Fernwood Urban Village: Permaculture and Empowerment in an Aging Population

Kylie Sandham

What is cohousing? How does the design of Cohousing promote social capital and community? How can participatory management and the creativity of permaculture design be empowering and motivating to the elderly? How does the FUV aim to create such an empowering environment?

Cohousing is an innovative type of housing that offers many possibilities for urban spaces, the environment and individuals as they age.

Cohousing incorporates structural design features that aim to facilitate the building of social capital and community, without compromising the privacy of individual households. As an intentional community, Cohousers actively participate in the process of design and management. Both cohousing and permaculture based communities follow a set of principles that require participation, ingenuity and creativity on the part of members. Participation in these communities is found to be empowering to aging and disabled individuals. In an aging population in need of empowerment/community, and in an ecological environment in need of repair, permaculture/seniors based cohousing communities offer a solution. The Fernwood Urban Village Cohousing Community is in the process of developing just such an environment.

About Kylie Sandham:

B.A. Vancouver Island University, Majors Anthropology and Sociology. Focus: Cohousing, Intentional Community, Homelessness. Kylie has presented on cohousing at the Western Division of the Canadian Geographers Conference as well as the Anthropology Conference held a VIU in 2009. Kylie is the Office Administrator Fernwood Urban Village Cohousing Community.

2010 IdeaWave