Communities Articles


The best way to read Communities articles is by subscribing to Communities magazine! You can also find back issues with a wide range of themes, complete sets of issues, and the Best of Communities book series.

A selection of Communities articles is also posted online below for your enjoyment! To let us know what you think, to contribute artwork, photos, articles, or ads, please feel free to contact Communities.

From Blight to Beautiful: Renovating an Urban House By and For Community

Posted on July 20, 2018 by
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An overgrown lot with a dilapidated house transforms into an urban permaculture oasis thanks to the efforts of the Bread and Roses Collective in Syracuse, New York.


A High-Performance Building for Cohousing: From Vision to Move-In

Posted on July 13, 2018 by
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So you want to design, build, and live in community in the most ecologically positive building that can be built? After a decade-long pursuit of that goal, a co-creator of Capitol Hill Urban Cohousing recounts lessons learned along the way.


Good Neighbours with Earth: Using natural building materials in community-scale construction

Posted on June 29, 2018 by
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Earthsong Eco-Neighbourhood offers their mistakes, successes, and learnings in the hope of encouraging the wider use of natural building materials and systems in cohousing projects.


Eco-Building at the Ecovillage (I Have Built a Home)

Posted on June 22, 2018 by
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At Earthaven Ecovillage, the experience of planning, building, working with others, and living in the sensual, earthy “Leela”—part temple, part hideaway—proves to be a dream come true.


Building with Respect

Posted on June 15, 2018 by
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Green building could be our salvation or hasten our destruction, depending on what we pursue and how. Here are a dozen suggestions to make the former more likely.


Ionia’s Barn Project: Where Community and Natural Building Meet

Posted on June 8, 2018 by
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At this cooperative ecovillage, the barn is magical, a space that will make a liberating special meeting area, meditation nook, reading loft, and more…once, after nine long years of building, it is done.


Building in an Ecovillage: Lessons Learned

Posted on June 1, 2018 by
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Yes, you can build your own house; you don’t have to do it alone; you don’t have to do it all…and 18 more tips from a professional builder who learned his trade at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.


Harmonious Homemade Habitat

Posted on May 30, 2018 by
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Having built the strawbale house of her dreams, a Tolstoy Farm resident encourages others to use natural building and eco-materials to construct durable, nontoxic, low-impact, energy-efficient, and creative structures.


Building Collectively Is Greener, Easier, and Cheaper

Posted on May 28, 2018 by
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Eco-building in community offers both opportunities and challenges, benefits and potential drawbacks, as compared to doing it alone.


Adventures of the Mini Moon: Realities of building your own earthen house with reused materials and volunteer labor

Posted on May 26, 2018 by
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Becoming a general contractor for a project way beyond one’s abilities can be a powerful, humbling, community-building learning adventure, especially when the house is made of horse manure.


Eco-Building, #179 Contents and Free/By Donation Digital Download

Posted on May 24, 2018 by
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For reasons both practical and ideological, intentional community has long been a hotbed of eco-building activity. In Communities’ “Eco-Building” issue (Summer 2018, #179), authors share their eco-building journeys, ranging from nearly-free stick-framed shelters to high-end green developments. They examine how to assess whether a building is actually “eco,” hard choices they’ve needed to make, the benefits and challenges of taking on eco-building projects in community, or of retrofitting vs. building new, and much more. Once again, the issue is available via free/by donation digital download at ic.org/communities.


It’s Not Just the Curtain: Crossing the Class Divide at the Bloomington Catholic Worker

Posted on March 28, 2018 by
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Distinctions and boundaries between community members and their homeless guests can be problematic sometimes, but they are also what allow the sharing and caring to continue.


Combating Racism, One Community at a Time

Posted on March 26, 2018 by
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Catholic Worker communities throughout the Midwest examine themselves, make changes, and reach out in an effort to overcome the insidious influences of white supremacy.


Class, Race, and Privilege in Intentional Community

Posted on March 24, 2018 by
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A co-owner of Heart-Culture Farm Community explores ways to use her privilege to help create a society where people are truly equal.


I’m Not a Racist, But Racism Is In Me—and in My Community

Posted on March 22, 2018 by
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Predominantly white communities are going to stay that way until they acknowledge and address racism. Here is some guidance for doing that.


Reflections on Class from a Newbie at Rocky Hill Cohousing

Posted on March 20, 2018 by
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A cohousing project’s budget can help address class and classism—but the community also needs to articulate and explore its culture’s underlying or hidden rules.


White Bias, Black Lives: When Unconscious Bias Affects Your Community

Posted on March 18, 2018 by
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Members of Sunward Cohousing recognize and attempt to transform their community’s differential treatment of white-skinned and dark-skinned neighborhood children.


Growing Inclusivity in Cohousing: Stories and Strategies

Posted on March 16, 2018 by
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Familiar with both privilege and marginalization, a queer Latina cohouser shares experiences and perspectives on confronting racial and ethnic homogeneity.


Barriers to Diversity in Community

Posted on March 14, 2018 by
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An organizer of Charlotte Cohousing in North Carolina offers several ways intentional communities unintentionally exclude her fellow people of color.


Moving Beyond White Fragility: Lessons from Standing Rock

Posted on March 12, 2018 by
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Bonded by a shared mission, indigenous water protectors and their white allies find a safe space for giving and receiving honest feedback about white privilege and unconscious acts of racism.


On “Waiting” for People of Color

Posted on March 10, 2018 by
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On the land where his grandfather was born a slave, the founder of a nascent intentional community reflects on the challenges of attracting people of color, and the project’s next steps.


Moving Beyond Diversity Towards Collective Liberation: Weaving the Communities Movement into Intersectional Justice Struggles

Posted on March 8, 2018 by
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The co-organizer of the People of Color Sustainable Housing Network shares strategies for deepening your community’s work on issues of race, class, and privilege.


Beauty and Brokenness: Digesting Grief into Gratitude for Justice

Posted on March 7, 2018 by
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A child of the Indian middle class immerses herself in the grassroots sustainability movement in Portland, Oregon and shares lessons learned on her journey.


Class, Race, and Privilege, #178: Free Issue Download and Contents

Posted on March 6, 2018 by
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The Spring 2018 edition of Communities, focused on “Class, Race, and Privilege,” is now available for free download from ic.org/communities. The issue looks unflinchingly at a major “elephant in the room”—the relative lack of racial and class diversity in most ICs, at least in North America—while suggesting ways of recognizing, understanding, and addressing it. Authors share stories of obstacles they’ve encountered (from both sides of the privilege equation) and positive steps they and their groups have taken to move toward greater inclusivity and equity. They also reflect honestly on the deep-rootedness of unconscious racism, of social and cultural barriers, of problems of power, privilege, classism, “white fragility,” and more.


Community-Building in the City

Posted on February 1, 2018 by
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In its formative and early stages, Capitol Hill Urban Cohousing in Seattle encounters both challenges and successes.


Making a Case for Urban Cohousing

Posted on January 21, 2018 by
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Urban cohousing offers a unique alternative that still allows access to the amenities, conveniences, and vibrancy of city life.


Green and Resilient Neighborhoods: Portland, Oregon and Beyond

Posted on January 11, 2018 by
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Columbia Ecovillage, Cully Grove Garden Community, Kailash Ecovillage, River Road Neighborhood, and elsewhere embody diverse, promising approaches to re-greening our lives.


Compact Community at Maitreya EcoVillage in Eugene, Oregon

Posted on January 1, 2018 by
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Urban development needs sufficient density to support functional public transit, bicycling, and walking—while also staying beautiful, fun, green, and rich with community.


Enright Ridge Urban Ecovillage: A 13-Year-Old Retrofit Ecovillage in Cincinnati, Ohio

Posted on December 21, 2017 by
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While it involves inevitable struggles, this replicable model both forms community and provides an ecological framework for living in the city.


Honoring the Conversation: Turning a Neighborhood into a Community in Intown Atlanta

Posted on December 11, 2017 by
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Face-to-face conversation strengthens the sense of community among the diverse constituencies of a nonprofit Land Trust.