Chicago is the alley capital of the country, with more than 1,900 miles of them within its borders. [...]
Instead of eliminating them, Chicago is reimagining its alleys. In 2006, Chicago became one of the first cities in the country to conduct a “green alley” program, resurfacing alleys to prevent runoff and decrease solar heat absorption. In the last several years, the Chicago Loop Association has been experimenting with alleys as social spaces, using them to host pop-up art events. — wbez.org
It soon became apparent that the alley was not a great place to be: Further down the way was a cardboard box used as a makeshift toilet. Once, he saw a pool of blood and the apparent weapon, a pointy umbrella...
Vogel asked an architect friend what he should do. “She said the answer was simple: All I needed to do was put people in it [the alley],” said Vogel. — Yes Magazine
Although the traditional civic approach to dangerous alley behavior (violence, drug use, impromptu toilets) is to block off public access and turn them into garbage-only collection points, director of the International Sustainability Institute in Seattle Todd Vogel decided on the opposite...
If the project is scaled up, it could have a substantial impact on the urban fabric: Los Angeles has a total of almost 900 miles of alleys, roughly the length of the coast of California. Proponents believe that on a citywide scale, green alleys could act as significant rainwater sponges, mitigate the heat island effect, and reduce vehicle use, as well as bring social and health benefits to nearby residents. — nextcity.org
Tori Kjer, a program director of the Trust for Public Land, and her colleagues won support from local South L.A. communities for their proposed Avalon Green Alley Network Plan, which will transform the city's alleyways into more community-friendly spaces for playing and for bike and walking...
High-rise buildings and apartments are crowding small alleyways and residential areas, investors ignoring the huge pressure they are putting on already weak infrastructure. [...]
Hai, a resident of Thanh Xuan District, said locals are most worried about the danger of fire [...]
High-rise developments also put a huge strain on local power and water supplies, struggling sewage systems and storm-water drainage, creating more hazards for neighbouring residents. — vietnamnet.vn
In Moscow, it's common for two buildings to have blind walls facing each other over a wide alley. This setup provides the perfect space for a lithe, little office to build itself a perch. The structure fuses onto the neighboring buildings with steel clamps, hovering off the ground so pedestrians can stroll under it. It also glows at night, thanks to a translucent plastic shell, looking like a wasps' nest from hell. — theatlanticcities.com
Daniel Toole is a 26-year-old, Seattle-based architect who has, quite accidentally, found himself immersed in the hidden world of alleys. Recently awarded a travel fellowship by the local American Institute of Architects branch, he headed to Japan and Australia to study this arguably under-appreciated urban form. — theatlanticcities.com
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