Environmental consciousness has taken deep roots in Denmark and nowhere is this more evident than with the presence of ecological communities and sustainable cohousing developments. One such successful example is the Munksoegaard village located just outside Roskilde some 30 kilometers west of Copenhagen. A relatively new ecovillage, it was founded in 2000 but has already gained attention from environmental groups around the world for its innovative ownership method and the cohousing planning. Even before it was built Munksoegaard already won a Danish award for the “best sustainable design for the 21st century.”
Munksoegaard (pronounced as “Monks-sa-GIRD”) is home to about 150 adults and 100 children. The 25-hectare property is made up of five two-storey cohousing buildings each with 20 apartments and a common house. The community devised a creative way so that anyone who wants to live in Munksoegaard can do so, regardless of age or economic status. Three of the housing buildings are for rent, with one reserved for young adults, one for seniors and the third open to anyone. The other two housing buildings are for those who want to own units. In one building, the residents own their individual dwellings and a share of the common space. While in the second building, everything is cooperatively owned where each resident has the right to the whole cohousing building and decides on leasing the rights to live in anyone of the 20 housing units. All of the houses are made of wood and everyone is encouraged to practice recycling as well as growing organic vegetables. There are also farm buildings used for different purposes: there is a coffeeshop, a vegetable garden, shelter for transportation for the community and for keeping the animals.

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