In recent years, Springfield’s Downtown neighbourhood has experienced a surge of investments and a number of planning initiatives drawing near to completion.
These projects will bring considerable new business, residential and leisure opportunities to the city, and it is vital that residents are able to take advantage of the new developments. In addition to this, the new system will provide information to visitors to the city – numbers are expected to increase by 4 million passing through the new Union Station, which opens later this year, and another 10,000 visiting the MGM Springfield Casino, which is due for completion in 2018.
Having secured funding from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the city will work with Applied to improve walkability in the downtown district, with a particular focus on catering to the needs of vulnerable population, whose access to the Downtown area may be limited.
Applied will take on a planning and design role, transforming the temporary pedestrian wayfinding scheme into a permanent, seamless system for the Downtown district. While the the new system will remain primarily focused towards pedestrians, Applied’s designs will also consider cyclists and vehicles.
The initial phase of the project will involve analysing streetscape conditions and identifying locations and designs for signage. Residents, visitors and stakeholders will be consulted for input at various points throughout the design process, to ensure that user needs are at the heart of the end product.
The outcome of the project aims to see a dramatic improvement of the health of the city, with more residents able to make walking or cycling journeys, and relying less on cars.
A wayfinding system will provide greater knowledge and exploration which has economic benefit, increased walking, less congestion and more repeat visits
“Applied is excited to be working to make a Legible Springfield, Massachusetts,” said Jonathan Mugmon, project lead and Senior Planner at Applied. “Springfield is the home and inspiration for many of the books from Dr. Seuss. It has a wonderful Metro Center with many cultural and entertainment attractions all within walking distance from one another. Visitors don’t always know what gem is around the corner. Downtown Springfield is growing; and has two large downtown in-fill sites which contain a new MGM Resort and the multi-modal Union Station. A wayfinding system will provide greater knowledge and exploration which has economic benefit, increased walking, less congestion and more repeat visits.”