Alleys are functional spaces used for a diverse range of activities. However, urban alleys are largely underutilized and understudied. Cities across the United States are realizing the potential for alleys to operate as more than single-function spaces for vehicle use. As such, cities are increasingly transforming alleyways into multi-purpose community assets.
The purpose of this report is to provide practical information, relevant to supporting green alley efforts, to city staff, community members and other stakeholders. Green alleys can come in many different forms—operating as an one-day, community event, or a permanent pedestrian corridor. Infrastructure elements common to most green alleys include permeable paving, vegetation and other stormwater managemen ttechniques. The type of green alley created depends on the project facilitators, the amount of resources available and the surrounding land uses.
This report provides a case study of the current Avalon Green Alley Network Demonstration Project (the Avalon Project). The Avalon Project is placed into context through an introduction of our green alley framework and examples from previous alley transformations in the Los Angeles region and other parts of the nation. The Avalon Project is in the South Park neighborhood, which sits in the heart of South Los Angeles, a particularily park-poor part of the city in need of more open space. The Avalon Project provides ideas and lessons for green alley design, funding, partnership development, community engagement and the navigation of a complex regulatory environment. Despite a Los Angeles focus, many of the challenges and solutions presented in this document can be transferable to other communities across the nation.