Monday, April 13, 2009

Urban Alleys

Posted By on Mon, Apr 13, 2009 at 11:33 AM

I think we've talked about Chicago's green alleys before — especially when the stormwater flooding/Overton Park detention basin plan came to light — but USAToday has an interesting story about how cities across the country are beginning to see alleys in a new way: "Rather than dismissing them as dark, dank and often dangerous spots used mainly for trash pickup and garage access, they're treating them as valuable real estate that can help the environment and improve city life.

Cities are getting rid of unsightly trash bins and creating things such as gardens and sidewalk cafes to attract people to these long-ignored spaces. In many cities, alleys are being resurfaced with porous materials that can absorb rainwater and reduce runoff."

In Los Angeles and Chicago, they're using alleys to reduce runoff; in Seattle, they banned dumpsters, recyling bins, and compost containers in the city center.

(Speaking of that, Memphis' Center City Commission took a similar step last fall as part of a pilot program and is actually modeled after Seattle's program. Read about that here.)

With Midtown's drainage issues, and its abundance of alleys, it might be worth looking at what Chicago's doing. I don't know what percentage of the alleys are paved and what percentage aren't, but with the storm water problems some neighborhoods experience, it would be better than nothing.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Flyer Flashback

Looking Back at the Flyer’s $50,000 Giveaway

To celebrate the Flyer’s 25th year, we’ll be using this space each week to look back on stories from past issues.

Read Story

© 1996-2014

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Memphis Business Quarterly
Powered by Foundation