Start Your Own Cul-de-Sac Commune

All over the world, people are losing their jobs. In America, there are millions of homes in foreclosure. The suburban areas are particularly hard hit, and many are asking how the suburbs will be reinvented. The Cul-de-Sac Commune project may be a solution.

It was founded by Architect Stephanie Smith, known for her Ecoshack and the Nomad Yurt. She defines a commune simply as "a community where resources are shared." and writes:

The many problems America is currently confronting (economic, political, environmental) means that we'll need to turn towards each other more than ever before; for inspiration, for comfort, for help, for joy. It's a simple act to take that 'turning towards' and make it official. The act of starting a commune can be literal, or symbolic. Becoming more collective is the goal.

Our first experiment involves triggering "Cul-de-sac Communes" in California and beyond. A Cul-de-sac Commune turns a typical cul-de-sac (many houses grouped together around a dead-end street) into a hub for communal living.

This could take shape in very simple ways. For instance, neighbors might create a shared compost pile, gather weekly for potlucks and friendship, start a recycling program, barter services, or share childcare. Or anything else that you cook up.

Already they have three pilot projects going in the Los Angeles area.

What a crazy notion: that people pool resources and work together. That useless spaces like front yards and private spaces like rear yards be put to productive use. As Allison Arieff said in the New York Times,


This tendency — let's call it extreme neighborliness — is so old-fashioned as to seem innovative. Startlingly basic and wholly actionable, it's a bright spot in a dark time.

More information and a downloadable handbook at Wannastartacommune.com and The Cul-de-sac Commune Project

See more on communes and Co-Housing:
Back to the Commune, Man...
Green Co-Housing Community Development In Nubanusit
Cohousing for Gen X and Y

Tags: Architects | Los Angeles