Brighton & Hove City Council has appointed Applied Information Group to create a new pedestrian wayfinding system for the city.
Signs and freestanding map units will be installed in the North Laines area of the city next year and along the main pedestrian route connecting Brighton and Hove, before rolling out across the city. These will knit together the two towns, which were united in 1997. The council will attempt to secure funding by 2010 to extend the system.
The new scheme is intended to encourage more people to walk in the city instead of drive, as part of its Green transport plan, which also includes measures such as building up kerbs and removing street clutter. The city has named 2009 its ‘year of cycling and walking’.
‘Brighton’s signage is in a very poor state at the moment,’ says council project manager Tom Campbell. ‘Not only are the actual signs in a bad state of repair, but they don’t join up or enhance the way the streets look.’
AIG won an unpaid pitch this month, after the council shortlisted four consultancies from a total of nine expressions of interest. AIG reports that while it submitted detailed plans, the council did not require it to create visuals for the tender. The council approached AIG to pitch after visiting the consultancy’s Legible London wayfinding project. That scheme, which is currently being trialled in a few streets in the capital’s West End (DW 28 November 2007), will heavily influence the work in Brighton.
‘That is the sort of thing we are looking for, with lots of five-minute circles on maps and walking times on signposts instead of distance measurements,’ says Campbell. ‘We have asked AIG to bring out the character of Brighton and have just begun a broad consultation to explore how Brighton is different from other towns.’
AIG managing director Kasper de Graaf adds, ‘The character of Brighton is so strong, and this is going to present us with new and interesting challenges.’