South Park – North Park – Golden Hill

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Why Do You Have a Fence in Front of Your Home?

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 10:25 AM PDT

Thoughts on defensible spaces and private places

By Anna Daniels A few days ago I realized that every single piece of residential property on my City Heights block, save one, has a fence and or a gate between the residence and the street. The business at the end of the block is also completely fenced. I only became conscious of this fact after spending a number of hours last month walking along the side streets north of University Avenue a few blocks east and west of 30th Street in North Park. This area looks in many ways like the City Heights side streets off of University Avenue, farther to the east, where I now live. There are the same generic craftsman style detached houses and two story multi-unit apartments and condos, for the most part built more recently. But these North Park side streets look different aesthetically in terms of the colors of paints utilized and kinds of landscaping; and they look different in terms of overall appearance than the area where I live. I was really struck by the fact that so many of the residences in this part of North Park, close to a busy commercial area, still do not have fences in front of the property. So why are there so many fences in some parts of San Diego, and less or so few in others? Why are there so many more fences in the mid-city areas than there were thirty years ago, when I moved here? Do fences make good neighbors? Do fences make good neighborhoods?

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 07:11 AM PDT
North Park in the first stages of becoming the first sustainable-focused neighborhood in San Diego following the U.S. lead of Portland, OR.  Tonight (Wednesday, April 10th) there will be an informational meeting for community members to learn about the project.  The meeting will be at Sea Rocket Bistro (3382 30th Street, 92104) from 5:30 - 7:30 PM and $3 drafts and $2 street tacos will be available. I recently talked with Paulina Lis, who is heading up the North Park EcoDistrict project along with colleague Jennifer Owens, to learn more about the project.  (The North Park EcoDistrict is currently in 'start-up' mode and the official website,, is under construction. In the interim the best source for information on the EcoDistrict is the Facebook page.)  Paulina directed me to the Portland Sustainability Institute (PSI) as a primary source for information on what an EcoDistrict is and what Portland has been doing.

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