Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Comparing American and Non-American Lawns and Setbacks...

Some interesting observations here about the way that England and her former colonies govern setbacks compared to other countries:

While other countries routinely incorporate lawns into their detached single-family neighborhoods, it appears to be only England's colonial children — the United States, Canada, and to a somewhat lesser extent, Australia, New Zealand and a handful of other places — that have embraced the idea of large, decorative and open front lawns.

Whether this reflects a continuing market preference is unclear, since nearly all municipal zoning codes in the United States require large setbacks (see, e.g., Charlotte), depriving homeowners of any choice in the matter.  The pattern has been replicated so relentlessly across the North American continent that alternative single-family residential designs may simply have been scrubbed from the collective imagination.  Yet, if any tourist were to wander outside the historic center of any European city and into the late 20th century suburbs, an entirely different picture would emerge.  Let's explore, bearing in mind that these are all post-automobile era suburbs, most dating from after 1950

Read the entire post that includes some useful pictures.  Plus, follow the link to the MIchael Pollan essay.  It's an "oldie but goodie" in many ways.

Chad Emerson.


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