Central Melbourne experienced decline in the 1980s, with many residents and businesses moving to the suburbs. The Cerebral City highlights approaches which revitalized the city’s public spaces, including laneways, streets and gathering spaces, and supported the residential population to grow from 5 people in 1992 to 29,000 today.

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Sarah is an urban planner and artist from Melbourne Australia, currently living in Seattle. She has contributed to diverse long-term projects addressing housing, transportation, community facilities, heritage and public spaces with extensive consultation with communities and other stakeholders. Her articles for The Urbanist focus on her passion for the design of sustainable, inviting and inclusive places, drawing on her research and experiences around the world.

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wow what a great video. Makes me think seattle should activate some of its alleys more. Like the ally off westlake to pike. Couldnt that be a great venue for more small venders.


In Seattle, most of our alleys fulfill mundane functions such allowing delivery of goods and the deposit and collection of garbage. Short of limiting those necessary functions to overnight hours, I’m not sure we could follow the Melbourne model.