City Resources

Here’s a suggestion sent in by ElaineRef:13040201

Elaine’s thoughts…

Could you (briefly) explain the issue that you’re hoping to solve?

There are many amenities available within the city which are not visable or known to people, even those in the locality on a regular basis. I have observed this while living by the Cabbage Patch Park in D8, those working 150m away have no knowledge of it in spite of its listing on the DCC quiet zones list etc. Within the Beta area there are parks and other amenities I did not know about.

Would you like to suggest a (brief) solution to the issue you outlined on the previous page?

As identified above lack of awareness of certain amenities due to location/visability is a barrier to access. I am proposing a wayfinding system focused not on specific locations but on a combination of ‘where is my nearest?’ and the use of walk your city measurements.

This system would consist of small signs- sized for pedestrian and cyclist visibility- with a simple pictogram, arrow for direction and ‘? min walk’ indicator. This could be used for many different amenities however for the purpose of the Beta I propose we focus on green spaces/parks. 

Here’s a sketch by Elaine…

Elaine's Sketch

Here’s an example from Walk Your City which is similar to Elaine’s suggestion…

Walk Your City

…or here’s an example from Galway Cycling

GalwayCyclingOrg - Time Signs

Dublin City Beta Project’s thoughts…

Are there three potential ideas here which might, or might not, overlap?

  1. A way of informing people about neighbourhood resources and assets in a particular neighbourhood. (These assets will tend to be near to where you are, and will probably be local in nature. For example a nice park nearby for your lunch.)
  2. A way of alerting people to city resources and assets that they may not know about, and may be of interest to them. (These assets might be near or far away, and may be grander in scale. For example the Poolbeg Lighthouse Walk.)
  3. A way of informing people of the ‘time distance‘ to a particular location via different transport means. (Studies have shown that people tend to underestimate car journey times, and overestimate walking and cycling journey times.)
    So as an example – “15min walk, 6min cycle+park, 15min drive+park”.
  • If the alert system is physical – for example signs on the street – an obvious query would be “where does it stop?” – ie pubs, pharmacies, schools, bus stops, etc.
    So what filters / criteria are applied to avoid too much information being shown, and so drowning out what’s useful.
  • Another one would be how is it different to the wayfinding signs and apps.
      • Perhaps time is the answer…it indicates time rather than distance, so is more human-based (if you tell me it’s a 15min walk, I can judge the distance…if you tell me it’s 1km, I find that hard to imagine both the distance and the time it’ll take).
      • Or perhaps it’s primarily aimed at everyday users, so focuses on the ‘ordinary’.
  • How should it tie in with mapping – see Designing Dublin’s 100 Exciting Things You Didn’t Know About Dublin?
  • And technology such as Bluetooth, etc.
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4 Responses to City Resources

  1. DCCbeta says:

    Here’s a few further comments emailed into us by Elaine…

    As for the project questions- I may have put down meters in the last few times but the intention was always to have it in a more human measurement like minutes walk. How that works out is a good question for the first stage- i am very happy for this to evolve and change with feedback though the things I feel most conected to about it are-

    1) it should be pedestrian and cyclist oriented and all things indicated should be an easy walk, almost like pedsheds or the milk test- I want it to be as accessable as possible!

    2) following on from the accessible point, I would prefer if it stayed multimodal in comunication (ie the use of icons/pictograms). I work a lot with people with intelectual disabilities and those with literacy problems and the accessibility of public ameneties can be harder than you realise for them (especially when combined with mobility problems)

    3) on the point of where to draw a line, I really dont want this to become a promotional tool for commercial use (which the brown signs strongly are in my opinion) we are bombarded with advertisements and privitisation and i think this should be reserved to a)public ameneties which are accessible to all for low or no cost- parks, playgrounds, bike racks etc b)essential functions/needs like you might need in a minor emergency- pharmacy is the main one of these that comes to mind. This point is mostly about my sense of social justice and accessibility again. Maybe someone would argue against this well and Ill change my mind but these are my current thoughts on it. after these points Im pretty easy on where it goes or how it changes.

  2. Rachael Ball says:

    I think all of the above sounds great Elaine! Regarding travel times, they had a similar thing in the East End of London (maybe city wide, but not sure?) where, incidentally, there was a large number of roads and paths that were only open to pedestrians and non motorised forms of transport (would be great for the DCC to go check out to see how many people cycle, skate, walk around there because they have the dedicated infrastructure and priority routes, it is a huge improvement in the quality of the street life), and they all had signs telling you how long to walk or cycle in minutes. It was very helpful and was great for reducing stress when you were not familiar with that route, and yes much easier to guage than in kilometres or metres.
    I definitely think that keeping them for mainly non commercial purposes is best, but I do agree that maybe a small selection of business types such as pharmacies (or anything health related probably) would be ok or community based ventures (but not pubs/shops or restaurants), but maybe they could have a somewhat different design so that the difference was clear. I agree on keeping a strong pictorial or icon base for accessability issues, but also for foreign language speakers and just to minimise information overload. And also, importantly, when using colour, keeping in mind the colour blind population.
    I’m not sure if I do agree on everything being along the “ped shed”/pint of milk test (ie 5 to 10mins walk away, I had to look them up 🙂 ) especially when you take into consideration cycling is faster and easier to do longer distances. But I think it depends on the category. Certain things could be kept to the 5-10min mark, but some stuff like the Poolbeg lighthouse walk or Phoenix Park or other similar destinations could be signposted from further away, as many people might make the effort to go a little further for some things, and might actually be encouraged to make the effort where before they wouldn’t as they didn’t realise it was that close.
    As a last point, we really need to get public toilets back in this city, it is inhumane that we do not have them. And if London can have them then we should be able to sort it out. And then we can also include signs for how far a walk or cycle to a public toilet. How many people who have continence issues are in a constant state of stress and have to rely on or disclose their issues to other people in order to go about their lives? How many older people are being discouraged from exercising or socialising because they don’t know how far they are going to be from a toilet and/or are too embarrassed to have to ask poeple all the time, let alone those with disabilities, pregnant women etc.
    Anyway, that’s my two cents 🙂

  3. elaineedmonds says:

    Reblogged this on doublEEco and commented:
    Woop *celebrations*, my project was submitted to Dublin City Beta Projects and has been put at the top of the priority table and published for feedback. I would love to hear your thoughts here, there or anywhere (well, twitter…)

  4. This article http://www.theatlanticcities.com/neighborhoods/2013/06/what-we-can-learn-about-city-mapping-its-parks/5794/ may be of relevance, and made us think of these which may also be relevant to the above concept (presumably rating areas of the city rather than cities though). http://parkscore.tpl.org/methodology.php
    http://www.walkscore.com/
    http://www.walkonomics.com/w/.

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