Formed: 2001 Established: 2004
This page last updated:6/1/2012
(20 km north-east from Vienna)
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Austria’s first cohousing project, the eco-settlement Lebensraum is situated in an agricultural area northeast of Vienna. Intended common activities include mutual babysitting, common meals, growing our own vegetables, work parties, bulk-purchasing, sharing of resources and equipment, as well as singing, dancing, and celebrating. We have a democratic structure, make decisions on a majority basis, and jointly ensure maintenance of the settlement. As in other cohousing communities, there is no shared community income.
Lebensraum (meaning living space) consists of 32 clustered homes, each with a private terrace and small garden. There are vast common facilities, like a kitchen, dining room, laundry, children’s playing grounds, and large pedestrian meeting areas. In the next step we plan to establish a health food shop with café, offices, and ateliers. The settlement is car-free, a fine place for children because of secure and safe surroundings and lots of green space. The building is ecologically constructed according to high energy efficience standards and equipped with alternative energy sources, with effective water management and land use due to higher-density sustainable development, which ensures extremely low energy costs.
Part of the building was constructed and occupied in winter 2004/5, and the whole building was finished and inaugurated in June 2005. Our residents are people of all ages and a wide variety of talents, interests, and professions. We aim at pro-environmental behavior and interaction with other communities. The “living space” has proven to be a place to feel at home.
Community location is placed at the center of the zip/postal code, city/state, or city/country (not based on street addresses)
This page last updated:6/1/2012
Visitor Process: Please send an email to indicate your interest. Someone of the group will answer it and arrange for a tour. We have no guest rooms, but occasionally couch surfing can be provided.
Statement of Housing Non-discrimination:
Our community does not discriminate in regards to housing based on race/color, national origin, religion, sex/gender, family status (i.e. having children, not having children, or being pregnant), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, ancestry, source of income, age, creed, personal appearance, political affiliation, HIV infection, military/veteran status, unfavorable military discharge, gender identity or expression, receiving public assistance, or being the victim of domestic abuse.
Members(adults and children):
Open to new members:
(there is a waiting list)
By majority rule
(We have agreed on a 75% majority, in financial questions we shall try to achieve consensus.)
(No identified leader)
Leadership Core Group:
(We have a management committee and different work groups, we are still experimenting what works best.)
Labor and Money
Members have independent finances
Open to Members with Pre-existing Debt:
(we have a list of tasks (maintaining and cleaning) things to be done and people chose their tasks. Community workdays 2-3 times a year)
(Members have to purchase their share of the ground.)
(There is a small annual membership fee for each adult.)
Land and Buildings
(We are in the rural area of a small town (Gaenserndorf) and 20 km away from Vienna. Surrounded by fields, small houses and wood.)
4.2 acres (1.7 hectares)
(17,000 square meters)
Land Owned By:
Individual community member(s)
(every member buys each share of land.)
Number of Residences:
(There are appartments (small ones with ground floor, largers ones with a first floor). Each with private garden and terrace.)
Percentage of Food Grown:
(Most people work outside, but some like to grow their own vegetables. Very helpful: our very neighbour is an organic farmer with a big varienty of excellent vegetables and herbs.)
Share Community Meals:
(common dinner 4 times a week)
Dietary Choice or Restrictions:
Diet is up to each individual
(We cook mostly vegetarian in the common kitchen.)
(Common house and common grounds are non-smoking areas)
Common Spiritual Practices:
Which Spiritual Traditions(s):
Eclectic (integrates pieces from many religions)
Helmut Deubner and Irmgard Kravogel (chairwoman of the project)and other members of the committee. This is a pilot project and we sometimes had to proceed by trial and error (struggling with local authorities...).
Our group of residents bought the land. For construction we used bank loans, granted by a building cooperative that supervised the construction period.
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