The first location of Someș Alley, in 2015, was in the immediate vicinity of the Elizabeta Bridge, on the steep embankment of the river Someș, because the target area of the event was this portion of the river. Although the bridge and the pedestrian zones near it are intensely circulated, the riverbank remained unused, as there was nor an alley to walk on, nor benches. Only fishermen frequented this area, using the concrete retaining wall of the river. The vegetation consisted of grassy areas with trees of various sizes.
In 2016, the alley moved to the portion of the river between the Cluj Arena and the Central Park, where the conditions were similar: the same steep embankment, same concrete retaining wall, although the vegetation was somewhat denser, and as a result, some trees had to be engulfed by the alley.
The main objective of these interventions was to raise awareness amongst the inhabitants if the city, regarding the yet untapped possibilities presented by the proximity of a large body of water. The event called Someș Delivery gave the opportunity to try some new ideas, and the alley was one of them. We simply wanted to show that the riverside is not just a no-go zone, but it could become a relaxing, quiet place to think, work, or have a nice conversation with a good view.
The concept of the Alley in 2015 was a sincere one: to construct a simple wooden structure, in a somewhat traditional and friendly manner, with a two meters wide alley with a wooden floor railing, a few wooden benches, a garbage bin and two stairs at its ends, connecting it to the nearby sidewalk. The resulting construction was 16 meters long and was able to accommodate a crowd of a few dozen people, as it happened during a concert.
In 2016, the alley became more elaborate, and it also increased in size. This time it was 36 meters long and it also became a bit wider, but the basic structure remained mostly the same. It was also connected to the sidewalk with two stairs, a central one and one at the end of the alley, which was doubled by a manually operated simple elevator for disabled people. A project from another theme was also added, namely a small mill-house with a water wheel, which generated for phone chargers.
After a few months of its existence, the 2015 edition of Someș Alley was suddenly demolished by the local authorities, because there was a project to widen one of the main roads along the riverside. This, of course, would have meant the destruction of the thin green strip of the embankment which separated the river from the busy road. Seeing yet again that a beloved part of the city will disappear to favour the culture of cars and traffic, needless to mention the loss of the small relaxing alley, a handful of citizens begun a protest. Miraculously, they managed to stop the building of the new car lane, and our alley became the symbol of their fight.
In 2016, the new Someș Alley continued this tradition, and for a few months, it was one of the most favourite gathering places for like-minded people. The impact of these edifices was a social
one, as they managed to raise awareness about a potentially valuable portion of the city, and they helped to build the community which, one day, will change the tides for this area.