What happened at the February workshop

We had around 30 attendees on the night. Again, our hosts, The Urban Coop, were absolutely fantastic, helping with the setup, the water and the cozy atmosphere. And we managed to do our shopping while there!

We started with a presentation on cohousing and the previous steps for creating a cohousing community in Limerick, given by Lindsay Mitchell.

Next, Kim O’Shea, PhD student at he University of Limerick focusing on cohousing, distributed a questionnaire based on the onesharedhouse2030 ideas that the participants filled out.

Then we moved to the visioning part of the workshop. The facilitator (Gabriela Avram), asked the participants to close their eyes for 2 minutes and imagine the following:
“It is 2020 and you are in your home in the new Limerick Collaborative Housing complex.  What does it look like? What is happening? Who is around? How did you get there? Who helped?   What challenges did you overcome? What do you want in the common spaces?”

Next, the participants tried to answer to particular themes displayed on posters around the room with post-its. The main themes included were:

    • How we made it happen
    • What challenges we overcame
    • Private / personal spaces
    • Shared spaces
    • Transport
    • Location
    • Meetings and gatherings
    • Tenure and legal framework e.g. ownership and rental
    • Finance and funding models
    • My neighbours
It was interesting to see that the interest in cooking and eating together was quite low, while the interest in a common garden was almost unanimous.
Next, Kim showed slides from a few cohousing schemes such as Blahojen, LILAC and a few others, as fuel for dreams  in the next exercise.
Ray O’Brien presented some data collected regarding building costs.
The following session, titled “Let’s find our future neighbours!”, saw groups of participants assessing the resources they could contribute and negotiating features of the future cohousing scheme. After 20 minutes of working in groups, we shared our impressions in the plenary and discussed what happened.

At the end, Gabriela Avram announced the Cohousing Cafe organised by SOA Research on 23 February 2019 in Dublin, and the date of the next meeting of the Limerick Collaborative Housing group – 23 March 2019, 11am , at the Absolute Hotel.

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