Release Date: August 1,2018
Downtown Akron Partnership, through a sponsorship from SummaCare, is encouraging downtown employees, residents and visitors to “walk their city,” with the help of creative, temporary signage from Walk [Your City].
Walk [Your City], a Raleigh, NC based company, works with communities to create prototype signage that combat misperceptions of distance in a neighborhood. The simple signs give distance in minutes for pedestrians and bicyclist to nearby amenities.
This summer, nearly 30 signs will be placed on street poles throughout downtown Akron. The signs include messages such as, “It’s a 4-minute walk to unique artisan ice cream,” and “It’s a 7-minute bike ride to a great cup of coffee.”
“One of the many benefits of working, living and going to school in downtown is the access to a diverse community of business, retail, entertainment, and recreational opportunities,” said Kimberly Beckett, director of business relations for Downtown Akron Partnership. “The signage reminds people they can easily experience these things by foot or by bike.”
Downtown Akron Partnership worked with students from the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) STEM Middle School in downtown Akron to plan the routes and sign locations. This gave students the opportunity to get to know the neighborhood and explore the benefits of good city design.
Each sign offers simple directions. Users take a picture of the sign with a smartphone to activate a map and directions to the destination.
“This is a great opportunity for SummaCare to show our dedication to a healthier community. We’re pleased to sponsor Walk [Your City] because there’s no better way to experience our city than on foot,” said Anne Armao, vice president of marketing & Medicare and individual products.
This project builds on the work of Downtown Akron Partnership to improve public spaces in downtown Akron through a grant by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. These “space lift” projects: Northside Green, North High parklet and Lock Next, improve sidewalk experience and walkability, giving people the opportunities to linger and socialize in public space. The Walk your City signage helps build a connection between these projects.