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Last updated: April 11, 2013 (1 year ago)
Listing created on: August 16, 2011

Backyard Neighborhoods

(San Francisco, California, United States)

Mission Statement:

retrofit cohousing

Community Description:

The goal of this group is to connect people who want to share parts of their backyards to create large, shared spaces where children can play and learn together spontaneously and neighbors can get to know each other easily.

Some may just want to share portions of their backyards and nothing else. Others may want to share a few more things, such as tools and outdoor toys, and perhaps share occasional meals outdoors. And some may want to develop into retrofitting cohousing communities with some shared indoor facilities like N Street Cohousing in Davis, California, where fences have gradually been removed from the backyards of 19 houses. Those that focus on permaculture might even become urban ecovillages.

If you own or rent a home with a backyard and would like to have neighbors who want to remove or change fences and share parts of their backyards (or you already have shared backyard space and want to notify interested people when a home on your block becomes available for sale or rent), please see the “Blocks with Potential” page at BackyardNeighborhoods.org.

And if you would like to buy or rent a home on a block where there are residents who want to share parts of their backyards, you can contact us to be added to an announcement list. Please be specific about which area(s) you are interested in, such as a city, region, state, or country. Whenever someone tells us about property for sale or rent in a block where a resident wants to share backyard space, we will make an announcement to the people who are interested in the area that the block is in.

Also, please contact us if you hear of two or more houses next to each other for sale or rent at the same time, on any block. We could then contact the people interested in that area. (We could also help connect people who want to buy or rent at the same time.)

The founders of this group live in San Francisco, so we are particularly interested in taking down fences in this city, but we also want to help create backyard neighborhoods in other areas.

We will never sell or rent any email address, and we won’t give your email address to anyone except a person or group you ask us to contact for you.


Social Factors


Land and Buildings

  • Housing Provided: No, we are a different type of community.

Labor and Money


Community Affiliations

San Francisco Backyard Neighborhood and Learning Center

Fair Housing Laws

Our community does not provide land or housing, so is not subject to fair housing laws.


home education, homeschooling, self-directed learning, unschooling

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We happily link to the following organizations, all of whom share our strong commitment to promoting community and a more cooperative world:
Cohousing The Federation of Egalitarian Communities - Communes Coop Community Cooperative Sustainable Intentional North American Students of Cooperation Global Ecovillage Network
Special thanks to the sponsors of our Art of Community Events.