Green Alley Programs: Planning for a Sustainable Urban Infrastructure?
Revitalization of urban alleys, underway in cities and towns in North America, Europe, and other regions, can be seen as a manifestation of a broader movement among city agencies, planners, and community groups to expand green urban infrastructure and promote sustainability. This article analyzes alley greening programs in seven cities in the United States using the lens of sustainability planning. Study results indicate that most alley greening programs are narrowly oriented toward stormwater management. An in-depth exploration of the alley greening program in the city of Los Angeles illustrates how a more robust commitment to sustainability – through the adoption of goals related to environmental protection, economic development, and social equity – might be actualized in the context of alley greening efforts. The article also considers the role of collaboration in developing integrative sustainability programs around alleys.