of not only the community, but also the municipal by-laws and funding regulations. Planning ordinances need to be relaxed to welcome innovative technologies and alternative forms of social organization. Developments that would facilitate flexibility and change include; 127 • mixed-use buildings and neighbourhoods, designed to accommodate most community operations within easy access from each other and allow for change, using minimal resources • an infrastructure that helps to define the community boundaries but one that allows community boundaries to shift habitually • incremental development to enable the community to establish an overall design in process • a range of user-friendly transportation modals When a community is thought of as organic, the possibility of change is more acceptable. If the change that occurs follows the other policy principles listed here, the community would be assured that the change is self-directed, intentional and desirable. 5.5 Holistic Perspectives; Ecological, Social, and Economic; Local to Global All community building initiatives should consider a holistic view of their consequences. When projects are undertaken, the initiators need to ask; how does this project impact the ecology, the social structure and the economic viability of the local area, of the surrounding communities, and of the global society? Communities do not exist in a vacuum. Policies must recognize the impact that community building can have on a larger scale. 5.6 Policy Implications Conclusion There are many strategies that can be considered in the process of community building. The strategies are predominantly implemented by community members, making the effort primarily grass-roots. Community building is process oriented. Policies that are implemented need to honour that process, and should respond to the needs of the environment in which they are applied. Policies are not stagnant. The policies suggested 128 in this thesis reflect the current predicament of the 12 communities that were visited in the course of exploring communities. They are not universally applicable, and by no means a guarantee toward creating communities that are operative. Instead they are meant to contribute to a community building process that respects the needs of the people and their environment. Appendix 3 is a chart which lists the main strategies and the actors that could be responsible for implementing them. 129 6.0 Conclusion There are many options which communities and governing agencies can examine and administer to improve the development of operative communities in Canada. The case studies listed in this thesis are communities that exist to enable individual members opportunities to contribute to a living environment based on their common values. Generally, the community members are able to realize their values under a carefully conceived and fluid operating structure. The structure considers a variety of components that help to define the term "operative community". These components include co-operation, inclusive participation, sustainability, localization and urbanity, and the formulation and application of values. When actualized together, these components enable community members to function with an abundance of constructive input, stability, personal growth and vitality. To bring this discussion to a place more personal and perhaps more tangible, I, the author, will speak in the first person and describe my own experience participating in a community building project. The project I speak of is my own abode, an as yet to be named co-housing community that was officially established in September, 1995, but for me began well before that time. Growing up a suburban boy in the sprawl of the Golden Horseshoe (the greater Toronto area), I began realizing the importance of building a community at an early age. Too bored to amuse ourselves, my siblings and I were constantly rallying up the neighbours to do something together. The most spectacular culmination of our youthful efforts was the construction of a treehouse that a dozen or so kids in the neighbourhood helped to create. The process of 130 construction went relatively smoothly. First we had to find the most appropriate site, which meant negotiating with the authorities - our parents. My parents were accommodating, and the treehouse permit was issued for a site in a large weeping willow tree in our backyard. We then had to pool our allowances and find the appropriate building materials - not a difficult task to accomplish in a sea of suburban garages. We began building immediately, too excited to think about anything but the thrill of looking down smugly at our parents, supposing we could finally achieve independence from them. All the members of our treehouse community had a job and we were equally valued and appreciated. I don't remember what my responsibilities were, but I remember feeling, at the formidable age of 7, that I was extremely important in the scheme of things, like catching the caterpillars as they scurried down their silk thread in an attempt to escape our invasion. The members that were most agile and tall climbed the tree to the spot where the house was to be erected and set to work hammering and sawing. Building materials were passed up via a clever pulley apparatus that was rigged to an upper branch. Those of us on the ground would pass up the materials and inspect the work from a distance. In short order the treehouse was completed, with no building materials to spare. Those that were in the tree celebrated the completion in grand style, inviting the rest of us to come up and join the "gang". Our group would have been complete if the rest of us could have reached the bottom limb to join the others, but we realized that we had forgotten to provide a way up or down the tree from the base. To make a long story short, we hastily tacked together a precarious climbing ladder from tree branches we had cut to accommodate the house. The ladder miraculously supported our maiden ascent to the summit of our group effort - our little community in the sky. But in the long term, the ladder was inadequate to maintain the steady flow of members. Rather than implement a 131 design change, the group lost interest in grappling with the ladder and the treehouse was eventually abandoned. Not surprisingly, the people who had climbed the tree and actually built the house were more interested in maintaining the treehouse than those of us on the ground looking on. The modifications to the tree itself eventually led to its demise. When I participated in the formation of the co-housing I now live in, I wanted to learn from the treehouse experience. What my earlier experience told me was that I should be sure to lay the ground work and to actively consider the environment to meet the immediate and long term needs of the group. My partner and I found a suite in a big old house that is extremely affordable and set to work building our community by adapting the physical environment to meet our needs. We ripped up the carpets to reduce the allergy contaminates, fixed the fence to contain our dog, weeded the garden beds that were growing wild and made ourselves comfortable. We nurtured relationships with the 3 other tenants in the house, who were unknown to us prior to our arrival. Although we all had separate suites, I wanted to begin to share my environment and apply some of the community initiatives I had seen and experienced. That is when my Utopia began to falter. Two of the 3 tenants were not interested in sharing vegetarian meals and were guarded other interaction. One of the tenants is Muslim, and claimed to have special rituals and beliefs associated with that religion which prohibited him from mingling with our dog and my partner. The other tenant, somewhat more receptive to our inquiries, is a devoted meat-eater and wanted to keep his schedule free to conduct First Nations ceremonies in his apartment or visit with his out-of-town girlfriend. Apparently, not everyone was as eager as we are about sharing our lifestyle. The third tenant was eager to participate in shared meals, but he does not have full cooking facilities in his single room occupancy suite. We have learned and continue to learn a great deal about spirituality and cultural differences from our housemates, and the support we offer each other has 132 slowly created an environment of self-reflection and motivation toward self-improvement. Concurrently my partner and I were discussing our desire to live in a "community environment" with our friends and associates. When one of our housemates moved out, a one bedroom suite became available and our friends who were also interested in building a community moved in. With a mutual understanding about community in mind, our dreams of co-housing is now rapidly flourishing. The members of our house who want to participate share two or three meals per week together, alternately taking turns cooking. We have two meetings per month, once to take care of the "business" of running the house, such as garden work, managing common spaces, garbage pick-up etc. The other monthly meeting, following the example of Lost Valley Education Centre, is explicitly for emotional support. During these meetings, we try to ensure that the immediate and long term needs of the individuals in the community are accommodated and whether current systems are working for everyone. Adjustments to the social structure have been made accordingly. For example, sharing three meals per week was beginning to interfere with the work schedule of some us and was starting to feel too restrictive and food-centred. In fact, we were only spending time together eating, or engaged on an intense business or emotional support meeting. We changed the meal structure and now meet twice per week, once for a dinner, and another time for a meal plus an activity that is either culturally-based or home improvement-based. We are hoping this arrangement will enable us to apply more of our values to our lifestyle and will provide us with some opportunities to co-operatively and continually change our living environment to better meet our needs. Our community is also spreading. Other friends who live a few blocks away are now participating in our community. We share one additional meal per week with them. On 133 the evening in which we share our meals with our housemates, we have extended an open invitation to other friends and family members to join us. Consequently, most evenings we share our meal with at least one visitor. Many visitors have commented on how festive and grounding our shared meals are, a sentiment which entices others to begin their own shared meal plan. As well, our house is actively involved in the formulation of a community garden that is being proposed for a nearby Park. There are issues which we as a community are still grappling with. The original house dwellers, of which there are still four, are ongoingly establishing a level of comfort and appropriate boundaries. The new members, our friends, are also establishing personal boundaries with other tenants. Noise, smoke (from cigarettes and sweet grass), how elaborate to prepare shared meals, how much to sacrifice external activities for the sake of community commitment, how to share common spaces, determining and respecting realms of privacy, and feeling included in the community activities are common issues. We try to communicate openly and frequently to air our concerns, and we are careful to establish an environment of trust and safety around our process of decision-making. Because we are a small community initiative, the contribution of each individual is highly accountable and profoundly affecting. But we are determined to continue our joint effort to maximize the amount of environmental self-determination we can accomplish as a group. Community building is an activity that can be accomplished on the grass-roots level. Individuals can unite to form communities that are active and genuine. Improving the prospects of community building requires the commitment of governments at all levels. Economic, social and ecological environments support communities. Communities have strong influence over the environment which they occupy, but the health of the surrounding environment requires the building and co-operation of other communities. 134 Some principled strategies which can be undertaken to improve the outlook of community building include endorsing and sustaining direct participation, encouraging diversity, providing opportunities for education and learning, embracing modifications to social structures and physical form, and approaching decision-making from a holistic perspective. 135 Bibliography and References Aberley, Doug, ed., Futures by Design: The Practice of Ecological Planning, New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, BC, 1994. 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Boothroyd, Peter., Eberle, Margaret., Healthy Communities: What They Are, How They're Made. University Centre For Human Settlements, University of British Columbia, BC, 1990. British Columbia Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (BCRTEE)., Sustainable Communities. BCRTEE, B C , 1991. Butcher, A. Allen., Community Tools: A "Virtual Library" of Community Development Resources.. Fourth World Services, Denver, CO., 1994. Calthorpe, P., Van Der Ryn, S., Sustainable Communities: A New Design Synthesis for Cities. Suburbs, and Towns, Sierra Books, San Francisco, CA,1986. Canadian Council of Resources and Environment Ministers (CCREM)., Report of the National Task Force on Environment and Economy, C C R E M , Ottawa, 1987. Canfield, Caroline., "Land Conservancy and Sustainable Communities", in The Gulf Islands Guardian. Vol.1, No.l , pp 7-9, BC, 1991. 136 Clark, David., Basic Communities; Towards an Alternative Society., The Camelot Press Ltd., Great Britain., 1977. Co-op Housing Resource Project., A History of Co-op Housing in B.C., B.C. Education Resource Committee., Vancouver, BC, 1981. Craig, John, G., The Nature of Co-operation., Black Rose Books, Montreal, 1993. Daly, Herman E. , Cobb, John B Jr., For the Common Good; Redirecting the Economy Toward Community, the Environment and a Sustainable Future., Beacon Press, Boston, MA. , 1989. Danish Association for International Urban and Regional Planning., INTERPLAN No.2: The Danosh Association for International Urban and Regional Planning, Copenhagen, DK, 1989. Danish Association for International Urban and Regional Planning., INTERPLAN No.3: National and Regional Planning in Denmark, Copenhagen, DK, 1990. Danish Association for International Urban and Regional Planning., INTERPLAN No.4: Municipal Planning and Local Self-Government in Denmark, Copenhagen, DK, 1990. Danish Association for International Urban and Regional Planning., INTERPLAN No.5: Planning andPublic Participation in Denmark. Copenhagen, DK, 1990. Danish Association for International Urban and Regional Planning., INTERPLAN No.8: Danish Urban Ecology Initiatives, Copenhagen. DK. 1991. Engwicht, David., Reclaiming Our Cities;Better Living with Less Traffic, New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, BC, 1993. Etzioni, Amitai., The Spirit of Community: Rights, Responsibilities, and the Communitarian Agenda.. Crown Publishers Inc., NY, 1993. Fellowship of Intentional Communities and Communities Publications Cooperative., Directory of Intentional Communities: A Guide to Cooperative Communities, Fellowship of Intentional Communities and Communities Publications Cooperative, Evansville and Rutledge, MI, 1992. Fellowship of Intentional Communities.,A Guide to Cooperative Living: Communities Directory, Fellowship for Intentional Community, Langley, WA, 1995. Folkman, Daniel, ed., Urban Community Development: Case Studies in Neighbourhood Survival, Community Development Society of America, Wisconsin, 1978. 137 Forester, John, Planning in the Face of Power, The University of California Press, Berkeley, C A , 1989. Franklin, Beth., Presentation at Sustainable Futures Seminar, Human Society and the Natural World: Perspectives on Sustainable Futures, Grass-roots Initiatives on Sustainability.,Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, Toronto, ON, 1993. Friedmann, John, Planning in the Public Domain: From Knowledge to Action, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1987. Fromm, Dorit., Collaborative Communities: Cohousing, Central Living and Other New Forms of Housing with Shared Facilities.,Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, NY, 1991. Gerecke, Kent, ed., The Canadian City. Black Rose Books, Montreal, PQ, 1991. Godway, Eleanor M . , Finn, Geraldine., eds., Who is this We?; Absence of Community., Black Rose Books, Montreal., 1994 Golany, Gideon., Walden, Daniel., eds., The Contemporary New Communities Movement in the United States, Hanson, Royce, "Opportunities for Innovative Local Government", University of Illinois Press, Chicago, BL, 1974. Hiss, Tony., The Experience of Place: A new way of looking at and dealing with our radically changing cities and countryside. Vintage Books. New York. NY, 1990. Hodge, Gerald, Planning Canadian Communities: An Introduction to the Principles. Practice, and Participants, Nelson Canada, Scarborough, ON, 1991. Infield, Henrik F., Cooperative Communities at Work., Kegan, Paul, French, Trubnert and Co., London, GB., 1947. International Labour Office., Housing Co-operatives.. Report #66, La Tribune de Geneve, Geneva, Switzerland, 1964. Jencks, Charles., Chaitkin, William., Architecture Today., Harry N. Abrams, Incorporated, NY, 1982. Jones, Bernie., Neighbourhood Planning: A Guide for Citizens and Planners, American Planning Association, Chicago, IL, 1990. Kanter, Rosabeth Moss., Commitment and Community: Communes and Utopias in Sociological Perspective., Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. , 1972. Karp, David A., Stone, Gregory P., Yoels, William C , Being Urban; A Sociology of City Life.. Praeger Publishers, NY, 1991. 138 Laidlaw, A.F., Co-operatives in the Year 2000., Co-operative Union of Canada, Ottawa, ON, 1980. Laidlaw, Alexander., Housing You Can Afford., Green Tree., Toronto, 1977. Levi, Y., Litwin, H., Community and Cooperatives in Participatory Development, Gower, London, UK, 1989. Litke, Steve., Sustainable Urban Communities in the Vancouver Region: Towards Ecological Limits. Social Justice & Sustainable Livelihoods, Proceedings for "Greening Our Cities Conference", Vancouver, BC, 1994. Lynch, Kevin, Good City Form. The MIT Press, Cambridge, M A , 1981. Mantell, M.A. , Harper, S.F., Resource Guide for Creating Successful Communities, Island Press, Washington, DC, 1990. Mason, Richard, O., Mitroff, Ian, I., Challenging Srategic Planning Assumptions: Theory, Cases, and Techniques, John Wiley & Sons, Toronto, ON, 1982. McCamant, Kathryn., Durreti, Charles., Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves, Habitat Press/Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, C A , 1989. McNulty, Robert H. , Penne, R. Leo, Jacobson, Dorothy R., et al., The Return of the Livable City, Learning From America's Best., Acropolis Books Ltd., Washington, D.C., 1986. McLaughlin, Corinne., Davidson, Gordon., Builders of the Dawn: Community Lifestyles in a Changing World, Book Publishing Company, Summertown, TN, 1985. Melnyk, George., The Search For Community, From Utopia to a Co-operative Society, Black Rose Books, Montreal, 1985. Miller, G. Tyler., Armstrong, Patrick., Living in the Environment, Wadsworth International Group, Belmont, CA, 1982. Naess, A., Ecology, Community and Lifestyle, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 1989. Ng, Roxana., Walker, Gillian., Mullen, Jacob., eds., Community Organization and the Canadian State., Garamond Press, Toronto, 1990. Nisker, Wes., Crazy Wisdom, 10 Speed Press, Berkeley, CA, 1990. 139 Nozick, M . , No Place Like Home: Building Sustainable Communities, Canadian Council on Social Development, Ottawa, ON, 1992. Owen* Stephen., Planning Settlements Naturally. Packard Publishing Limited, Chichester, 1991. Peck, M . Scott., The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace. Simoon and Schuster Inc., Toronto, ON, 1987. Perloff, Harvey S., Sandberg, Neil C , ed., New Towns- Why and For Whom?. Praeger Publishers, New York, NY, 1972. Robinson, Barbara, Wolf son, Eyelyn., Environmental Education: A Manual For Elementary School Teachers. Teachers College Press, New York, NY, 1982. Roseland, Mark., Toward Sustainable Communities: A Resource Book for Municipal and Local Governments. Canadian National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, Ottawa, ON, 1992. Ross, David P, Usher, Peter J., From The Roots Up: Economic Development as if Community Mattered, James Lorimer & Company, Publishers., Toronto, ON, 1986. Rowe, Peter G., Making a Middle Landscape. The MIT Press, Cambridge, M A , 1991. Selby, J., Wilson, A., Canada's Housing Co-operatives: An Alternative Approach to Resolving Community Problems., School of Community and Regional Planning., University of British Columbia., 1988. Seymour, John., Girardet, Herbert., Blueprint for a Green Planet: Your Practical Guide to Restoring the World's Environment. Prentice Hall, New York, NY, 1987. Shepard, Mark., The Community of the Ark.. Simple Productions, Acata, C A , 1990. Soleri, Paolo., Arcosanti: An Urban Laboratory?. The Cosanti Press, Mayer, A Z , 1983. Stokes, Bruce., Helping Ourselves: Local Solutions to Global Problems, W.W. Norton and Company, New York, 1981. University of British Columbia, Centre for Human Settlements., An Exploration of the Connection Between Healthy Communities and Sustainable Development, Vancouver, BC, 1989. Walker, Scott., ed., The Graywolf Annual 10: Changing Community., Graywolf Press., St Paul, Minn., 1990. 140 Wright, D.H., Cooperatives and Community: The Theory and Practice of Producer Cooperatives, Bedford Square Press, London, GB, 1979. ., EcoVillages and Sustainable Communities, Context Institute, Bainbridge. Island, WA, 1990. ., The Green Think Tank on Housing and the Environment: Proceedings, Co-operative Housing Association of Ontario, Toronto, ON, 1992. Various Brochures and Pamphlets about the Communities: Cosanti Foundation, "Arcosanti 1995 Course Listing", Mayer, AZ. , 1995. "Lost Valley Educational Center: Fall & Winter 1994-1995", Dexter, OR, 1994. "Lost Valley Educational Center Staff/Resident Application", Dexter, OR. Oak Street Housing Co-operative Inc., "Occupany By-Law" and "Information Package", Oak Street Housing Co-operative Inc., Toronto, ON, 1995. Oak Street Housing Co-operative Inc., "Results of the Survey of Members of the Oak Street Housing Co-op, Toronto, ON, Spring 1994". "Taos Pueblo: A Thousand Years of Tradition", Taos, N M . "Taos Pueblo: A Thousand Years of Tradition: Questions and Answers about Taos Pueblo", Taos, N M . "The Farm", Summertown T N , 1992. 141 Appendix 1 - List of Interview Questions What is the history of this community? When was this community established? Why was this community established? Does this community have a mission statement or common set of goals? How many members live in this community? How many units/houses are located in the community? What facilities are located in this community? What makes this a community? How do the community members interact? What proportion of community members interact? Do the members in this community co-operate? What are the major issues that this community is addressing? How are these issues being addressed? How are these issues raised in the community? How is this community trying to be socially, economically and ecologically sustainable? Are the values of the people living in this community discussed and implemented? How are values in the communities represented? Is this an urban or rural community? What makes this a rural or urban community? Is it important to you or this community to be urban/rural? Why? How well does this community utilize its human resources? What other resources does this community use? What would enable this community to be more effective? The order of the questions changed, according to the flow of the discussion. The interviews ranged in time from 15 minutes to 75 minutes. 142 Policy Implications Chart Strategy Description Actor(s) Support Participation Encouraging Diversity Provide and customize public space to meet local needs, include practical community spaces in all new developments. Accessible and effective decision-making that is proactive rather than reactive, decentralizing decision-making process Funding Physical form; community members designing their own physical environments to meet their personal needs and values, requires changing by-laws Pluralistic membership composition, and a range of community users A range of financial support Natural environment and cultural activity inventory Community Centres, developers, community programmers Localized community members, facilitated by other government and non-government organizations, local planning processes, community members Private investors, particularly resident members and local businesses using tax incentives Architects, Planners, councillors, and community members Membership selection committee, community programmers Entrepreneurial enterprises initiated by community members, government grants and loan guarantees Conservationists, community educators, community programmers 144 Appendix 3 Continued - Policy Implications Chart Education and Learning Monitoring, flexibility and change Holistic Perspectives Networking, establishing a system of referrals and information sharing Visitors, organized by the community, promoted by the community with activities of interest to the public, patronized by the general public Continual evaluation and adaptation of community social and physical structures Considering social, economic and ecological concerns, and the impacts of change on a global and local level. Requires internal community self-analysis as well as networking for information about external environments. Community members with other communities, government and non-government organizations, communication facilities at public places Community members, public at-large, staff Community members, staff, financial backers Society, particularly decision-making bodies such as operative communities, governments and the business community 145 


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