A wayfinding masterplan developed by Limah Design Consultants for Madinah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is meant to ease access for residents and tourists in the city.
The new system will include street and district names, better signage, maps and public art to make the various areas easy to navigate for the millions of visitors it receives each year.
“Madinah itself has undergone massive changes over the past few years by re-developing the central area of the city into a tourist and Islamic heritage destination,” said Jason Lewis, founder and managing director of Limah Design Consultants.
“Our approach is to simplify the wayfinding process, and consider the needs of all users, everything from vehicles to pedestrians, residents to tourists, including police and fire services.
Lewis said the company will develop a proper street address system and building numbers with street names, “which is something new in most Gulf countries”.
“In order to ease access in and around the city, we will be dividing the city into neighbourhoods using the ancient and original area names along with memorable colours which will help to define areas and aid tourists and residents in navigating their way around the city. Large scale signage and city gateways, unique street furniture, static and digital mapping systems and public art will further define the city and give a sense of arrival to guests,” he added.
Lewis added the firm’s main role was to influence how people interact with the built environment, while improving access to and within the city, as well as creating pride in the local culture and community.
“This may be the oldest city in the world to implement a complete wayfinding masterplan, and we are thrilled to have such a fantastic opportunity to contribute to such an important heritage, and also to provide a guide for other similar cities who envision a need to enhance and simplify their Wayfinding and signage,” said Lewis.
The entire project is set to be completed by late 2013 and Limah, which has offices in UAE, Canada and KSA, is currently in the design development phase including sourcing products along with suppliers as well as selecting contractors.