We are an urban community of 18 households: singles, couples, and families. We completed Alberta's first cohousing project in May 2003. Prairie Sky is on three quarters of an acre two and a half miles from downtown Calgary, in three buildings that mix townhouses and apartments around a courtyard. We have a 3,400-sq ft common house that extends our private living spaces with a large kitchen and dining room, lounge, playroom, bathrooms, laundry, craft room, studio, rec room, guest room and office, and parking underground.
We have chosen to live where our actions reflect our commitment to our Prairie Sky neighbors and to social and environmental responsibility. We built for energy efficiency and water conservation, and for minimum sound transmission, so we'd stay friends in close quarters. We make decisions by consensus at monthly business meetings, and we divide responsibilities among six teams: Coordination, Building Care, Community Care, Landscape and Gardening, Social, and Common House.
We value diversity and community involvement. We do not share any ideology beyond the belief that living more closely with our neighbors enriches our lives. Sharing resources (a second car, magazines and newspapers, gardening and workshop tools, pet care, childcare, and rides to the airport) reduces our expenses. Sharing fun (common meals, movies, hiking, skiing, canoeing, guitar playing, dance lessons, music events, and whatever comes up) increases the joy in our lives.
Community location is placed at the center of the zip/postal code, city/state, or city/country (not based on street addresses)