The best size and number of households seems to be one of the big challenges facing cohousing in America. Cohousing communities in Europe have shown over and again that the optimum size is not too big and not too small.
Create a community that is too big and an institutional feel and sensibility will result. Create a community that is too small, and it will become more like a large family, not a neighborhood of actively engaged households.
People often ask me what I consider to be the biggest difference between American cohousing and Danish cohousing. As an architect, I think people are usually asking about architectural features. But there’s more to it than that. When I show Danish visitors American exercise rooms, they always wonder what the stationary bikes are. “You mean you pedal but you don’t go anywhere?”