Guerrilla urbanism empowers everyday people to change their surroundings for the better. One branch of the guerrilla urbanism tree — guerrilla wayfinding — consists of covertly putting up wayfinding signs directing people to parks, cultural hot spots, music venues, community gardens, shopping plazas, and other walkable destinations.
Guerrilla wayfinding is generally done in secret, but Walk [Your City], a civic startup focused on building more livable cities, recently won a $182,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to do this in the open and help others do the same with a toolkit.
Walk [Your City] will launch pilot wayfinding campaigns in Lexington, Kentucky, and San Jose, California to develop the toolkit. The two pilots will be used to “experiment and iterate toward the creation of a toolkit for cities everywhere.”
Already, Walk [Your City] offers a set of online tools for people to create their own city walking signs with messages such as: “10 minute walk to the beach,” or “7 minute walk to a blues club.”
The tools, and the forthcoming toolkit, aim to move guerrilla wayfinding from the cultural fringes to the mainstream and allow city officials to experiment before investing in more permanent infrastructure.
By engaging citizens in improving the walkability of their cities, Walk [Your City] organizers hope to encourage people to walk more by raising awareness of walkable destinations.
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