From the graffiti-lined AC/DC Lane, to the retaraunts of China Town, and the shopping streets of Degraves Lane, to the hangout of Centre Place, Melbourne was an incredible city of alleys and public space in general. This type of urbanism is not attainable without prolific planning, policy, and organic development. This network of alleys is a model city for any flatiron grid city seeking to re-invigorate their back-alleys and side streets.
Another day embedded in the fine grain – there are endless adventures within this city. After a trip south to St. Kilda beach, I explored more laneway bar culture with a visit to the famous Cherry Bar in ACDC Lane, formerly Corporate Lane. The city changed the name about 15 years ago in honor of the local legends.
Today, I spent a good part of the day in my new favorite alley of all my travels thus far – Centre Place. This place is incredibly rich. Apparently, it used to be a prime shortcut from the main train station to the next main road. This alley has incredible shops with simple roll down doors, the city’s bluestone pavers, copious amounts of shipping boxes for stools, and great bars above the street as well, including Hell’s where I spent a good three hours documenting activities in this beautiful urban space. It may be a prime candidate for a physical model demonstrating the potential of alleys and existing buildings’ capacity to become open and usable.