Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

The Amazing Neighborhood of Coriandoline

 by Julie Hanus

Tags: Spirituality, Mindful Living, neighborhoods, community, housing development, children, beauty, whimsy, Coriandoline, Landscape Architecture, Radio Netherlands, Twin Cities Streets for People,

Crayon Drawing of a HouseHomes bedecked with jewels and painted flowers. Whimsical garages with yawning mouths, and lampposts adorned with cast-metal birds. A road cobbled to look like a snake. This is a magical neighborhood, but it’s also a real place. This is the amazing, child-and-adult-designed community of Coriandoline.

Coriandoline was conceptually born in 1990, when a construction co-op in the northern Italian town of Correggio made an amazing decision to become “for inhabitants,” rather than “for habitations,” reports Landscape Architecture. Fulfilling the new ethos meant getting input about housing development design from all members of the community—including children. In 1995, two psychologists started collecting ideas from 700 local children, and fanciful, functional, playful Coriandoline began to take shape. Turning inspiration into brick-and-mortar doesn’t happen overnight: The first residents moved into their new homes, of which there are 20, in 2006.

So, here’s the deal: The article in Landscape Architecture originally was an episode of the Radio Netherlands program The State We’re In. The article isn’t online yet at LA’s website, but you can read a transcript of the broadcast over at Twin Cities Streets for People. What you should absolutely, do, however, is explore Coriandoline’s beautiful, whimsical website. This is one case where a photo truly is worth 1,000 words.

Sources: Landscape Architecture, Twin Cities Streets for People

Image by gurms, licensed under Creative Commons.