I get the purpose of a yard for children and dogs to play in, and summers on the patio. But I don't get the point of the vast expanses of lawn that lie fallow in the more upscale suburbs. They require vast upkeep for the benefit of . . . looking at green, empty space. And the tradeoff seems to be a world where you can't get anywhere without driving and your neighbors are distant apparitions. Am I missing something? Or do others perceive features where I see bugs?
I can think of at least two things I miss about not having a yard: Gardening and Grilling. I enjoy my window herb garden, but it's obviously got some limits. Now it's true that there are communal gardens in Cambridge, but there really aren't that many plots when you consider the density of the population... and for grilling, there isn't much of a solution except taking a little hibachi out to the park, which I'm not even sure is legal, and it certainly isn't ideal.
My proffered solution to this would be Green Roofs:
We could then have a place for sunbathing, gardening, and grilling open to the residents of a building, so it's a little bit more private than your average public park... but it's not wasting space that could be used for housing more people.