Laneways have to accommodate many uses — vehicular circulation, loading, emergency vehicle access, garbage/dumpster pick-up and storage, etc. They are typically seen as mundane, back-of-house, and devoid of public use. Could laneways act as vibrant spaces for public life? Is there an opportunity to look inwards as opposed to outwards? What opportunities does a narrow and intimate space create— evening patios or movie screenings, perhaps?
A field visit to the two hypothetical case sites — ‘Watson Street Lane’ and ‘Main Alley’ — was planned and co-ordinated by Megan Herod (Planner, City of Vancouver) with City of Vancouver staff (which included Sahisna Chitrakar, Lauren Whitney, Chris Erdman, and Andrew Misiak). Students were led on two walking tours with each one drawing attention to existing laneway conditions vis-à-vis the neighbourhood vicinity and comprehensive Broadway area plan.