Alley Regeneration Project
The goal of the Alley Regeneration project is to create a model for the creative redesign of urban alleyways by reducing resource consumption and improving social equity and system management. Building on the success of the Alley Flat Initiative—which fosters the sustainable design and development of small, detached secondary residential units across Austin accessed from its extensive network of alleys—the alley project transforms these under utilized public spaces. Based on over five years of design studies by students and faculty with the CSD, in October 2011 the City of Austin committed funds to an alley demonstration project to integrate Alley Flat infill housing by homeowners and not-for-profit housing developers with alley greening interventions redesigned and reconstructed by the city to sequester and treat storm water, increase public safety, and provide new venues for public art and urban agriculture.
Why the Research Is Important
Historically, Austin’s alleys were conceived as infrastructure conduits to serve storm-water runoff, electrical distribution, solid waste collection, and private access. Due to municipal budget constraints after 1990, the City gradually abandoned maintenance of these public spaces and many have become places of social and environmental degradation.
- Empirical testing of the effectiveness of regenerative design for increasing the coupled ecological and social capacities of urban alley systems in Austin.
- Continuing to work with the City of Austin Office of Sustainability on applied regenerative projects within the urban core.
- Design for a test project in an alleyway in East Austin, selected through collaborative research conducted by the CSD and the City of Austin, to be finalized in 2013.