OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more

Revitalization Through Alleys

In Austin, Texas, students at Univ. of Texas at Austin worked with a community members to revitalize their community through the alley ways.

Photo of DeletedUser

Written by DeletedUser

Reclaiming alley ways can encourage cities and communities to maximize the potential for existing yet forgotten spaces through ownership, entrepreneurship, and customization of such spaces and inherently transforming them into more desirable places. The alleys transformed underutilized spaces into additional community places for families to express ownership and reclaim the linear spaces as community pathways that connect neighbors.

Watch the video here.

What resources (money, time, people, technology, etc) will your concept need to be successful?

_ Community members willing to DIY

How can your idea be scaled so that it's implemented in cities around the world?

There are underutilized and forgotten spaces all over the world waiting to be re-imagined. There are several cities that have already capitalized on alleys as a way to revitalize their communities and to encourage more sustainable practices (i.e. Chicago, Seattle, Melborn, Australia, etc.)

Just to reference a few...


Join the conversation:

Photo of DeletedUser


I think beautifying alleys and streets is an important way to make city dwellers feel at home. Some graffiti art is very artistic. Have any of you seen the work of graffiti artists Julian Beever and Kurt Wenner on pavement in England, France, Germany, USA, Australia and Belgium?? They paint 3D illusions on sidewalks. Check it out - it's pretty incredible:

Interesting painting ideas like these to beautify areas would be a fun way to make people from urban areas proud of their hometowns.

Photo of DeletedUser


This is a great idea. I'd love to see how it might be taken to scale.
I just moved to Oakland, CA and found this revitalized alley way that really brings a lot of life to the neighborhood -

Photo of Szilvia Varga

Great idea, Kelly :)

Perhaps you could add some more things under the resources you need. I'm thinking paint and brushes or whatever they used to apply the paint on the asphalt. Then wood and other tools, etc. These do cost some money that I guess the community has to cover...
You could also put a guestimate on how much time is required from how many community members to realize the different activities. If you show some that only take 1-2 hours that can be a good first step that might lead community members to realize the ideas that might take way more time.

You could also connect the idea to

Photo of OpenIDEO

Hi Kelly, interesting post! Any chance you could find an image to go along with it? Images help grab attention and tell a story with higher impact. We know occasionally people have issues uploading images so let us know if you face any problems. You should be able to use the 'Update entry' button on the right of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there. Looking forward to seeing more of your inspiring ideas on OpenIDEO.

Photo of DeletedUser


I actually tried to upload photos and it kept saying the images were the wrong format (even though they were jpegs). Is there a file size maximum or minimum?

Photo of Ashley Jablow

Hi Kelly, go ahead and email us using the Support tab at the left and we'll see if we can help you troubleshoot with the images.

Photo of DeletedUser


Got It working!

Photo of DeletedUser


Melbourne Australia has a vibrant alley-way scene that has helped propel them to being rated as the city with the best quality-of-life in the world.

Photo of Paul Reader

Best city over a million population anyway Nat. Do you have images of alleyway development to enhance this concept too?

Photo of Meena Kadri

Tip: to activate links in your post, hit the Update Entry button up there on the right, then follow the instructions here: Plus there were some related inspirations around alleyways and you might want to connect them to your post using the Build Upon feature. This helps us all join the dots between related posts and will show up on your Collaboration Map for this post. Plus you'll get more DQ points!. Hit the Update button on the right of your post, then scroll down to Build Upon. Search terms like 'alley', 'alleys' + 'alleyways' and drag anything relevant over to your Build Upon field. Keep up the great work!

Photo of DeletedUser


I'm sure you can tell I'm new to this page... Thanks for the help.

Photo of Meena Kadri

Nice one Kelly – we see you're a quick learner! And we're always here to help :^)