Alliums in a mixed bed of greenery.

Here in Chicago We Call it the Parkway

Welcome to 2022!

I’m heading into this year with one thing on my mind.

You may think the obvious answer would be to find continued success, advancement, and world peace.

But nope.

Let’s Jeopardy style this topic . . .

What is . . . ?

  • A public property that needs to be maintained by the property owner.
  • A space that provides distance between the sidewalk and road.
  • A space that is used for bus shelters and utilities.

Can you guess what it is?

Thanks to Wikipedia, and depending on where you live, the answer is . . .

  • Berm
  • Besidewalk
  • Boulevard strip
  • Curb lawn
  • Curb strip
  • Devil strip
  • Extension lawn
  • Grass bay
  • Grassplot
  • Hellstrip (love this one!)
  • Island strip
  • Median
  • Mow strip
  • Nature strip
  • Neutral ground
  • Park strip
  • Parkrow
  • Parkway
  • Planting strip
  • Sidewalk law
  • Sidewalk plot
  • Sidewalk strip
  • Swale
  • Tree belt

It’s crazy how many names there are for this, but here in Chicago we call it THE PARKWAY. 

The parkway (no matter the name) can be a significant conundrum when it is part of your property – at least in Chicago. I mean, it’s not your property but you’re required to maintain it. So, what’s allowed? Should it have its own design or look like your neighbors? Is it worth it to add a fence? How much should you invest in it? Can there be irrigation and electricity? What happens if the city needs to access utilities that are buried there? You want to plant a new tree or take one down? Well . . . step on the breaks because the city has rules around this. How do you design a parkway that mitigates dog walker ignorance when they will inevitably let their dog pee on your investment?

More questions than you realized, right?

Over the next few weeks, I will provide clarity by taking you one step at a time through the world of parkways.

Cheers to 2022!
Sara J-S

P.S. So excited to share with you that Topiarius now has a “Resources” section on our website. You now have complete access to our blog, our seasonal guides, and our case studies. Check it out!



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