Of all the steps a city can take to make itself more pedestrian-friendly, developing a integral system of signage is both a quick and easy improvement that makes a world of difference--as shown by initiatives like Legible London, New York's WalkNYC, or Rio on Foot, in Río de Janeiro. In keeping with this trend is "Leer Madrid," or "Reading Madrid," a combined effort by Applied Wayfinding and local Spanish firms Paisaje Transversal (urban strategy), Avanti Avanti Studio (Design for All), Urban Networks, and Paralelo 39 (urban designers and architects), under the guidance of Dimas García. The project's aim is to improve legibility, safety, and autonomy within the city by taking a "design for all" approach, which we will analyze in-depth in this article. So how does an effective wayfinding system work? Easy to use wayfinding systems allow residents and visitors alike to move with more independence and encourages them to do so on foot, improving, among many things, a city's air quality and the physical health of the people living in and visiting it. On top of helping people get to where they're going, the wayfinding system would also answer any questions that people might have while navigating and exploring a city "with such an enormous and diverse population of visitors, tourist, and residents, each one perceiving the city in a different way. Their characteristics vary, as do their desires and needs." The result benefits ranging from greater social integration to an overall better city experience.
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