About 5,000 people across the nation are now living in cohousing, a type of neighborhood that is planned by its residents, and about one-third of the residents in these developments are households with children, according to the Cohousing Association of the United States.

Cohousing, which originated in Denmark, was introduced to the United States about 15 years ago, and there are now an estimated 75 cohousing developments in the U.S. Denmark has about 350 completed cohousing communities.

In a cohousing development, future residents of the development meet to plan the neighborhood about two to three years before the development is built. Homes are privately owned and members are equal owners of the land and common areas.

Wild Sage Cohousing in Boulder, Colo., one of the latest cohousing developments in the country, has a 5,000-square-foot Common House that features overnight guest rooms, a children’s playroom, a library and sitting area, an exercise room and a Great Room for dancing, music and special events.

“I appreciate how rarely I need to get in a car to take my kids across town for a play date,” said Chris Hauck, 42, a Wild Sage resident, in an announcement by Wild Sage Cohousing. “I also like having the choice of eating with my family at home or joining my neighbors in a shared home-cooked meal in our Common House. This is a great lifestyle.”

Cohousing neighborhoods are designed to emphasize people over cars, and automobiles are parked at the edge of the property, according to the Wild Sage announcement. “Homes in cohousing are connected by a pedestrian pathway so people can easily chat with one another while walking to an from their house. Cohousing residents also drive less because many of their social needs can be met in the neighborhood.”

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