I had my next door neighbour "Helga" over for dinner last night, and we agreed that forgoing our residents’ parking permits to turn the street into a green common would increase the value of this cohort of houses and bring all of us living here a better quality of life, of cycling to work and the shops, using public transport and picking vegies from our common front yard. But our other neighbours would never agree.
So I propose Helga and I forgo 3 of our combined 4 residents’ car parking permits to make a small green common immediately in front of her house and mine, as a way of showing our neighbours what could be done later for the whole street. On our 4th space, Helga and I could park a car owned in common, for which she and I would pay according to use. Our 40 square meter green common, while small, would give a wonderful sense of place to our houses, where we could grow perimeter trees with herbs in between, fit a small rainwater tank linked to our gutters, and make a place for an outdoor table and chairs.
Ours would be one of the world’s truly remarkable streets. Picture a bike shed, herb garden, shade trees, sitting areas, common rainwater tanks fed from all of our gutters, and winding paths for the kids to ride dinkies. Forgoing private car ownership would be such a small sacrifice.