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An example green alley (ruelle verte) in Montreal.
alley=official_green_alley (to use with highway=service and service=alley)
Proposal status: Proposed (under way)
Proposed by: Coverict
Tagging: alley=official_green_alley
Applies to: way way
Definition: A service alley that a group of local residents embellish with vegetation, usually with the support of a special municipal program. A green alley is akin to a public place that can include art display, park benches, public bookcases, playgrounds for kids and urban gardens.

Draft started: 2020-08-15
RFC start: 2020-08-15


A green alley is a service alley that a group of local residents embellish with vegetation, such as trees, vines and flowers. Some are public art places, furnished with benchs, playgrounds for kids, tables, public bookcases or include urban gardening spots. This collective effort results in a better quality of life for residents in addition to reduce the phenomenon of urban heat islands.

Cities with a special program, like the city of Montreal, can support these renaturalization efforts by providing tools and special materials, or by performing special roadwork such as digging holes for plants and trees.

In Montreal, most service alleys could be depicted as a very small road in between two streets that connects the backyard of houses and shops. It is that common space that local resident want to protect and embellish.

Bourbonnière and D'orléans green alley in Montreal

This proposal was first drafted on august 2013 by Zethradon and was abandonned.

Masson green alley in Montreal
Brébeuf-St-Joseph green alley in Montreal


Montreal has more than 200 green alleys that are officially recognized by the city. These green alleys are notable feature since they are clearly identified with a sign installed by the city.

Other cities in the United States also offer a green alley program (Chicago, Austin (Texas), Seattle, City of Dubuque and some others), but the program in the States is more about the permeability of the pavement. (See this document.)



A green alley is first and foremost a normal service alley, and must be identified as such when tagging:


The type of surface (asphalt? non paved?) and whether cars are allowed or not can also be of importance. See the following tags:

It has been suggested that highway=living_street could be used. Using this tag would not work because a green alley is not a street but a service alley.


No special rendering is proposed for the main OSM renderer. Normal service alley rendering applies.

Special maps made from OpenStreetMap data could render the alleys in green.


Please leave any comments on the talk page.

External links