This paper addresses the changes in the meaning and use of a yard over its 44 years of life. The yard under study is the heart of a public residential block in the outskirts of Rome. Since the construction of the block, the main changes which have occurred in the individual and social life of the inhabitants as well as in the physical setting, can be summarised as following: 1. Changes in the households' size and composition: the traditional large families that constituted the original population of the block have been replaced by smaller households of varied composition. In particular the number of children has decreased and the number of older people has increased; 2. In consequence of the urban expansion, the block, once isolated in the extreme outskirts of the city, has been more and more integrated in the urban context; 3. The standard of life of residents has improved; 4. In addition to children, adult residents have begun to use the yard for socialising; 5. The yard has turned from a gravelled bare area to an area cultivated, almost in part, as a garden. This change in the appearance of the yard was carried out spontaneously by the residents, who personally care this space; 6. The access to the yard has been progressively restricted to the inhabitants of the block and children from close-by buildings once using the yard as public play-space were no more allowed to do it. Using on site observations of behaviour and qualitative analysis based on in-depth interviews with residents of different age and length of residence, we try to explore the current use of the yard and the users' perception of change in their relationships with the yard over their life course. Responses indicate that the yard fulfils different functions for different populations: for instance, parents consider it mainly as a secure space for children while for elderly people the care of the garden is an important leisure activity. In addition, different usage relationships with the yard are accompanied by different perceptions of home boundaries and by a variety of territorial attitudes and attachment bonds.