Symposium Programme

​Understanding Intentional Communities

Learning from research and experience

A symposium for practitioners, policy makers, academics and people interested in different forms of housing and community.

Date: Thursday 11th June 2015

Venue: Cyncoed Campus Cardiff Metropolitan University

Time: 9.45 to 4.30pm followed by drinks reception

This is an opportunity for a range of speakers and participants to listen, debate, and learn about different aspects of intentional communities. We will consider what makes for success, and what the pitfalls may be drawing on work undertaken by the research community and the extensive experience of developing and living in an intentional community.

Participants will gain a deeper understanding of how and why some communities have stood the test of time, and others do not progress beyond a dream or vision.

The day will inform policy and practice for politicians, planners, housing organisations, architects working with community groups and those aspiring to live in a co-housing community.

The symposium is free to attend, but participants need to book places so we know how much food to order!

The symposium will take place at Cardiff Metropolitan University's Cyncoed Campus.



 Arrival - tea/coffee and pastries




Chair Tamsin Stirling

Welcome and introduction to the day

10.30 am

Professor Lucy Sargisson -Nottingham University


Intentional communities as a form of practical utopia


Maria Brenton – Older Womens CoHousing


What distinguishes cohousing from other intentional communities? The community-building process and the practical aspects of developing cohousing in the UK

11.30Break – Coffee/tea





Dr Melissa Fernandez- London School of Economics

Lessons learned from almost four years of research into the formation of a senior cohousing group in South London, called Featherstone.



​Keith Cowling- Bristol Community Land Trust​The role and potential of  of Community Land Trusts




​Ruth Bradbrook - Old Hall Community  ​Living in a community – reflections on the lived experience



Horiatu-Cristian Cojan – PhD student

Designing for sustainable communities


​  Workshop discussions



Break tea/coffee



​Plenary and feedback – what have we learnt and where would we like to go from here?

Join us for a glass of something nice and a chat