Modern living is atomised – everyone in their little boxes, watching their little boxes. Much loneliness results. On the other hand, many people would shrink from the level of involvement that a full-on housing co-op or intentional community (commune) calls for.
Cohousing is a middle way – much more involvement and warmth than our modern way of living, but retaining the ability to live in one’s private space when desired.
In a cohousing community everyone has their own front door, but at the same time there are many shared facilities (e.g. a community house, an allotment) where members can be together socially or for tasks.
The most famous video about cohousing seems to be:
but the other youtube videos that come up are also worth watching.
The LILAC community in Leeds is very inspiring:
You can find lots more great information about cohousing on the UK Cohousing website.