Sustainable design is emerging as an increasingly important concern for the global urban population. Usually sustainable design is associated with economic, ecological and social aspects with the importance of the physical environment often ignored, particularly in the social sciences. However, the physical and social dimensions should be inseparable in the sustainable development agenda. Increasingly, urban designers are emphasizing the link between physical design and sense of community in public open spaces, but there is limited research on the importance of residential streets and associated semi-open public spaces, such as verges, and private spaces, like the front yard. Using the case study method, including observation and a survey in the suburb of Subiaco in Perth, Western Australia, this article explores the significance of residential streets and the space typology of front yards in comparison to other outdoor open space types. The analysis of the front yard's contribution to the street and community can inform designers, developers, planners, policy makers and residents to achieve a more attractive inner city living environment.