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Seattle Plans to Turn Its Dark Alleys Into Bright Community Hubs

More than just a facelift, the project will transform “utilitarian passageways into inspiring and enlivening elements of the city.”

Pioneer Passage, via Seattle DOT/SvR Design/Olson Kundig Architects

Most people, when they hear the word “alley,” probably conjure to mind dark, dirty—and yes, occasionally dangerous—pathways that thread between buildings like urban arteries, relegated to disrepair from years of neglect and misuse. Alleys, for all their municipal usefulness, are simply not thought of as places where most city-dwellers would choose to spend their time. Planners in Seattle, however, want to reclaim their city’s alleyways for the greater good, not simply as off-street storage for dumpsters and delivery trucks, but as friendly, walkable paths and gathering spaces for neighborhood communities.

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Bring GOOD Ideas for Cities to Your City: Download Our Toolkit

We've published a toolkit allowing anyone to organize events where local creatives team up with civic leaders to solve real-life urban challenges.

Since 2008, we've been we've been hosting GOOD Ideas for Cities events across the country, where local creatives team up with civic leaders to solve real-life urban challenges. The initiative has resulted in dozens of implemented solutions, from a board game that helps house the homeless in L.A., to a neighborhood revitalization project in Dallas, to a network of urban beacons which connects St. Louis both physically and virtually.

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GOOD Maker Challenge: Win $2,500 for a Creative Community-Building Project

Want to start a food co-op or open mic? We've got the funds to help you make it happen. Get the details here.

Which communities do you belong to? Are they religious, or maybe adventurous? Nerdy or sophisticated? Whatever your answer, we bet you’re proud of your community and have ideas to make it better. And GOOD Maker has $2,500 for you to make those ideas happen.

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