Alley, Vancouver

How could alleyways make our city better?

What is this?

What is this?

We want to look at spaces, places, architecture and design with fresh eyes – yours.

An essential question around the HCMA studios is: "What's Possible?" For a street? A community plan? A pool? A school? A...home page?

We post images and questions that relate to discussions around the studio. If you see something that sparks your curiosity, tell us what you think. You can check out other people's contributions too by viewing all responses.

A single comment, a debate or a consensus could cause a shift, that shifts everything.

Welcome to the conversation.

Where is this?
All Responses
  1. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    there's potential for close quarter, bazaar-like market places
  2. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    Spaces for food trucks and cultural activities
  3. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    by becoming attractions =P these marginal spaces when put in the forefront of peoples attention can spark great change in peoples attitude towards them (as you have proven)
  4. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    as a way to avoid swarms of tourists when walking around the city
  5. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    Create engaging objects
  6. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    imagine people could participate in blank sheet thinking simply by passing by and contributing an immediate thought, or a pondered thought
  7. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    Make them educational.
  8. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    surprises
  9. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    Continue to show of art on the walls, change up the art, have twinkle lights to add some unique touches
  10. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    as spaces where - to quote my favourite film character f. bueller - "you could stop and look around for awhile", as "life moves pretty fast" (particularly in the downtown core, there is a distinct feeling of cold hurriedness). Alleyways could make our city better as places to stop, play, chat, take photos, and so on.
  11. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    art its way out
  12. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    We could include alleyways in the potential and the storytelling of our city. What would inspire us to invest in spaces that are sometimes undervalued?
  13. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    become galleries for local art
  14. How could alleyways make our city better?
    2Like
    By becoming outdoor galleries
  15. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    Brighter places to gather
  16. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    by being irrestistably inviting
  17. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    Enrich the downtown experience for all.
  18. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    Add fun between meetings!
  19. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    Open them up to create space for pedestrian focused business, ie. bars, café, tappas bar, markets, etc.
  20. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    european style narrow car-free streets. planting, starry lighting, outdoor seating, wine, coffee, a violin busker.
  21. How could alleyways make our city better?
    4Like
    Umbrellas!!! It rains enough in Vancouver - when most find a place, inside, to hunker down. Insulating ourselves too often from the joys of nature. Escaping instead of embracing. Our alleyways can accommodate endless experiences, and knowing we can enjoy them under the patter or pound, safe from whipping winds, the alleys could make drizzle feel like sunshine. A chance to see and feel nature with with welcoming minds.
  22. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    By making them useable
  23. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    Urban cinema
  24. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    Evening urban street picnics
  25. How could alleyways make our city better?
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  26. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    pedestrian only corridors
  27. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    hidden canvases for local and visiting artists
  28. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    Kasser
  29. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    greenspace
  30. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    Place for expression.
  31. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    PROVIDE PUBLIC SPACE
  32. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    meanwhile uses to encourage exploration of perceived sketchy spaces.
  33. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    by occupying them
  34. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    by developing them into exhibitons
  35. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    Urban Canvas
  36. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    space to connect adjacent spaces
  37. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    More soul. More authenticity. More character.
  38. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    Clean'em up, Light'em up, Green'em up and bring life: hookups for temporary canopy, night market, weekend market, street hockey. And bikeways!
  39. How could alleyways make our city better?
    2Like
    as a venue for public art
  40. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    safety
  41. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    Impromptu interactions between individuals through interactive street installations.
  42. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    contact
  43. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    Encourage more art in them and have art walks.
  44. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    by becoming parks!
  45. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    Better weave - beautiful urban patchwork
  46. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    More eyes on the street
  47. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    Pockets of vibrancy
  48. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    Live art creation spaces
  49. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    Easier access between large streets - interesting pedestrian-only space :D
  50. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    Chances are if you make alleyways accessible for public "programming" the garbage stench will be dealt with appropriately. Vancouver downtown stinks!
  51. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    it can be a good place for a street party
  52. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    They're already cool.
  53. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    These would be create places for small, affordable micro shops to open, reducing the barriers to work and opportunity..
  54. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    When I was in Japan, alleys were not treated only as serviceways. They were also made into fully funcional commercial/social areas. Even green spaces! This while maintining its function as a service road.
  55. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    By activating our business & commercial spaces at night.
  56. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    with flowers
  57. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    Make them GREEN - plant gardens
  58. How could alleyways make our city better?
    0Like
    more walkable
  59. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    bike lanes!
  60. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    garbage cans, sharps disposals, re purposing (ex. Blood alley) Building braced over head mezzanines attatched to restaurants.
  61. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    Raves
  62. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    Hire me to help facilitate design charettes workshops
  63. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    Use of the small spaces to expand our cities ~ML~
  64. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    reveal hidden gems
  65. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    transformed into green corridor of trees and plants
  66. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    they are perfect as they are, please don't intrude on the natural urban landscape
  67. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    they are perfect as they are, please don't intrude on the natural urban landscape
  68. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    clean
  69. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    by being part of them!
  70. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    being an example of people caring about their neighborhood
  71. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    Turn them into bike paths
  72. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    By providing alternate connectivity points and placemaking options
  73. How could alleyways make our city better?
    2Like
    integrate nature into them. Bring some softness to the concrete. Couple nature with artwork and business, and suddenly you have an interesting, well used, underutilized space. In melbourne, the alleyways were full of energy. Places to grab a coffee, read a book, catch up with friends, and even grab a great dinner. The alleyways were treated like pedestrian walkways, rather than remnants for garbage collection.
  74. How could alleyways make our city better?
    2Like
    more interesting lighting
  75. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    safe place to play
  76. How could alleyways make our city better?
    2Like
    Faster on foot movement
  77. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    access
  78. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    plant plant plant trees, planter boxes, climbing vines
  79. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    remind us of what our city is rooted in while we work to see what it can become
  80. How could alleyways make our city better?
    2Like
    clean them
  81. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    pedestrian walkways
  82. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    reduce retail rents...create retail spaces for restaurants and shops
  83. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    Interaction with all People, not just well being
  84. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    They can turn into an exibition
  85. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    outdoor graffiti galleries - accessible art + culture
  86. How could alleyways make our city better?
    4Like
    There could be patio lights strung along between the powerlines, and the walls could be covered in potted plants provided by neighbours like an in the Spanish city Cordoba (but with native shade plants perhaps)
  87. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    They are unused and untapped public space
  88. How could alleyways make our city better?
    0Like
    Garbage cleaner
  89. How could alleyways make our city better?
    2Like
    Green space
  90. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    Carving out public space
  91. How could alleyways make our city better?
    2Like
    a place for gathering, a luncheon perhaps
  92. How could alleyways make our city better?
    2Like
    trees, cafes, street markets
  93. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    more lighting
  94. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    art
  95. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    car
  96. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    Create green corridors; ivy, hanging baskets, and flowers.
  97. How could alleyways make our city better?
    2Like
    Shortcuts and exciting new routes to already familiar places.
  98. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    beautiful street art
  99. How could alleyways make our city better?
    2Like
    Graffiti is awesome. There should be more city and public endorsement of graffiti art - tours of the graffiti - make people realize that this beautiful art exists all around us. Something like Nuit Blanche - utilizing spaces that aren't typically thought of as desirable places to hang out and making them into something special. Need to push for the City and businesses to support ventures such as this. Other than the proximity to nature, Vancouver is a boring city.
  100. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    Designated art gallery space
  101. How could alleyways make our city better?
    2Like
    weekend market
  102. How could alleyways make our city better?
    3Like
    have an art exhibit that is curated within our city's alley ways to generate curiosity and possibilities.
  103. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    connection
  104. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    Make them a place for people!
  105. How could alleyways make our city better?
    2Like
    More space for local farmers markets, etc.
  106. How could alleyways make our city better?
    2Like
    Using them to grow food to feed people.
  107. How could alleyways make our city better?
    2Like
    Leave them alone. Please stop "designing" everything
  108. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    creates less clutter on our main streets
  109. How could alleyways make our city better?
    2Like
    sunshine :-)
  110. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    Art Market!
  111. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    A vibrant city within a city!
  112. How could alleyways make our city better?
    0Like
    Better lit, more graffiti artwork
  113. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    air fresheners
  114. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    Local neighborhood dinner party
  115. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    bring in market kiosks like in Hong Kong, to encourage small local businesses
  116. How could alleyways make our city better?
    2Like
    showcase local talent
  117. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    Bike Lanes
  118. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    underused space
  119. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    add more sidewalks
  120. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    bike paths
  121. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    By reclaiming the space from 4m and upwards and turning it into air-cleaning greenspace.
  122. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    Providing an intimate setting for socializing with a Vancouver-only perspective on the realities, challenges, and great potential of our city.
  123. How could alleyways make our city better?
    2Like
    I don't know
  124. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    quiet space away from traffic
  125. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    Fill them with affordable housing
  126. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    Culture
  127. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    diversity of scale when filtering through the various streets of a city.
  128. How could alleyways make our city better?
    3Like
    Alleyways provide a great place for cats to lurk and ghosts of gather!
  129. How could alleyways make our city better?
    4Like
    Easy. Look at what Sydney and Melbourne Australia have done, and be inspired.
  130. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    Agreed... look to Melbourne!
  131. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    By becoming positive places for people. Clean them up and light them up.
  132. How could alleyways make our city better?
    6Like
    Pedestrian streets with street art and public gardens
  133. How could alleyways make our city better?
    7Like
    Crime Fighting Ninja Turtles
  134. How could alleyways make our city better?
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    works
  135. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    trees
  136. How could alleyways make our city better?
    3Like
    as a food resource
  137. How could alleyways make our city better?
    2Like
    Allowing for art to be shared
  138. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    Wasn't the city at one time going to get rid of garbage bins? That would be amazing. Then fill them with murals.
  139. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    treat the alleyway like a long garden
  140. How could alleyways make our city better?
    2Like
    tire swings in lots of bright colours
  141. How could alleyways make our city better?
    1Like
    make them playgrounds
  142. How could alleyways make our city better?
    2Like
    Cars
  143. How could alleyways make our city better?
    3Like
    They should be more inviting spaces to walk through rather than places people hide away in. They could be a place to house public art.
  144. How could alleyways make our city better?
    7Like
    Make like Melbourne.
  145. How could alleyways make our city better?
    4Like
    Clean them, and pay artists to make interventions
All Experiments

We hope this experiment tilts perspectives and inspires curiosity and conversation about the built environment.

Invite others to join the conversation.