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Activation

Alleys as a business amenity

In many communities demolition of nearby buildings or creation of new parking lots, have exposed previously hidden facades, yet these spaces lack any aesthetic appeal to welcome customers. Unlike the front façade, visual improvements in ancillary spaces can achieve a dramatic impact at little cost. Read More

2017-12-21T02:05:38-06:00September 25, 2017|Local Ordinances, Places, Public Spaces|

Activating alleys and service areas on Main Street

Not all alley renovations involve costly makeovers. There are many examples where the programming of the spaces made them destinations, rather than physical improvements. For instance, Buckham Alley in Flint, Michigan. Back in 2011, in an effort to attract pedestrian traffic to the businesses located alongside this downtown alley, local residents organized a one-day music festival called the Buckham Alley Fest. In that first year, they had nine bands, fifty vendors, and nearly 1,500 attendees. Read More

2017-12-21T02:06:20-06:00September 18, 2017|Marketing & Promotion, Places, Public Spaces|

Transforming alleys and service areas on Main Street

In nearly every historic commercial district, there are two sides: the “public face”, which includes the storefront, the streetscape, and most of the activity; and the “behind-the-scenes area”, which includes the back alleys, utilities, and delivery zones. But more and more, these behind the-scenes spaces are being transformed into vibrant, active, public spaces, often for very little cost. And the great thing is, the “unfinished” or “gritty” appearance of these areas actually creates a perfect backdrop for the types of activities often held within them. Read More

2017-12-21T02:06:59-06:00September 12, 2017|Places, Public Spaces|