The Laneway Menu

The Laneway Menu invites communities to create better laneways in Vancouver by streamlining the activation processes in an accessible, step-by-step toolkit. By offering adaptable development templates to address the local needs of any activation, this toolkit hopes to eliminate information barriers to encourage equity amongst Vancouver neighbourhoods, and inspire a sense of civil agency within our City.




Humanities and Social Sciences


ENVS 2100


  • Drew Egan
  • Mike Smith-Cairns

Student Team:

  • Carina Ramirez
  • Ming Wong
  • Nicolas Munaretto
  • Samantha Huang


  • Climate Emergency Action Plan

Community Partners:

  • Brad Badelt



In Vancouver, there are currently 23,582 laneways. At $800 per square foot, this untapped space has a net value of over $34 billion. The last two years of the pandemic have demonstrated Vancouver’s need for public space to encourage health and happiness within its communities. Given the vast development potential for laneways, a city-wide activation of this under-utilized network is necessary to meet the needs of our growing population. Inspired by the Pillars of Sustainability, Environment, Society, and Economy, our toolkit has identified adaptable Laneway Uses from which community members can source their ideas. The Laneway Uses are outlined as followed: Make it Green focuses on the addition of greenery for psychological and ecological benefits. Move & Access demonstrates mobility and accessibility improvements, which may include requests for pavement maintenance or lighting additions. Meet & Play suggests social and cultural developments, like spaces for events and leisure. Shop, Eat, & Work outlines the economic development of laneways, such as for restaurants and pop-up spaces. We have designated City strategies, relevant funding options, as well as a low-friction template for each Laneway Use to best exemplify easy, fast, and inexpensive activations that align with Vancouver’s broader goals. At the heart of The Laneway Menu is our recognition that change needs to be informed by the people who are affected by it. We want to make it easier for Vancouverites to connect with where they live, to restore a sense of belonging in communities, and to create not just space, but Places, in our City.

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