The Green Alley Demonstration Project is located in the Guadalupe neighborhood between 8th and 9th Streets and bounded by Lydia and Waller. Under the joint leadership of the Office of Sustainability, the Public Works Department, University of Texas, and the Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corporation, this pilot project incorporates Alley Flat housing, colored concrete and pervious pavement, rain gardens, native and edible landscaping, wildlife habitat, public art, and recycled materials. Private property owners have developed five private secondary homes along the alley, providing micro-density and increased housing choices. (Learn more about Alley Flat housing by clicking here.)
The Green Alley Demonstration Project achieves additional sustainability goals that benefit people, prosperity, and the planet. These include:
Encouraging compact neighborhoods
Increasing the sustainability performance of public Right-of-Way
Creating a model project that demonstrates sustainability and Imagine Austin goals
Increasing affordable housing choices with Alley Flats or other secondary unit infill
Addressing gentrification issues
Activating alleys to increase public safety
Encouraging residents to “adopt” and care for alleys
The project was designed with significant resident input and used sustainable and green infrastructure elements to provide a safe, accessible, and creative space where neighbors can meet and come together as a community. The alley incorporates elements such as colored concrete pavement, pervious pavement, rain gardens, native landscaping, herb gardens, social gathering areas, public art, and recycled materials, such as river rock in planters and fly ash in concrete.
Pictured: Two of the Salas sisters whom the alley is named after.
Recently the project was awarded a Great Places Award by the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA), for ways it “exemplifies the concern for human factors in the design of the built environment, and a commitment to…links between design research and practice.”
With this Demonstration Project, Austin joins other leading cities around the world that are working to transform alleys into attractive, safe, and usable public places.
City of Austin (a cross-departmental collaboration between the Office of Sustainability, Public Works, Austin Energy, Austin Water, Austin Resource Recovery, Neighborhood Housing and Community Development, Planning and Development Review, and Watershed Protection)