Sustainable Living and Co-Housing: Evidence from a Case Study of Eco-villages

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Abstrakt

In this article we examine aspects of the different arguments for the environmental
advantages of co-housing compared with individual households. The analysis is
structured around four main questions, which are argued to be decisive for the
question of co-housing and sustainability. The first is whether co-housing offers
better opportunities for choosing and using more sustainable technologies, which
also relates to the question of whether co-housing offers better opportunities for
building smaller and denser and thus more energy efficient buildings. The second
and third questions are socially oriented; one relates to the claim that co-housing
can support pro-environmental behaviour among residents as they can support
each other’s norms and practices. The fourth and last claim relates to a discussion
of co-housing as a more sustainable opportunity especially for people living alone,
as the growing number of small households is an emerging sustainability problem.
The empirical analyses are based on the results from a Danish study of eco-villages
including a survey, interviews with representatives of the eco-village movement
and a detailed case study of a group of people in the process of establishing a new
cluster in an existing eco-village. The aim of the article is to contribute to the
general discussions about co-housing and sustainability. The study adds nuances to
this discussion and shows that the answer is not as straightforward as presented in
much of the literature.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftBuilt Environment
Vol/bind38
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)413-429
Antal sider17
ISSN0263-7960
DOI
StatusUdgivet - jul. 2012

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