In the summer of 2019, The City of Covington commissioned emersion DESIGN to create concepts to rejuvenate three alleys in the downtown core area. These improvements are designed to increase safety and aesthetics while serving as a catalyst for other alley improvements in the city.
The City’s intent was to maintain limited vehicular traffic (deliveries, access to inner-block parking, etc.) in all three alleys while making these corridors a more vibrant and functional pedestrian network connecting popular destinations of Covington and providing another layer of convenience to those moving about the city. Each of the alleys connects or abuts with recent and proposed future investments in several distinctive commercial ventures, as well as with historical buildings and landmarks that are significant to Covington’s downtown character. As such, the city desired that the alleys reflect both the past and future identity of the surrounding area through specialty lighting, art installations, wayfinding, or other amenities. The City was not seeking a singular design template to be applied across all three locations, but rather solutions that adapt to the context and character of each alley.
An initial meeting with the stakeholders around Innovation Alley was conducted by City staff in the winter of 2018. Input gathered from that meeting provided the design team with a basis from which to begin. Additional input was necessary for each alley to understand the physical nature of the alley and the potential future character desired by the City and the alley’s surrounding stakeholders. These stakeholder meetings were robust conversations centered on blue-sky thinking for each block surrounding each alley, and what it could become in the future.
The City chose 3 alleys with different characteristics which serve as lessons for future alley transformations. The result is a conceptual design each of the three target alleys:
Innovation Alley (east-west alley between Washington and Russell Street and between Pike and Sixth Streets)
Tobacco Alley (east-west alley between Scott and Madison and between Fourth and Fifth Streets)
Legacy Way (north-south alley between Fourth and Fifth and between Greenup and Scott Streets)
Each alleyway will be renovated as dollars are dedicated. The lighting fixtures, safety elements and street paving have not been officially procured or approved yet, and will be selected at the appropriate time as City staff move forward with renovating each paved alley.
The artworks, specialty lighting schemes and wayfinding elements are suggestions for direction. As each art piece gathers funding, a more through and focused design effort will be made before installation.
Provide graphics to illustrate design intent
Working with NKY officials and community
Developing guidelines and designs to rejuvenate urban corridors
Interactive refinement meetings
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