Living in community

Living as cooperatives
Living in communes
About half the households in Oslo, Norway, are singles, and many others are singles with children. A communal living scheme was realized by USBL, a youth self-build association. It consists of 27 flats, 40 adults and 10 children. A number of common rooms were created by reducing the size of private flats. There are 3 work groups; kitchen, renting out/activities, and maintenance. Cooperative income comes from rents of flats, guest rooms and other activities. The great majority of people living there enjoy the way of life, especially the children. Great expectations have only partly been realized because of the diversity of people, and creating communal facilities that appeal to all.

In Denmark, 1978, a group of some 100 people who wished to establish a living and working commune bought a large farm. As of 1990, there are about 100 adults and 60 children living at 'Svanholm'. They live in groups of from five to twenty-five in buildings that are spread about the farm. Each person has his or her own room, while the group has a common kitchen and sitting-rooms. Meals are generally communal, with washing up and general cleaning on a rota basis. Most adults do agricultural work on ecological principles. Other activities include forestry, stock-raising, milling, production of wooden packaging gear, building, metal working, accounting, catering and child care. Most of these activities are aimed at self-sufficiency, but vegetables are also produced for sale. All income is pooled, and is used to cover common expenses, and everyone receives a fixed cash sum for personal use. Important economic decisions rest with weekly communal meetings (there is not voting system, but discussion to agreement), while smaller working groups have considerable freedom in day-to-day matters.

Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities