Living Alleys Toolkit

Living Alleys Banner Image of alleyway

The main goal of living alleys is to create safe and active public places for people – especially where there are narrow sidewalks or little open space – to add vitality to the street and to the block. Living alleys can also form part of a pedestrian and bicycle network, improving safety by designing streets as places first and roads second.

 

Click here to download the Living Alleys ToolkitLiving Alleys Toolkit

Since 2013, we have worked with community members to design and implement a network of Living Alleys in the Market Octavia Plan Area. This toolkit was created to give members of the community an understanding of the design elements and processes involved in creating your own living alley!

Download the Toolkit here.

The Toolkit

This toolkit is a resource for community members and designers to develop and implement living alleys. The toolkit includes 20 design tools and well as example prototypes, to give community members a range of options and inspiration for creating living alleys in the Market Octavia Plan Area, though much of this information is applicable to alleys throughout San Francisco. In addition to the design tools, constraints and opportunities are discussed so project designers and residents can understand the full breadth of the project.

Since 2013, we have worked with community members to design and implement a network of Living Alleys in the Market Octavia Plan Area. This toolkit was created to give members of the community an understanding of the design elements and processes involved in creating your own living alley!

Market Octavia Area Plan

The 2008 Market Octavia Area Plan balances housing and transportation choices with neighborhood livability by enhancing the physical and social fabric that gives people access to basic needs and encourages interaction with one another. The Plan builds on the strengths of the physical context and the cohesiveness of the community. While some of the work laid out in the Plan has been implemented or is under construction, parts of the vision have yet to be completed.

“Living alleys” were one of the anticipated public improvements in the Plan area, which will be funded in part by impact fees from new development and created in partnership with public and private support.

Implementation of living alleys will rely on public private partnerships, partly because the City has limited appetite to accept maintenance and liability for non-standard streets, and partly to ensure that improved alleys are tended by the people who are vested in their creation.

The Sustainable Development Program

 

What is a Living Alley?

example of living alley space

A living alley is a street designed as a place for people. It can be considered an "Urban Living Room". Its design can reconfigure the geometry and surfacing of the street, or simply add low cost amenities for residents while maintaining the traditional curbed right-of-way. Whatever approach, living alleys prioritize the entire public right-of-way for pedestrians and bicyclists with alternative but clear physical boundaries. A living alley also has areas of exclusive pedestrian use and areas where vehicles are allowed to share space with pedestrians and bicyclists.

Contact

For more information about the Living Alleys Toolkit, please contact:

David Winslow
Project Lead
SF Planning Department
(415) 575-9159
david.winslow@sfgov.org