I don’t intend to live in the Canopy when we buy a house. I may live there someday, but that’s not the reason I am working on this project. I’m deeply invested in this project and want it to succeed because of what it represents.
I think co-op living will be a big part of our society's future. For one, it reflects a rich history of living in community that was only altered in the very recent past with the concept of nuclear families living in single family homes. My grandparents and great-grandparents (and probably yours) grew up with their extended families or lived in tight-knit communities. Back then, it was largely out of necessity — suburban single-family homes were a luxury of the rich. After World War II, the boom in population and prosperity led to the development of many of the towns and cities that people live in today. The nuclear family (two parents and their kids) was the standard unit that housing was based around.
But the post-war planners didn't appreciate that trading community for space and amenities also led to isolation and didn't improve quality of life, especially given the expense of buying and maintaining a single-family residence. They also didn't understand that real human families are diverse, or that today, a two-parent household is no more common than a single-parent household, or a household with more than two adults, for that matter. The tremendous interest that we've gotten when we talk about the Canopy says to me that lots of people (at least in forward-thinking Boston) want an alternative to the suburban single-family model. And today the infrastructure of most modern cities (transportation, telecommunications, food/water/sanitation) means that the quality of life of community living is far superior to our great-grandparents’.
Boston has several co-op houses, but not many that are focused on raising children in a community environment. I want the Canopy to be a model for this ideal — the first of several co-ops that build on what we are developing here. Starting a co-op is hard; keeping one going is even harder, and I want to help show that it can be tremendously successful so that others can follow the same path. So even if I don’t ever live at the Canopy, I think that someday I will live in one of many co-ops just like it.