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Alley revitalization is becoming more widely acknowledged as a viable urban redevelopment strategy in United States cities. Currently, most alleys in U.S. cities are underutilized, and they evoke a number of negative images—fearful places, waste-strewn, stinky, etc. The successful revitalization of alleys presents many benefits, such as economic development, enhanced walkability, visual enhancement, reduction of crime, etc. Revitalization of alleys leads to more productive and effective utilization of public space. In fact, cities in many countries have long utilized alleys as places where many aspects of ordinary daily life of the city take place. However, the potentials of alleys and the approaches that other cities have utilized to creatively revitalize alleys are not widely known, especially in the U.S.
This thesis presents multiple cases of alley revitalization, mainly in the U.S., Australia, and Japan. Based on analysis of these cases, types of alley revitalization are categorized, and general design ideas and strategies for achieving the desired characteristics in each type of alley are presented. The intention of this thesis is to provide a tool for decision makers who are interested in implementing alley revitalization projects.
Utilizing the knowledge gained from the review of alley revitalization cases, the author proposes alternative ideas for the revitalization of a selected downtown alley in Lincoln, Nebraska.
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