Nottingham City Council has this week drafted in Streetwise Orientation & Navigation Systems to develop a pedestrian navigation system, as part of the city’s public and private transport integration programme.
The Edinburgh consultancy is looking at designing and implementing a wayfinding system involving a network of mapping and information points due for completion around October, under a five-figure contract.
The scheme is the latest phase of Nottingham City Council’s Park Smart programme, which aims to persuade the public to use alternative modes of transport by integrating the city’s car park network with public transport links and pedestrian routes.
Streetwise director Peter McGrail explains that the way the city’s urban planning has evolved – organically and without a street grid system – has led to a lack of awareness regarding ease of navigation on foot through the city centre.
‘There’s also been a lot of bad publicity about Nottingham in terms of crime,’ says McGrail. ‘Nottingham has still got this centuries-old road system that focuses on the centre and a wide variety of architecture. It doesn’t have long avenues where you can see easily from one end to the other. The way the streets are laid out makes people think the city is difficult to navigate.
‘Part of our role is to get people to understand that it is walkable in 20 minutes from one side to the other.’
Streetwise, which won the contract through a public tender, will build two-sided on-street units (pictured right) into an existing fingerpost system, originally designed by Wood & Wood.
According to McGrail, who is working under the council’s city centre manager environment and regeneration Jane Dykes, one side will present a full city-centre map with a list of points of interest, as well as information about walking time and distance information to various locations. This side will also feature a separate cycling route map.
The other side will promote the attractions in each of the five designated ‘Park Smart zones’, including a second map giving greater detail on the immediate area. There will also be an events calendar, promoting cultural activity.
The city centre has been divided up into five distinctive colour-coded zones, with the name of each reflecting the character of the area. The zones include Royal, Castle, Broadmarsh, Lace Market and Victoria. Each zone is represented by a colour and symbol, and there are several car parks located in each zone.
The pedestrian mapping system, designed by Streetwise, will be adopted by the council across all of its services, according to McGrail.
‘Nottingham City Council has bought the intellectual property from us for core mapping. That was another part of the brief – to adopt the map right across the council,’ he says.
Nottingham Park Smart
• Integration of pedestrian wayfinding with city-centre car parks
• VMS (variable message signs) giving real-time information
• Pedestrian signing
• Street signs
• Streetwise has already designed and created wayfinding systems for Reading, Edinburgh Navigation System and Discover Leith