Reclaiming the alleys

Alleys are often dark, dingy spaces reserved for utilitarian uses.  However cities are starting to recognize the potential of these spaces.  Melbourne in particular is famous for transforming its alleyways (or laneways as they are known down under) into vibrant public space full of cafes, shops and public art.

 

Vancouver has also started utilizing its alleys and harnessing their full potential.  Laneway housing bylaws have been approved in July 2013 and the how-to guide has been published in November 2016.

 

In downtown Vancouver two recent projects have added to the vibrancy of the city:

An alley south of Hastings Street was painted in bright pink and orange and hop-scotch grids and a basketball hoops have been added to the mix.

 

And a back alley of the recently-completed Telus Garden is being transformed into pedestrian space with nice paving and whimsical lanterns.

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