Urban alleys are largely understudied and underutilized but this is starting to change. Los Angeles and other cities across the U.S. are transforming alleys into multi-purpose community assets. How can communities green and revitalize their alleys? A new report from the UCLA Luskin Center and The Trust for Public Land, which debuted on March 28th at the ribbon cutting event for the Avalon Green Alley Network Demonstration Project in South LA, tells the story of a particularly comprehensive alley revitalization effort and puts it in context with helpful lessons and best practices from this and previous projects.
The Avalon Green Alley Network Demonstration Project + Lessons Learned from Previous Projects for Green Alley Development in Los Angeles & Beyond provides practical information to city staff, community members and other stakeholders interested in advancing green alleys. Created by lead author Rachel Lindt of the Luskin Center, the report introduces a framework presenting a range of green alley project and program possibilities organized by main objectives – environmental, economic, and social benefits. Project examples highlighted in the report also span from a one-day community event to a permanent pedestrian corridor. Infrastructure elements often include vegetation, storm water management techniques like permeable pavement, and other features. The type of green alley created depends on the project facilitators, the amount of resources available, and the surrounding land uses.
Beginning with examples of previous alley transformations, the report also provides an in-depth case study of the Avalon Green Alley Network Demonstration Project (the Avalon Project) led by The Trust for Public Land and partners. The Avalon Project is currently breaking ground in the South Park neighborhood in the heart of South Los Angeles. While not yet a complete transformation, the Avalon Project already represents years of planning, organizing, community engagement, fundraising, and the navigation of a complex regulatory environment. The report is a helpful tool describing these and other key steps that can be replicated and scaled up across Los Angeles and other communities in the nation.