Reshape. Redesign. Recreate. The city's back alleys!

Have you heard of the term YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard)? It is a movement opposite to NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard). According to urban planners, NIMBY means people will not support a change in the urban landscape, as it will affect their private space.


Anyway… I think there is a very strong YIMBY movement beginning to happen – if you are reading this blog you are most likely a part of it!

There are many back alleys in cities which are crying out for renewal, life and colour. What if you can improve city life just by taking the initiative to change your back ally? Melbourne's residential back alleys are usually neglected: Random trash bins, closed rusty garage doors, crooked flooring and bad drainage.

These alleys are grey and depressing spaces, but it is possible for them to be an urban treasure.

Why? • It's the most immediate communal resource for the average household. • It's where you meet your neighbors when you come back from work. • It's where your kids can play and feel safe, a single shout distance when dinner is ready. • It's a nice afternoon walk away from the busy road where you can actually have some peace and quiet.

These alleyways are currently deserted. Segregating each individual in his/her own home, behind walls and fences. It doesn't have to be like this.

Open your back door, take a look, imagine it differently. Think of a big table with a street lunch for all the neighbors, think of trees and pot plants, think of a small playground, a bench, and art work. Think how can YOU make it better and convivial! The city is listening...

Any ideas?

Little George st. Fitzroy

Little George st. Fitzroy

Canturbury PL. Middle Park

Canturbury PL. Middle Park

Little Barkley st. Carlton

Little Barkley st. Carlton


Some more good examples can be found in Vancouver and Montreal