I live on Bryant street in San Francisco. It is not one of the "greenest" streets here, but I'm hoping a little community action can change that. The flier above is from the San Francisco Dept. of Public Works; they actually encourage residents to take up the sidewalk in front of their houses and plant a garden. It's fantastic that the city offers such support. The permits are relatively cheap, and I've even heard of some people getting grants to pay for the concrete removal and plants! The residents are expected to put in the man-hours. Above is the corner of my street...the sidewalk sort of curves outward into the street here. It's an expanse of concrete that could very well be a jolly green garden! My friend, neighbor, and fellow gardener Jaren over at Plant Rescue is also interested in greening our street. She literally lives half a block down on Bryant. We are hoping to collaborate in our efforts and see if we can get a little neighborhood group together to green as much of the street as we can! We could help each other carry the burden of labor and maybe even some cost if we, say, buy plants in bulk, or share the cost of a rented sidewalk-remover-machine-thingy. Maybe we could even make quirky fun nerdy permeable landscapers T-shirts that say "Jolly Green Bryant". Dorky enough for you?!
The DPW's PR card above reads: "A green sidewalk looks great, helps with storm water runoff, and is good for property values!" More information can be found at this link: Permeable Landscaping. A successful example of this permeable landscaping is only a block away on a York street, parallel to Bryant. York Street inspiration: In front of my house on Bryant and lining York street(pictured below) are beautiful cherry trees such as these now in bloom: