Applied Information Group has designed a map to encourage walking in the city of Leeds which will inform a strategy to overhaul wayfinding in the city.
The map, which helps walkers navigate cultural, retail and culinary landmarks, was commissioned by Leeds City Council in September 2008, following a joint competitive pitch by AIG and Lacock Gullam against five other consultancies. It marks ‘the first step of a strategy that will work towards a wayfinding solution,’ according to Tim Fendley, creative director at AIG.
Lacock Gullam is designing a proposal for the wayfinding system. Sam Gullam, director of the consultancy, says this project ‘may integrate public art’. ‘The peculiarity of Leeds city centre,’ he adds, ‘is that it contains a very high density of shopping developments. We’ll need a solution within the system to address shoppers’ needs.’
Leeds City Council city centre manager Cath Follin says Lacock Gullam’s concept will form the basis of a tender for ‘the manufacture of signage units’.
The AIG map was instructed by a Leeds City Council programme to encourage sustainable city development and tourism, leading the consultancy to carry out aerial photography and street surveys to ‘open up the city’ on foot.
‘Local knowledge,’ Fendley says, ‘is the key thing with this approach.’ AIG looked at landmarks, retail environments – including a new shopping centre – and transport interchanges to ‘visualise’ Leeds through a colourful diagrammatic map.
Leeds City Council will publish the free map next week, with a second map showing an overview of the city, printed on the back. It is to be distributed at gateways to the city, including bus and train stations and venues on the map.
Leeds city centre wayfinding
- AIG has designed a map targeting pedestrians, which will encourage them to walk around Leeds city centre
- Lacock Gullam has submitted a wayfinding proposal to Leeds City Council
- A separate tender to apply wayfinding will follow, according to Leeds City Council