Do You Have a Shared Outdoor Space?

Do You Have a Shared Outdoor Space?

Joanna Miller
Jun 9, 2009

We've been talking about personal porches, yards and gardens, and earlier today, we asked about your favorite public picnic spots. But what about that gray area in between: the shared outdoor space? Are you an apartment dweller in this situation? Is it communal bliss? Or something a little less idyllic?

Our apartment in Chicago has a shared back porch, and many of our friends here have found themselves in similar situations.

We've heard some stories of friendly neighbors working together to create and maintain a lovely backyard or garden that is enjoyed by all. Tenants helping each other lay sod, plant flowers or build picnic tables. Dogs and children playing happily while the adults prepare food for a building-wide barbecue. This is how it's supposed to be.

Sometimes, though, these shared spaces can create a bit of tension. There are the neighbors who like to throw parties but don't like to clean up their messes. The condo association that can't come to an agreement on what to do with the courtyard. The tenants who get the sense that their landlords didn't really mean it when they offered free use of the garden and grill. The neighbor's not-so-friendly dog that's always roaming the yard.

Any of these scenarios – good or bad – sound familiar? Have your found shared space nirvana? Overcome a tricky neighbor situation? Or has neighbor drama sent you in search of the nearest park? If you've got a shared outdoor space tale, tell us about it in the comments.

Related: Proper Etiquette: On Sharing Neighborhood Fruit Trees

(Image: Flickr user chadmagiera, licensed under Creative Commons)

Created with Sketch.