The past few years have seen a revival in our attitudes towards everything local. Local produce, local retail, local experience and locals meeting locals, just to name a few. But what happens when the physical boundaries of your home just aren't good enough and you start looking towards the street to satisfy your everyday needs? It's simple - the indoors, and their subtle norms, are moved outside and street communal living is born!
In Australia, like other countries around the world, it's the inner city where creativity and a localised, sustainable and village-like culture is flourishing. Carlton North is an inner city suburb of Melbourne and is a text book example of 19th century English
town planning. At first glance, its grid plan street network, speculative terrace housing, treed
boulevards and garden squares suggest modernist attitudes and traditional values, and in a way this is perhaps exactly the point. These houses provide the perfect context for street communal living and strong social fabric.
"Our house faces due north opposite a park on a dead-end street, meaning most traffic is via foot and/or to visit the park." says Esther Sugihto, a local resident and organiser of Architours Melbourne, "As our rear courtyard receives little sunlight, we've set up a picnic rug on the wide footpath outside our house as an extension of our living room."
It's a great idea and generous invitation to the wider community to connect. Does this happen where you live?