There are many areas of Philadelphia that are not only beautiful, but breathtaking, but be sure to not focus on any of the city's alleys or you might be tempted to run for the hills. In order to evaluate which ones should get a makeover, Center City based blogger William West created a grading system for Philadelphia's alleys. In the fall 2015 Center City Residents Association (CCRA) newsletter, he wrote: "It's a shame that some of the city's prettiest
streets are backed up by these automotive shantytowns. We might as well put up a sign: Abandon All Standards, Ye Who Enter Here. That's how it is, but I don't think it's necessary. All we really need to do, I think, is pay a little attention." West pointed to a few alleys that would be good spaces to start with, including the 2100 block of Cypress and the 1300 block of Drury Street. In the same newsletter, CCRA board member Andy Nicolini wrote about plans to turn the 2000 block of Moravian Street in to Philadelphia's "first green alley." He further described a green alley as "an inviting urban oasis, an educational and safe space for passersthrough, and a showcase for native flora and local artists." According to PlanPhilly, Nicolini and a group of Moravian Street neighbors partnered with Shift_Design to craft a proposal for different ways to transform some of Philadelphia's grungiest alleys with foliage, birdhouses, and LED-lighting. This project might seem rather ambitious and especially time-consuming, but as West put it, "Progress is possible, folks."
· Are alleys the next frontier in Philly placemaking? [PlanPhilly]
· Reclaiming Urban Alleys from Cars, Trash and Rats [Center City Quarterly]