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Articles by Kamala Rao

Kamala Rao is an urban planner. Her husband, Bryn Davidson, is co-owner of Lanefab Design/Build, a company that specializes in laneway housing.

Featured Article

Vancouver’s first alley or “laneway” house.Photo: Krista JahnkeCross-posted from Sightline Daily.

There’s an alley renaissance going on around the world. It was born of a renewed love for urbanity that came along with the droves of young, artistic types shunning the ‘burbs and repopulating North America’s inner cities. They brought with them a desire to turn what have traditionally been neglected and ugly inner-city dumping grounds into vibrant, art-adorned, pedestrian-friendly public spaces.

Vancouver, B.C. — the city that has served as a North American icon for creating liveable inner cities — is having its own “laneway” renaissance (as alleys are known here). However, in Vancouver, the revival was spawned by sky-high real estate prices, a lack of affordable housing, and an ingenious plan to create “hidden density” in the city’s most desirable single-family neighborhoods. Whereas some might see these underutilized swaths of pavement as merely needing a little beautification, the city saw it as an opportunity to provide badly-needed rental units.

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  • Seoul tears down an urban highway and the city can breathe again

    This downtown green space in Seoul was once a looming, congested elevated freeway.Photo: Kyle NishiokaCross-posted from Sightline’s Daily Score blog. As a sustainability-loving transportation planner, I was thrilled to learn that Dr. Kee Yeon Hwang would be visiting Vancouver and talking about the project that has made Seoul, Korea a legend in urban planning circles: […]