// Blog Archive
It all started with a series of unsanctioned signs in Raleigh, North Carolina. Matt Tomasulo wanted to encourage residents to rediscover the joys of walking around town, so he put up notices that stated how long it took to get from here to there--”here” and “there” being any number of specially selected locations–on foot. People paid attention, and Walk [Your City]was born.
Kickstarter was a natural choice to help fund WYC’s development. Tomasulo had previously launched a successful project on the site with Wear You Live by CityFabric so was familiar with the system, and wanted to gauge interest for WYC on a scale that expanded far beyond his own county line. It turns out there was–and is–an active audience for widespread tactical urbanism. After a vote of confidence from Kickstarter staff, who emailed it out as a “Project We Love,” support from across the globe poured in and WYC reached its goal in a mere eight days.
Despite the obvious appeal that most campaigns give you something—some “thing”—for your investment, almost half of the 550 backers requested no physical reward, with another 200 pledging above and beyond the established amounts. “We realized that multiple languages could make this project that much more accessible, so we added that as an option if we hit $10,000,” Tomasulo tells (which they did).
“The larger goal of this project is to create healthy places for people–socially, economically, and environmentally,” he says. So how does it work? Walk [Your City] is an open-source platform where people can create their own “guerilla wayfinding” signs that state the time it takes to wander from any given point A to point B. The locations on the original Walk Raleigh were “deliberate,” Tomasulo says. “We wanted to reach different demographics–downtown business people, university students, and people going to the grocery store–with a collection of recognizable places and cultural assets that are perceived to be much further away from each other than they really are.” The Kickstarter, however, will enable users to customize, choosing their own tos and froms through the online platform, which can then be easily exported, printed, and installed in their very own neighborhood. “The goal is that they can take these projects on as their own–to help pedestrians and drivers reach that ‘aha!’ moment, discovering ‘its only that far to walk there?!’”
- Graphic Design
- Industrial Design