About the Urban Coup
Urban Coup is an initiative of a group of Melbournians who share a vision of creating not just housing, but community.
...but more than this, home is where our community is, our family, friends – the networks that support and nourish us.
What is Urban Coup?
Urban Coup is a group of people who are preparing to purchase land close to Melbourne CBD and build a sustainable inner urban cohousing community. We are a cohesive community that is welcoming, supportive and inclusive of all individuals.
We intend to build a community of 30 households, with a mix of one, two and three bedroom residences. Our community development will also have a common house with shared kitchen and dining, shared garden and orchard, music room, a room for guest accommodation, car sharing, and other shared facilities.
Urban Coup also presents a range of opportunities for engaging and sharing with diverse local communities via supportive activities. This may lead to partnership, social enterprise or simply manifest kinship within our local hood via volunteer activities. Examples include: a food cooperative; local garden and food exchange; skill exchange workshops; upcycling activities and support for diverse local causes. We also hope to be able to incorporate some social housing into the mix of accommodation, however this will depend on opportunities.
We have 35 members so far, but are always looking for more. If we have more members than we can accommodate for this current project, we will be encouraging the development of Urban Coup 2, to share what we have learned and to support the development of more cohousing communities.
What will Urban Coup share?
A common house – a centrally located ‘common house’ that we all share. This is a facility where the community can meet together regularly for meals, meetings, socialising and special events. This space can include as many shared facilities as we decide we need such as a music room, or kids room to foster creativity, diversity and a culture of sociability.
Shared community open space – designed to encourage community interaction, a veggie patch and the occasional BBQ.
Community owned – we will all own the common facilities, just like any owners’ corporation, except they will be managed by us – the residents.
Privately owned dwellings – each dwelling will have its own private balcony or courtyard, its own kitchen and dining area, and can be bought and sold on the open market like a conventional house or apartment.
Interested in joining?
What is Cohousing?
Cohousing allows for you to enjoy the privacy of your own home, and yet walk out your back door to be part of a community with which you share a garden, some common facilities and even a regular meal. For three decades cohousing has been growing successfully worldwide, reinvigorating with it the age-old concept of community.
Some of these communities have grown incrementally, some have renovated existing buildings to create their community and some have started from scratch. They have been built in inner-city, and suburban and rural locations; populated by ex-students, families or especially created for senior citizens – each building their own unique small community.
Cohousing communities sometimes share garden tools, can provide a safe place for kids to play together, and in the case of an innercity community like the Urban Coup, our vision is to have a decent sized vegetable garden and a chickens in a chicken coop. The ‘commonhouse’ is a shared space where meals can be shared and where the community has its regular get-togethers.
There are times when everyone needs space, which is when each resident having their own self-contained residence to go home to, gives the balance needed for community life.
Australia has several successful cohousing communities that exist in Adelaide, Hobart, and Perth. In Denmark where cohousing was pioneered as a concept in the 1970’s there is now hundreds of communities with 5% of all new housing being cohousing. Cohousing has also been growing in the UK, Canada, New Zealand and America, so there are plenty of examples of successful communities to learn from.