Each of the homes has a large front porch, which encourages socialization among residents.
The porches were purposely built large — 8 1/2 feet by 13 feet — so residents can hang out together. Johnston said one of the biggest goals with this pocket community was to help stop the “loneliness epidemic,” which was exacerbated by the pandemic.
Johnston said that, generally speaking, houses, condos, and apartments are built to maximize privacy and limit interaction with neighbors. This can lead to increased feelings of loneliness, which can be extremely harmful to mental and physical health.
“We built the cottages in a way for people to connect through the built environment, the design, and the layout,” he said. “Meaning, I will interact with someone on a daily basis. I will be noticed as a person and remind myself that other people exist and have a small connection with them daily.”