A Methodology for Exploring Relationships Among Physical Features of Residential Back-Laneways and Their Uses

Moreau, M. (2015) A Methodology for Exploring Relationships Among Physical Features of Residential Back-Laneways and Their Uses. In: 7th State of Australian Cities Conference, Gold Coast, Australia, 09-11 Dec 2015,

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Publisher's URL: https://apo.org.au/node/63347


Residential back-laneways are a common urban feature of the inner suburbs of many Australian cities, but despite their prevalence, they are poorly understood, often overlooked, and rarely studied. Established for access to homes for services not deemed suitable for fronts, back-laneways lost their utilitarian purpose with improvements to infrastructure. Since then, some were subtracted from the public domain through legal and illegal appropriations for private use, while those that remained evolved into more complex urban landscapes. Often perceived as ambiguous and perhaps even dangerous, back-laneways are also associated with the range of public uses. The particular conditions under which these uses arise are largely unexamined. This paper proposes a methodology to study the relationship between uses and the built environment of laneways through six features: laneway width, length, physical permeability, visibility from streets, the density of residences and their interfaces with laneways. While there could be other variables that relate to uses under certain conditions, the focus here is on the most permanent features that are shared by all laneways. The paper proposes that by studying the conditions under which current smaller scale appropriations arise, we can begin to consider their future prospects at a larger scale. The paper will illustrate the methodology with a series of maps from an ongoing study of Melbourne’s residential laneways.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Moreau, Dr Miza
Authors: Moreau, M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences

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