Space for Community: Cohousing as an Alternative Density Model for Housing Seattle
Darling, Emily Marina
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University of Washington ABSTRACT SPACE FOR COMMUNITY COHOUSING AS AN ALTERNATIVE DENSITY MODEL FOR HOUSING SEATTLE by: Emily Marina Darling Committee Members: Chair Rick Mohler, Grace Kim, Mike Pyatok As our population increases, it is crucial to find replicable and sustainable methods of creating an inclusive urban fabric that meets the social and physical needs of all inhabitants. In Seattle, as in many American cities, traditional housing forms are not meeting those needs. There is not enough housing that people can afford to live in, and the lack of a vibrant community to support the life in those homes. One way to address these issues is through revisiting models of living together, and adapting them for modern cities. This thesis focuses on creating a framework for developing cohousing communities in Seattle urban villages, including issues of site, feasibility and funding. The issue is approached in the context of the many factors that influence communities and the built environment, and the forces specific to Seattle. The framework provides inspiration for groups with shared interests to come together to meet their own needs from the ground up. Through a mixture of unconventional partnerships, non-traditional access to a variety of funding sources, and site-specific synergies, safe and supportive cohousing communities can overcome barriers to form sustainably affordable homes that meet their specific needs. Affordable urban cohousing can happen in Seattle.
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