The Green Alley Project (GAP) is fundamentally a project on green infrastructure planning/design, broadly defined as an integrated spatial and functional framework for environmental, social, and economic sustainability. The goals of the project are:
- To restore natural hydro-ecological processes to improve watershed health and reduce the risk of flooding
- To enhance the quality of the public realm through the promotion of pedestrian-oriented back-lane commercial and cultural functions
- To leverage integrated aesthetic and functional public realm and infrastructure improvements to attract investment and talent, and serve as a catalyst for revitalization.
The shared goals of green mobility (walking and cycling) and green stormwater infrastructure (natural systems) are synergistic and can co-evolve to bolster the resilience and vitality of the city.
To realize these goals, the GAP has developed an alley classification methodology, and identified the back alleys off Stephen Avenue in the historic centre of downtown Calgary as prime opportunities by virtue of the following factors: scale and rhythm suited to a pedestrian’s rate of movement, tactility and porosity of building facades at ground level contributing to visual interest, irregularity of edges characterized by alcoves suitable for ‘spill-out’ programming, and connectivity potential to Plus 15 networks, sources from which pedestrian flows can be diverted, as a strategy in pedestrian activation.
As a surface strategy, the Green Alley Project is advocating for patterned and porous surface materials to serve as integrated visual cues for shared pedestrian/vehicular movements and as porous living membrane or ‘natural infrastructure’, for rainwater infiltration.
Research Team 2019
Daphne Yuk Yink Tsang