City of Roswell


Roswell, GA


Civil Engineering, Water Engineering, Landscape Architecture, Land Use Planning and Development, Construction Management

Alleys traditionally get a bad rap, often put in the same category as train yards and abandoned parking lots. In 2017, the City of Roswell, Georgia, called on Gresham Smith to turn their historic East Alley into an inviting, attractive and functional streetscape to serve as a catalyst for civic and economic activity. Our in-house landscape architects, land planners, civil engineers and water engineers worked together to revitalize the alley, designing the alley and sidewalk layout, utility improvements and landscaping, as well as a stormwater management plan. We also provided construction management services and coordinated community outreach efforts. In the end, the improvements to Roswell’s East Alley turned a public space into a pedestrian promenade perfect for strolling, shopping and dining.

in-house markets collaborated for one successful project
project in the city’s East-West Alley Master Plan
square-feet of permeable pavers
Roswell East Alley at dusk

From Back of House Space to Boosting Business

While alleys have traditionally been a “back of house” space, we created a more welcoming environment through aesthetic improvements, landscaping and better organization of those back of house functions. Group meetings with the property owners and tenants helped guide the design toward a better overall solution, while also benefiting those businesses by distinguishing their back doors and hopefully leading to further economic growth.

people walking in the Roswell east alley

Designing a Sustainable Street

Our team positively impacted the surrounding environment with sustainable infrastructure, including permeable pavers to improve the quality and reduce the quantity of stormwater runoff. We also implemented a complete streets design on and around the “L” shaped street by including landscaped pedestrian areas and defined curbsides, improving alternative transportation options and reducing carbon emissions.

East alley in Roswell featuring brick street

Honoring Character and Creating Community

We took special care to enhanced the charm and character special to Roswell’s historic district. The revitalized space fits within the historic downtown context while providing flexible outdoor space for town-sponsored activities. Tables and benches provide the perfect place to sit and read or catch-up with friends, while the openness of the space caters to the city’s monthly “Alive in Roswell” event where the town gathers for a unique market experience and live music.