Looking at random houses in the USA, I see many bizarre neighbourhoods. This street view photo shows a bunch of houses which are clearly separated from the front lawns, to the point where they look like "anyone's land" patches of grass. Absolutely nothing prevents or hints at anyone that they should not be playing, chilling or doing whatever on those squares of grass in front of the house. And from the looks of it, considering the condition of the grass, a lot of people have indeed walked, ran or even driven around there with cars.

Who would want such a front yard with zero privacy? Are you supposed to take out a grill and stand there in the open and grill your meat? Is it even part of the property, or does it belong to the city? If so, why is the road so far away from the houses, or the houses so far away from the road? What's with that little "buffer zone" which apparently is neither "a place for anyone" nor their private front yard?

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  • You'll have to ask the landscape architect of course, but I think having your house far away from the road might be beneficial for sound and health.
    – benn
    Commented Aug 4, 2020 at 7:35
  • I expect that row of town houses faces the other way and you are looking at the back yards. Very likely another row of townhouses is planned or possible where the grass ii located. Commented Aug 4, 2020 at 14:41

1 Answer 1


If that was a photo of somewhere in the UK, the answer to your question would be that any garden belonging to the houses is behind that wall; the areas of grass between the wall and the road would be owned by a municipal Council or housing association, and not by the residents of the houses. This kind of arrangement is more common in less overcrowded areas of the UK - you wouldn't find this in London other than possibly on some housing estates, for instance, but you might well see something like it in the North or in more rural areas I can't say whether this is the explanation in the USA though, but on examining the photo again, I suspect it shows the backs of the houses, not the front.

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