Case Studies

London: Legible London Wayfinding

In 2006, Transport for London, the integrated organization responsible for London’s transport system, launched the Legible London wayfinding program. Legible London’s goal was to increase walking trips and help relieve congestion on the city’s transit system and roads. Legible London found that residents relied too much on the London Tube map to navigate through the city. This proved to be a problem because the Tube map unintentionally makes walking distances between downtown stations appear greater than they are: Of surveyed passengers exiting Leicester Square station, 5% had started from a station less than a halfmile away.

Legible London aimed to create a coherent pedestrian navigational system to help pedestrians navigate the city at street level as well as provide a common and constantly updated central information system for maps, signs, and websites. An evaluation of Legible London’s pilot programs found that the number of surveyed pedestrians getting lost decreased by 65%, more than three-quarters felt more confident exploring an area on foot, and those who had used the system felt it encouraged them to walk more often, walk farther, and walk rather than use other means of transport.

By February 2012, Legible London had completed the base maps of the whole of Greater London. The collaborative project included input from London Boroughs, landowners, and business improvement districts. The completed base map is now on sidewalk kiosks, in London Underground stations and bus shelters, at bike share stations, and along bike paths. The wayfinding system is expanding to walking and cycling routes for Olympics events and town centers across London.

This material is the product of a partnership between America Walks and Sam Schwartz Engineering. Visit here for more information on the partnership.