How does cohousing differ from other kinds of shared living or from other “intentional communities?”

Some people involved with cohousing like to describe their communities as “intentional neighborhoods” rather than “intentional communities.” This is probably because the term “intentional community” frequently connotes a shared religious, political or social ideology rather than simply the desire to have much more of a sense of community with their neighbors, some of whom might be quite different from themselves. There are places where groups of families jointly own land on which several have them have built homes, but usually there are no common facilities. In many other shared living situations, individuals don’t have a lot of privacy or space where they can do whatever they want because the kitchen, living-dining, and perhaps bathroom(s) are shared. So in those situations, residents probably cannot paint walls their favorite colors, play their favorite music loud in the living room, or have a late night party without imposing on others who share their space.
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