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Midtown Paves the Way for Alley Activation

Dumpsters as an art form? Solar-powered trash compactors? Visually appealing alleyways?  It’s all happening (or might be soon) in Midtown!

A center for culture, creativity and vibrancy, Midtown Sacramento is identifying, piloting and presenting innovate new ways to effectively activate alleyways in an effort to foster community pride, increase safety and motivate the use of underutilized spaces.

Earlier this month, the Midtown Business Association (MBA) partnered with 16 Powerhouse to launch a pilot dumpster art-wrap project to beautify an alley just off 16th Street in Midtown. The goal of the pilot project is to motivate other business and property owners to consider beautifying public spaces to increase use and vibrancy of often overlooked areas.

“Beautifying dumpsters is a great way to instantly uplift the entry to Midtown businesses, but it’s just the beginning,” said Emily Baime Michaels, Executive Director of the Midtown Business Association. “Virtually every alley in Midtown has a unique personality that allows it to be beautified for its particular use; be it just clean and functional for deliveries, or with a little lighting and creativity, a visually appealing venue for small gatherings, outdoor dining and other mixed uses.”

This is part of an ongoing effort spearheaded by Councilmember Steve Hansen and in partnership with the Downtown Sacramento Partnership (DSP) to help reclaim our public spaces while correcting ongoing nuisance issues.

“I support the recent effort taken by the Solid Waste Authority to improve commercial hauling in Sacramento’s Central City. By improving our current hauling system and ensuring our alleys are clean we have an opportunity to dramatically improve the quality of life for residents and property owners in Midtown,” said Councilmember Steve Hansen. “This is an important issue in the central city that we’ll continue to address into the future.

In addition to the pilot dumpster art-wrap project, MBA is researching and considering other alley activation opportunities such as solar trash compactors for heavily trafficked alleyways. These enhancements and activities will be evaluated and decided upon by the Midtown Business Association’s Placemaking, Capital Improvement & Transportation (PCT) Committee, which meets on March 30th. Meanwhile, the Solid Waste Authority is working to develop incentive programs for businesses that would like to consolidate their dumpsters and build trash enclosures.

Photo courtesy of 16 Powerhouse


About the author

Traci Rockefeller Cusack

Traci Rockefeller Cusack

Traci Rockefeller Cusack has 25+ years of media and public relations experience.  Her work experience includes News10 (ABC) as Promotion Manager from 1989-1998 (where she developed and launched “Coats for Kids’ Sake,” a winter coat drive that lasted 20+ years plus coordinated Oprah Winfrey’s first ever visit to Sacramento) and Fleishman-Hillard as Vice President from 1998-2005 (where she led the wildly successful statewide “California Grown” program and also produced the five-minute video that played on the Jumbotron on Opening Day at Pac Bell Park). In 2007, she launched T-Rock Communications and currently handles a wide range of marketing activities for a number of top-notch organizations.

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