Turning alleyways into active pedestrian passages | Open Shore Project

Jul 27 •

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Part of the Open Shore Project was to create a lively urban ecosystem nearby the shore of West Palm Beach, and one of the things that interested us the most was a dark and dirty alleyway near the Banyan Hub. When a city lacks public spaces, every corner, shore or even an alleyway can become a part of the urban ecosystem. These secondary narrow streets are unique opportunities for transformation.

This is how we proposed to activate this space:

The passageways

From Service Alleyways to Surprising Passageways

The alleyways will undergo a rapid activation process ranging from temporary interventions to the development of permanent structures and spaces to host new programs. Walkability, security, and comfort will be the first priorities to be addressed by means of active and passive climatic mitigation, new waste disposal and lighting systems, etc. Activities will disperse later into adjacent public spaces and buildings and these revamped ‘passageways’ will become thematic routes connecting different parts of the city.

In order to obtain the desired level of comfort, climatic conditions also have to be improved by controlling temperature, airflow, air quality and other parameters. This structural and bioclimatic system can be reconfigured, modified, or adapted to specific needs or conditions of each particular location, like changing actors, nearby buildings or available free spaces. It can also be extended to either host new programs or complement existing ones.


The system proposed for the occupation of the alleyways is highly flexible and allows the inclusion of different kinds of activities in any of them. To achieve this, each passageway is given a particular theme that is linked to important urban areas in the waterfront and the downtown, extending existing programs into the city: Leisure Passageways connecting with commercial areas, Cultural Passageways providing new places for cultural and social interaction, Active Passageways bringing sports, physical activity and healthy practices into the city…

These Passageways will serve to radically optimize underutilized space existing throughout downtown.

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