The Brisbane City Council recently announced plans to develop and restore Brisbane's laneways and small spaces as part of the Vibrant Laneways and Small Spaces Project. The scheme is aimed at taking advantage of small spaces in a crowded city, improving pedestrian access and celebrating the arts and culture.
The best way to explore these spaces is to hit the city and start walking... but here are some places to get started.
Market Street is adjacent to Charlotte Street and is so called because it was the site for Brisbane's first market, the Municipal Market, nearly 150 years ago. Now, it is a vibrant and thriving, pedestrian friendly space. Here, the outdoors and the indoors blend together, with twig inspired furniture and landscaped plants providing outdoor decor and entertainment and events taking to the street. For a cup of coffee and something to nibble, try Market Street Cafe or Bar Merlo.
Burnett Lane is a central location that runs parallel to Adelaide and Queen Streets, and was once the site of Brisbane's first town hall and a convict's barracks. A million dollar facelift has seen the dumpsters and rubbish that littered this lane replaced with artwork along the roads and surrounding walls and architecturally designed light work providing illumination. The street was the venue for the Burnett Lane Fashion Showcase in December of 2010 and currently houses the German Sausage Hut.
For sheer whimsy alone, Jacob's Ladder in Spring Hill can't be beat. Although not technically a lane, it does connect two Brisbane areas. Jacob's Ladder is easily the fanciest set of public stairs in Brisbane. The brightly painted staircase was commissioned by the Artworks Alliance and is said to represent the Jewish story of Jacob's revelation in the desert. At night, angelic projections can be seen; these make reference to local history and events. Glossy brass sculptures flank the bottom of the stairs.
Spencer Lane is one of Brisbane's newest laneway destinations and was named after Leonard Spencer, a local building pioneer. So far, the lane is home to The Laneway, a bar with a small outdoor eating area. The Laneway was launched by the iconic Urbane Restaurant.
The laneways in the Brisbane CBD and Fortitude Valley also host festivals and markets.
Brisbane's hidden alleyways provide urbane venues and settings in a quieter, secluded space.