These families wanted a village, so they built their own

A new co-housing development in Madrid aims to serve as a model, where impromptu gatherings are by design

23 June 2021 - 20:16 By Miriam Foley

When Madrid’s schools were closed in January due to the coldest weather in 50 years, parents living in the Entrepatios cooperative housing development already had a model that would have made many parents struggling through pandemic closures jealous. Their on-site “school” was inaugurated. Thanks to child care shifts and a Google calendar, working parents were able to focus on their day jobs most of the time, while their children took part in a children’s yoga class, a sleigh ride in the snow or a performance in the communal playroom.

“It’s like a village,” says Cintia Díaz-Silveira, who moved into the new cooperative housing block of flats at the end of 2020 with her partner and two children, aged three and one. For Díaz-Silveira and her fellow inaugural residents, their new living situation is their answer to the refrain “it takes a village to raise a child”. And they hope it can be a model for others who want to start something similar but don’t know how...

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