From Cul-De-Sac to Commune

How do you turn a cul-de-sac into a commune? It's easier than you think, according to this piece from NPR.
April 4, 2009, 7am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Architect and social designer Stephanie Smith, who runs the company Ecoshack, took me to the first official cul-de-sac commune potluck at the end of January on a newly developed bluff in Topanga Canyon, three months after she came up with the idea."

'Coming together to share resources is the basic premise of Smith's vision for the cul-de-sac commune. Hoping to learn what kinds of tools she should design to help facilitate sharing, Smith listened to Scott Vineberg, who lives in the commune, and his progressive-thinking neighbors as they brainstormed ways to go off the grid together, raise chickens and manage their stress levels."

"The stay-at-home convenience of the cul-de-sac commune is, as Smith sees it, a solution to the biggest design flaw of its predecessors."

"'In the past, utopian communities have often failed because people who started them have really insisted that the best way is to leave your old community, leave society, leave culture and start over, and it's a valid idea in many cases, but, it also leads to failure,' she said. 'So what we're interested in doing is make them effective as part of a culture, not a counterculture this time.'"

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Published on Thursday, April 2, 2009 in NPR
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