Too often, we assume great streets are defined by great buildings. Nevertheless, there are as many streetscapes that distinguish themselves by the presence of flower or vegetable gardens, front or backyards, allotment gardens, community play fields or parks.
Gardens, as a substantial element of low dense or even high dense neighbourhoods, articulate in many cases a highly qualitative relationship between the private and public property, between the spaces we share and those we prefer to use in a more individual way, between the domestic spaces we separate or join. As a consequence, we should consider streetscapes not only delimited by building facades but as systems of urban spaces equally defined by garden walls, property fences, strips of grass, tree lines, muddy roads or concrete slabs for parking: these are the territorial delimitations that indicate how and to which extent collective spaces can be read, interpreted and appropriated by their users.
This paper describes a series of references, from the garden streetscapes of suburban Melbourne to the ones in Los Angeles, Bratislava or Toronto, from front gardens in Tel Aviv to postindustrial neighbourhoods in Coney Island New York. Reflecting upon these cases allows us to unveil many potentials of garden streetscapes as part of socially sustainable neighbourhoods.