Making Space for Community

When we think of ways to build healthy communities, “repairing aging infrastructure” doesn’t usually top the list. But SDOT is partnering with the Alliance for Pioneer Square, the Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority, Seattle City Light, and other city agencies to take advantage of a unique opportunity to update older utility and pavement infrastructure while also creating vibrant new spaces in which community members can gather. Canton Alley in the International District, and Nord Alley and Pioneer Passage in Pioneer Square, will be the first three spaces to receive these updates.

Alley improvement map

Map of alley locations; courtesy Google Maps.

While many of the improvements won’t be easily visible, as they will be located under freshly laid brick and pavement, area residents will surely take note of the new materials, planters, lighting and other amenities that will turn these utilitarian passageways into inspiring and enlivening elements of the city. In fact, this past year, we were able to catch a preview of things to come as Nord Alley played host to several World Cup viewing parties. As you can see below, these parties were quite the hit. We can only imagine the possibilities for these spaces after renovations are complete!

Nord Alley World Cup viewing party.

Nord Alley World Cup viewing party.

To get an idea of what is planned for the renovations, check out the following photos of the spaces as they currently exist, along with renderings of what the community and professional designers have envisioned for the future.

Canton Alley present (left) and future (right). [Click photo for larger image.]

Canton Alley present (left) and future (right).
[Click photo for larger image.]

Nord Alley present (left) and future (right). [Click photo for larger image.]

Nord Alley present (left) and future (right).
[Click photo for larger image.]

Pioneer Passage present (left) and future (right). {Click photo for larger image.]

Pioneer Passage present (left) and future (right).
{Click photo for larger image.]

The designs for and construction of these projects are funded by a combination of grants from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, the Seattle Office of Economic Development, and the Federal Highway Administration, with a portion of repaving funding provided by Seattle City Light.

Keep your eyes peeled, as construction of these projects will begin soon!