When people come to an alley event, they’re often amazed to be watching a film, hearing great music, or simply hanging out. Changing the perception of alleys as places for crime or garbage into places to be used by everyone is not only possible, but happening all over the country and the world.

Alleys in Melbourne, San Francisco, Chicago and Seattle – to name a few – are being changed into usable and creative public spaces. Opening stores and restaurants into the alleys, installing lighting, arts, and plants, or finding ways to treat stormwater are all part of the realm of possibilities.

Here in Pioneer Square, The Alley Network Project has learned the nuts and bolts of hosting events and putting permanent installations in alleys. We would like to share that knowledge for anyone interested in learning about cleaning up their alley, hosting events, or even installing permanent installations. Please see the list of resources featured here.

Alleys Our Urban Future

Alleys – Our Urban Future

After travelling around the world in search of great alleys, I have experienced a number of different ways these spaces are being used in modern cities. Alleys in Chicago and Detroit, besides bearing their utilitarian waste- conveying activities, are transforming into environmentally integrated stormwater treatment centers. Chicago “green alleys” are re-paved with a mix of…

Alley Discoveries

Alley Observations

Alleys are interesting places. For reasons unknown to me, I have always been drawn to them. I’ve been working on compiling a series of images from alleys in Seattle, particularly those in the Pioneer Square area. I also organize the Seattle Street Photography meetup, and our group has spent considerable time exploring the alleys of…