All this controversy surrounding the notion of
gating alleyways (the offending video has since been removed) reminded us of a project that was never announced: Name Your Lane. The initiative calls attention to the condition of our alleys in Toronto, and asks citizens to name them as a positive first step in turning these spaces into places.
Naming your alley is actually quite simple, and the Name Your Lane website illustrates the process in three easy steps. The thinking behind this project is that because these places have no name, people’s concern for them is limited to putting up a “Keep Out” sign on their garage. This neglect translates into overgrowth and graffiti, when it could be murals and neighbourly barbeques (not gates, please!). The sense of community that this fosters is a good first step in intersection repair, the kind advocated by the City Repair Project of Portland.
Check out the Name Your Lane website as well as Laneing Toronto.