Downtown Noblesville has an impressive network of alleyways that contribute to the unique charm and vitality of the downtown. These alleys serve important transportation functions to allow for delivery of goods and services to local business. However, they also provide a unique opportunity for placemaking in our downtown. In addition to opportunities for better bicycle and pedestrian connectivity, the alleys also have the potential to be transformed into miniature parks or plazas, offering additional outdoor seating, venues for public art, unique community events, and just additional places to relax enjoy the great views of the courthouse square. Activating the alleys for additional public use, while still maintaining their important daily functions, will allow for Downtown Noblesville to better leverage these valuable public spaces.
What Does it Mean to Activate an Alley?
Publicly used spaces, like streets and alleys are important for their functions of moving vehicles and transporting goods, but these spaces can also be inviting places for the community to enjoy. Activation of public spaces happens when a community decides to actively use the space every day for various community purposes, such as community events, dining, public art, recreation, walking, or biking. Alleys all across the country are being transformed into community gathering spaces with art installations, outdoor seating, performances and community events. These spaces not only help create a unique sense of place, but also help nearby businesses to thrive.
Noblesville Alley Activation Plan
Noblesville Main Street, Inc., the City of Noblesville, and Hamilton County Tourism, Inc. are partnering with local landscape architect and urban designer, Rachel Johnson of Loci Creative www.locicreativellc.com to create an Alley Activation Plan for the City of Noblesville. The Alley Activation plan will build upon the City of Noblesville’s previous work to activate its alleys through the infusion of art, design, and special events. The plan will lay out a long-term vision for how the alleys can be transformed over time to become more inviting places for visitors to enjoy, while still serving their necessary functions. The plan will also set design guidelines for how the various alleys surrounding the square could be transformed over time into destinations for the community to enjoy.
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