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Today we hear a lot about good neighborhood houses as an alternative to the traditional cohousing social, but what is different? Virtually nothing if you look at the advantages, the differences, if anything, concern the approach to the management of the building in its common parts: more rigid in cohousing and a little less in good neighborhood homes.
Let's say that a house in a good neighborhood is a construction where the task of helping people to feel good together is delegated above all to the forms of bio-architecture, solutions and materials, but where the inhabitants maintain a certain independence. In cohousing Instead, the social aspect usually prevails and the sharing of common values linked to collective habits, as occurs for example in solidarity buying groups.
The cohousing it has existed for long enough in Italy and in the world (the origin is traced back to 1964 with the Danish architect Gødmand Høyer) to have become a well-defined concept also on Wikipedia. Unlike the case of villages or houses in a good neighborhood, which are instead a 'style of building' rather than a codified social phenomenon. What they have in common cohouser is good neighbors it is the desire for a more sustainable lifestyle, from an ecological and economic point of view, based on the possibility of mutual help even outside the family context.
Today's neighborhood house looks more like the cohousing to the old farmhouse (present with different names throughout Italy) where several families, not necessarily related, lived in private homes, sharing common spaces and the costs of some services. The proximity and shape of the building made it possible to get to know each other, the children played together and their parents took turns taking care of them, the wood for the stove was bought together so it cost less.
The neighborly house more than the cohousing attaches importance to the forms of architecture, which have always been linked to the type of sociality that is experienced. Think of the Roman villas, a sign of powerful opulence; think of the castles on the tops of the hills, places of autarchic sociality and self-defense. And again to Roman cities with wide simple streets with right-angled crossings and instead to medieval cities with a network of narrow radial streets from a center to the walls that surrounded them. Even in the homes of good neighborhoods, which reflect today's social economic needs, forms are indispensable to guarantee aggregation so that the good neighborhood is born spontaneous and therefore solid, not necessarily from a previous path together.
Where are the examples of a neighborly house? The achievements of cohousing they are very numerous in Italy and around the world and there is a suspicion that there is a tendency to abuse this definition to disguise building settlements that in reality have little ecological and social aspects. To find houses in a good neighborhood, a definition not yet codified, you need to sharpen your eyes. One case is the ViBRE Village of Casatenovo (Lecco) we are talking about in this article.