Downtown Milwaukee needed to update their outdated wayfinding for Summer 2020 events and to orient visitors in 2021 as COVID-19 travel restrictions lifted. While the timelines and budgets for these signage initiatives were very different, the end results have welcomed new visitors by improving these downtown environments. Our session will discuss the process and lessons learned during these gateway and wayfinding signage projects.
Completed in fall 2020, the Downtown Gateways Initiative created distinctive arrival experiences using signage, landscaping, hardscaping, lighting, public art and wayfinding at each of the nine vehicular points of entry to Downtown Colorado Springs. This intensive process incorporated qualitative input and engagement from more than 300 unique contacts and stakeholders.
A checklist of priorities a BID should have in mind at various stages of the development of a nighttime economy.
The Greater Des Moines Partnership collaborated with the Iowa Chapter of the Urban Land Institute and the City of Des Moines to seek transportation improvements that could help increase downtown vibrancy. Collectively, the organizations analyzed existing conditions by measuring a multitude of metrics such as traffic counts, bicycle usage, pedestrian traffic, ease of crossing at intersections, sidewalk connectivity, bicycle facilities, connections to trails, lane widths, and number of accidents.
The Crystal City BID saw an opportunity to further leverage the DCA airport’s proximity to their downtown by bringing it a few steps closer. A new pedestrian connection could harness the multitude of transportation assets in Crystal City, seamlessly link them into a multimodal hub, and position the neighborhood to attract additional rail services such as Amtrak, regional commuter rail, and even a future high-speed rail station.
The Urban Backyard Project is a series of vinyl wraps covering existing Los Angeles Department of Transportation signal cabinets. Building off similar public art programs, the wraps display wayfinding information including directional signage, maps, points of interest, and walking distances. Because of the low cost of installation, as the neighborhood changes individual panels will be updated and replaced, allowing the project to provide updated pedestrian wayfinding in a changing environment.
To better serve area residents and businesses, and accommodate multiple forms of transportation, the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) hired a consultant to assess the feasibility of the two-way restoration. The results this process yielded supported the creation of a complete streets environment with a two-way restoration of Orange and Magnolia Avenues, more on-street parking, additional pedestrian crossings, enhanced landscaping, and completing a gap in a bicycle beltway.
John Bela is an urbanist and public space designer with Gehl Studio San Francisco. He combines a background in art, science and environmental design to create vibrant, dynamic and resilient urban human habitats. A pioneer in user-generated urbanism, John has successfully completed many projects that involve radical new formulations of social space. John is a senior lecturer at the California College of Arts in San Francisco and a distinguished lecturer at U.C. Berkeley.
The Five Points MARTA Station Makeover project is an effort led by Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District to evaluate, design, and execute creative placemaking enhancements for Atlanta’s south-central business district. Because Five Points station is often a person’s entry point into Downtown Atlanta, this project offers an array of tactics to improve the experience and foster positive emotional responses to this public space for range of population segments.
In many ways, urban place management organizations such as business improvement districts (BIDs) continue to lay the foundation for pedestrian improvements by creating a clean, enjoyable environment for pedestrians. However, more effort is now needed to develop the infrastructure necessary to further capitalize on the trend of living, working, and playing in downtown areas. As global populations shift toward urban centers, the opportunity is ripe for downtown areas to improve walkability.
IDA’s Advisory Panels are a time-tested way to explore new ideas, solve difficult problems, and rally the board, staff and community around priority projects or topics. This panel was focused on creating a revitalized vision for the Houston Street Corridor. The panel created an outline of strategies and initiatives to revitalize the corridor. The report details the panel’s findings and recommendations. The report details the panel’s findings and recommendations.
The mission of Google’s Get Your Business Online program is to help every business be found by every customer looking for them online. Learn how you can partner with Google to help the small businesses you work with in your community, using resources, trainings, gear and one-on-one help from the Google team, all completely free of cost.