Alley Oop is a new urban space in Vancouver that invites the public to come PLAY in an existing downtown laneway. In a city where the value of land continues to rise exponentially, finding new ways to create and use public space is crucial to the success and social well-being of city dwellers. The once underutilized space has been transformed into a bright, playful place with opportunities to play sports, casually spend time or do photoshoots. With a little bit of paint and a vision to reinvent the public’s experience of a laneway that has been embraced by diverse members of the community, Alley Oop has made Vancouver #MoreAwesomeNow.

What do you see in this space? How do people in the community enjoy it?

  • Alley Oop maximizes the in-between space of a laneway between Hastings and Pender at Granville and Seymour in downtown Vancouver that would otherwise lie fallow for certain seasons or times of day. Since its launch in September 2016, the space is vibrant throughout the day with language students shooting hoops during their lunch break, business people en-route to a meeting around the block, and both amateur and professional photographers taking pictures. At night, club-goers kick back with friends in the laneway, the avid basketballer practices free-throws and the waste removal driver makes the bin pickup.
  • The average number of visitors to the alley has almost tripled since its launch and more than half of this new population is female which says a lot about the perceived safety of a place.
  • Alley Oop has become recognized as an icon of Downtown Vancouver’s progressiveness and a symbol of diversity in the business district. With literally thousands of Instagram posts associated with the geolocation and hashtag, and three major public events hosting upwards of 5,000 people, the project has had a measurable impact on the city.