Designing for Urban Experience and Identity
Environment design for a prize-winning neighbourhood.
WHAT IT IS
To design an identity system for an urban neighbourhood that enhanced its livability and improved its living conditions based on research findings. Research was conducted through direct observation, documentation and interviews.
The challenge consisted of working with the neighbourhood to develop an identity that could be used to build a more cohesive, human-centered sense of community.
The residents voiced the concern that in the later years, there had been an increase in car traffic in the area, and the streets were no longer as peaceful, nor as safe as they used to be. They had also noticed that there was a disconnect between the new families that were moving in and the older generation that were already living there. The cultural heritage of the community was not being passed on to the coming generation.
I treated this as an opportunity to strengthen the community’s connection to the shared heritage of the area and between communities, to encourage pedestrianism and biking and discourage car traffic. I created a unifying visual symbol for the communities of Mt. Pleasant through a system that strongly highlighted the one unifying thing of the area: the presence of the once mighty creeks that were now roaring underneath the concrete.
Visiting different cultural monuments that were created in memory of the creeks, I found out where they once ran, and how I could utilize them to create awareness of the Brewery Creek’s history. Realizing that one of the creeks ran very close to a current bike path, the creek could be routed up to the surface to be partially displayed.
The final deliverable was an artificial creek that would run through out selected areas of the Mt. Pleasant neighbourhood. As the creek would encourage pedestrianism and discourage vehicular traffic it would ameliorate the environment for children at play while providing an invitation for activity around the stream. The creek would also cause cars to slow down, due to its’ “speed-bump“ quality, making the streets safer.
The final logotype reflects the swirling currents of the creek below the neighbourhood and would act as the community’s official logotype.