“Some of the things we like are: permaculture, living sustainably, gardening, dancing, hula hooping, yoga, herbalism, making music, active listening, non-violent communication …”

So begins an ad for housemates, as described in yesterday’s New York Times.

This is a terrific little piece about how young people in cities aren’t just searching for housemates–instead, they are consciously constructing intentional communities built around shareable lifestyles:

The impetus for the group home or collective they hope to form is less about finances — though it is true that pooling resources yields better real estate — and more about community building. Indeed, Ms. Berger and others seem to share the ideals of the old-fashioned communes of yore, except that their groups are tiny, urban-centric and linked to outside interests like fixing bikes or, here in New York City, membership in the Park Slope food co-op. And like communes, many collectives give themselves names: The House of Tiny Egos (a name that’s decidedly more evocative than, say, Findhorn, that of the hoary Scottish commune) is a five-person collective in a century-old brick bungalow in Bed-Stuy. Not only do they aim to remain of the world, they hope for a convenient location, one that’s near all the major subway stops.

One tidbit from the article: the Fellowship for Intentional Community‘s database of intentional communities has more than doubled, from 614 in 2005 to 1,300 this year.

Jeremy Adam Smith


Jeremy Adam Smith

Jeremy Adam Smith is the editor who helped launch Shareable.net. He's the author of The Daddy Shift (Beacon Press, June 2009); co-editor of The Compassionate Instinct (W.W. Norton

Things I share: Mainly babysitting with other parents! I also share all the transportation I can, through bikes and buses and trains and carpooling.