Living on the Blue Hill
The Blue Hill (Blåhøjen) is one of many co-housing projects/housing coops in Denmark. The idea is for people to own their own houses while also living collectively, with shared facilities and caring for one another. There are many of these kinds of coops in Denmark of varying size from 10 households and upwards.
It consists of 25 houses, and a large shared common house that is used for the communal production of the shared evening meal, for eating this meal, and for many other activities from meetings to workshop, gym and play-area for children. The surroundings are suburban, and the buildings are surrounded by a communal garden/yard. The coop houses about 55-60 people aging from approximately 0 to 70 years of age.
All adults and older children partake in the planning and cooking of daily evening meals and the adults as well in monthly maintenance and cleaning days. The coop has a flat decision hierarchy where all adults participate in working groups and the monthly meeting is responsible for all decisions. It uses a Google group set-up for email distribution, a Google calendar for meetings and meal announcements, a shared Dropbox for minutes and formal documents and a Facebook group for less formal communication. The coop has a website for limited external use. Cooking planning and signing on and off for meals is done using paper forms.
The communal living makes it possible to mix families and single households of different income levels, it makes it possible for people to help each other with various practical matters, to provide healthy but cheap meals, to share many forms of household and other items such as gardening tools, etc. and to offer a space for activities otherwise not possible in limited sized houses.
Author: Susanne Bødker, Aarhus University, Denmark
Date added: 30 October 2019