Iowa City Downtown AlleyCivic | Education
Plans for the alley revitalization will add opportunities for public use that are both functional as well as aesthetic. A new illuminated cable tensile sculpture will be suspended between existing power pole structures, creating art out of the features that give the alley a unique identity. Lighting installations not only improve public safety but also create a sense of place highlighting murals and the new sculpture. Proposed future phases include new micro-retail storefronts in underutilized existing commercial space and flexible event space in part of the alley used for parking.
In addition to adding visual interest, the alley project will also be sustainably designed to not put stress on the surrounding neighborhood. Permeable pavers throughout would provide better stormwater management and decrease stress on the city's infrastructure. Other sustainable design features proposed include reusing brick from the recent Ped Mall renovations to define pathways and seating areas and new trees and plantings to reduce urban heat island effect.
Creating a new identity for the alley rooted in the existing art and infrastructure by illuminating the murals, and installing a new tensile sculpture with enhanced lighting throughout, the Downtown District hopes these interventions will increase public use and catalyze further investment to improve the aesthetics and economics of this and other downtown alleyways.