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Brief Published: 13 Apr 2012

Maps Made for Walking


New mapping and navigation initiatives are promoting tourism and public health by making it easier for people to find their way walking around urban areas worldwide.

Legible London is a mapping system put up in various locations around the city to help people find their way. Street maps placed around the city provide more intuitive ‘heads up’ directions, in place of the traditional north and south. Additionally, ‘finder’ and ‘planner’ maps feature destinations in a five and 15-minute walking radius, respectively.

Meanwhile, Urbanflow uses interactive technology to help pedestrians find their way, and provides beneficial feedback about travel and city life. The collaboration between Urbanscale, a New York-based systems design practice, and Nordkapp, a Helsinki-based design firm, will be useful to both tourists and locals. The system uses the web, mobile devices, apps and city screens to communicate directions, public transportation updates, and even changes in air quality.

Both systems illustrate the growing number of creative processes being utilised to transform cities. For more on urban regeneration, read Stylus’ report Picnic 2011: Urban Futures.

Legible London

Urbanflow Helsinki