NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Naming an alleyway can turn what’s normally a dirty area into a cultural and community space claims Roma Wilson, co-founder of the More Fun Alley Association.
Her organization is holding a contest to name a stretch of laneway off Esplanade and First Street, near the Lonsdale Quay, in North Vancouver.
Wilson explains how her idea came to light by transforming old tires into a garden in the alley that will be getting the name.
“What happened is after the tire garden was set up, it became a conversation piece. People saw it and said ‘oh well that’s interesting.’ I reached out to The Alley Network Project in Seattle, and they did a naming contest for one of their alleyways in Seattle and that really brought the community together.”
Wilson points to other named alley ways in Vancouver like Gastown’s ‘Blood Alley’, and Chinatown’s ‘Shanghai Alley’ and doesn’t see why North Vancouver can’t have their own.
She claims laneway housing is an example of how alleys transforming, and are becoming usable urban spaces.
“Alleyways have a bad perception, like a negative perception that they’re seen as places where there’s lots of garbage and crime and so with this [contest], what we’re trying to do is change that perception and open up the space for the community.”
Wilson says there are a few shops that operate out of the alleyway in question, and they are fully behind the idea to give the space a name.
The More Fun Alley Association has received about 30 suggestions for names including St. Alice Alley, Moody Alley, and Captain Kirk Alley.
Wilson hopes to have over 100 submissions by the end of the naming contest when a team of judges, made up of community members, will pick the winning name on September 6, 2013.