Global Street Design Guide

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Table of Contents

Global Street Design Guide

Additional Considerations

Local climates will affect the street experience and use. Consider covering laneways to provide protection from the weather and encourage year-round use. Screens may be used to protect from wind.

Engage local artists, residents, and businesses to shape the character of the space according to uses and business types.1

Use of signage, building textures, and material variety on building edges add visual interest to the laneway.

Commercial laneways should have active ground-floor activities. Encourage businesses to provide large and transparent openings directly onto the lane to increase activity.

Tokyo, Japan. A back alley hosts commercial uses and maintains emergency egress.
Sydney, Australia. Newly converted Ash Street, connecting Angel Place and Palings Lane, is lined with restaurants and cafés.
Cairo, Egypt. A local laneway attracts evening activities, keeping the street safe and lively.


1. History Program at the City of Sydney, “Sydney’s Little Laneways Historical Walking Tour” September 2011.

Adapted by Global Street Design Guide published by Island Press.

Case Study: Laneways of Melbourne, Australia

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Case Study: Laneways of Melbourne, Australia