Resident perceptions of urban alleys and alley greening

Mona Seymour, Jennifer Wolch, Kim D. Reynolds, Hilary Bradbury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


While urban alleyways have long been associated with blight and crime, recent urban greening efforts have reconceptualized alleys as sites for alternative transportation networks, stormwater treatment, habitat restoration, and neighborhood social life. However, little is known about how alley-adjacent residents perceive greening projects in these rather ambiguous spaces, though greening projects have the potential to both benefit and inconvenience residents in significant ways. Using a series of focus groups, this paper investigates the perceptions of alley-adjacent residents in low-income Los Angeles neighborhoods regarding residential alleys and possible greening measures. Results highlight the utilitarian relationship residents have with local alleys, and the apprehensions they have about these spaces. Findings inform a discussion on undertaking greening projects in quasi-public spaces that are important to residents' daily lives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)380-393
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Geography
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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