The Green Alley Demonstration Project is an exciting new initiative being spearheaded by the Office of Sustainability and Public Works Department, in collaboration with multiple City departments and public-private partners. As a pilot project, this first Green Alley will be located in the Guadalupe Neighborhood of East Austin between East 8th and 9th Streets, and bounded by Lydia and Waller Streets. It will break ground in early May, with completion anticipated by mid-August.
This innovative pilot project will serve as a micro-scale model of neighborhood sustainability that exemplifies Imagine Austin’s vision and integrates many priority programs including: compact and connected investments, green infrastructure, household affordability, sustainable water resources, and the creative economy. The Green Alley Demonstration Project will achieve additional sustainability goals that benefit people, prosperity, and the planet that 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 will use 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 will incorporate 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.
Recently the project was awarded a Great Places Award by the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA), for how it “exemplifies the concern for human factors in the design of the built environment, and a commitment to…links between design research and practice.” The Award will be conferred on May 28, 2014 at EDRA’s annual conference in New Orleans.
With this Demonstration Project, Austin joins other leading cities around the world that are working to transform alleys into attractive, safe, 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)