Adaptive City Prizewinner to tackle Canberra’s isolation problem at cohousing symposium

Artist and designer Cris Clucas’ broken laptop was the catalyst for entering Canberra Innovation Network’s Adaptive City Challenge. Hoping with the prize money to replace her computer, Cris shared her story of living in affordable housing in Canberra and spoke about cohousing as a solution to our society’s growing mental health concerns, loneliness and isolation – and she won!

In the process of writing the pitch, Cris met Canberra Cohousing President, Fiona Game, who shared that this moment in time is pivotal in Canberra’s history as the ACT Government is reviewing the ACT masterplan and Planning Act.

With the recently approved small-scale cohousing development Stellulata starting in 2023 and proposed North Watson site slated for cohousing development through Cohousing Canberra, Cris decided instead to use the $5,000 prize money to organise a one-day cohousing symposium.

Cris and Fiona have invited Australian cohousing experts to speak at the symposium in Canberra with the aim of creating community groundswell and bringing together Canberrans interested in joining the North Watson Cohousing development.

The symposium will also be of interest to:

  • people who have thought about living in a cooperative community but don’t know where to start;
  • Canberra residents who are not sure how cohousing projects might affect their neighbourhood;
    members of resident associations and community councils who want to understand more about new housing choices for their community;
  • cohousing supporters who want to hear directly from experts and
    people with lived experience of cohousing;
  • policy makers who want to understand more about how the issues
    have been dealt with in other jurisdictions.

This symposium is a rare opportunity for Canberrans to discuss with experts and meet others with an interest in this alternative housing model – cohousing.

Watch Cris’ winning 3-minute elevator pitch here, and find out how cohousing could be the solution to isolation and loneliness.

The Cohousing Symposium: Creating Connected, Healthy Communities will be on Saturday 17 September 2022, 9:30am – 6:00pm. To get your tickets visit: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/cohousing-symposium-creating-connected-healthy-communities-tickets-391517809307