Laneway Revitalization in Canada: Possibilities, Challenges & Solutions

This partnership between Simon Fraser’s Centre for Sustainable Community Development (represented by Mark Roseland and Larissa Ardis) and Vernacular Design is hoped to be the first of many between Vernacular and sustainability researchers in academia for the advancement of community development. It will produce a research report and related communications products that help the public, stakeholders and municipalities understand laneways in residential neighbourhoods as an important public asset with largely unrealized possibilities to achieve integrate communities’ social, economic, and environmental planning objectives. The work will show how communities are successfully preserving the traditionally utilitarian functions of laneways and reducing costs for municipalities while integrating additional uses, such as pedestrian and cyclist travel, play areas, neighbourhood gathering spaces, primary and secondary access to residences, and stormwater management. It will offer a collection of legislative and policy tools that municipalities can use to advance laneway redesign locally, and through related communications products, create interest in these possibilities among residents and other stakeholders. The research will further distinguish Vernacular Design, an award-winning residential and commercial design firm, as an innovator in sustainable design and thus help to extend Vernacular’s operations across Canada.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Mark Roseland


Larissa Ardis


Vernacular Design


Resources and environmental management


Environmental industry


Simon Fraser University



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