Discover CohousingJim Leach founded Wonderland Hill more than 35 years ago. Wonderland Hill began its focus on cohousing in the early 1990's.
Wonderland Hill Principles of CohousingA neighborhood design that promotes community, sense of place, and environmental sustainability through the following elements:
- Collaborative design. Wonderland collaborates with future residents to create a shared vision and physical design for their neighborhood.
- Small Neighborhood Communities. Generally fewer than 40 housing units are located in close proximity to form a village-like neighborhood.
- Community based design. Cohousing site plans and project design encourage a sense of community. For example, private residences are clustered on the site, leaving more shared open space. The dwellings typically face each other across pedestrian ways or a courtyard, with cars parked on the periphery. From the dwellings, there is often a view of the common house and gathering places. These design elements all are intended to facilitate a strong sense of community.
- Common facilities. Common facilities designed for daily use are central to the community. The house typically includes a common gourmet kitchen, dining area, sitting area, activity rooms, a guest room, and laundry.
A neighborhood social structure that creates social and economic sustainability, through:
- Shared decision making and self governance. Community Home Owner Associations are managed by their residents using consensus-based decision-making and an inclusive group process. Wonderland provides a series of community building workshops and coaching services that empower residents to effectively manage their communities.
- Cooking and eating together. By regularly sharing informal meals together, neighbors are connected more closely, build stronger social bonds, and are better able to create a more efficient and satisfying lifestyle.
- Social synergy in diversity. Social synergy capitalizes on the collective energy, creativity, and diversity of skills, knowledge, and interests among neighbors. It results from neighbors interacting together to their mutual and individual benefit, and to the benefit of the larger society.
- Neighbor support networking. There is no shared economy in cohousing, however, as might be expected among neighbors that are closely connected, neighborly support for a more convenient and secure lifestyle is encouraged. This quality is especially significant for senior cohousing members.
- Outreach. Cohousing attracts proactive individuals interested in improving both their lives and the welfare and sustainability of the greater society. Having good neighborhood collaboration processes and skills, cohousing models and encourages a more sustainable lifestyle building social capital for the greater neighborhood and community.