Andrew and Claire visited Tasmania to research models of eco village living and co-housing in February 2019 and were inspired by the diverse and creative communities.
Images Clockwise from top left: 1. Cascade Co-housing - South Hobart, 2. Kitchen dining space in co-housing common space, 3. 'Blue foods' the Co-housing co-op's food co-op, 4. Co-housing cooperative - South Hobart 5. White beach - near the Tasman Eco Village, 5. Tasman Eco Village (no smell) composting system , 6. Tasman Eco Villages' cool sign, 7 Tasmans Eco Village 'Fat Beets' cooperative garden 9. The actual 'Fat Beets' garden
There are two co-housing developments in South Hobart, one started in the 1990s and one in the early 2000s. Both developments are designed for pedestrian access, with a carpark at the front of the block for all vehicles as is typical in co-housing. This allows children to play safely and reduces noise from cars. In both cases, the housing is 'clustered' and there is a shared community house (the 'common house') which includes a large kitchen and dining room, a movie room, a guest room, a laundry and a lounge area. One of the co-housing communities had a small wholefoods store which residents could purchase flours, grains, legumes, seeds etc by measuring and recoding purchased items in a ledger and deducting from their own credit.
Cascade Co-housing has separate, two-storey dwellings, joined by lovely paths and gardens, with fruit trees laden with juicy fruit. The Co-housing cooperative has 'mall type' housing design where a number of the houses are under one roof and facing each other; separated by small gardens and a large path.
We also had the opportunity to visit the Tasman Ecovillage which is around six years old. This community has retrofitted an old motel and golf course, on some 30 acres, which is now being used for fruit and vegetable production, housing and bushland. Some motel units are still being used for temporary accommodation which provides work for some ecovillage residents. We enjoyed a lovely "potluck" shared dinner where outside visitors also joined the ecovillage residents. The Tasman Ecovillage is in a beautiful part of the country and they are looking for new members so contact them directly if you are interested.
We are committed more than ever to the co-housing style of living and food production. There are many learnings to take away from our trip to Tasmania and we are excited to create the first EVA eco village in Queensland when we find the right place to purchase.
If anyone would like to create their own small co-housing 'village', Eco Village Australia have the legal and financial model ready to go. Contact us to discuss.