9.21.08 – Boulder, Colorado

I had the pleasure this weekend of visiting with a remarkable group of elders who have taken life into their own hands – creating Silver Sage, a co-housing community here in the heart of beautiful Boulder. I learned that much of the impetus for this community was provided by the city of Boulder itself, which is using the co-housing concept as one of several strategies to develop a mixed income neighborhoood in the north end of the city. As Arthur Okner, one of the founders explained, “successful co-housing starts with the land”. The city approached Jim Leach, a developer of co-housing, to secure the property. Then Jim reached out to Arthur and others to assemble the collection of prospective owners and support their creation of a vision for the community. Having been under the impression that co-housing communities started with the people and not the site itself, this awakened me to the relevance of the business model itself as a driving force in successful developments.

I took some time to climb Sanitas mountain yesterday. Don’t be impressed… it’s not that hard. The climb paid off… as a brief rain shower that began on the western side of the low ridge moved to the east it created a full rainbow that framed the city of Boulder and the plain beyond. As a walker passing me on the trail reported, “it doesn’t get any better than this!”

This is a town that certainly values physical culture. I feel as if I am in Olympic Village and grimace when I see my profile reflected in the store windows. Definitely needing to get back to the gym when I return!

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