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Overview – The initiative in one minute

What is Bristol Legible City
Bristol Legible City is a unique concept to improve people’s understanding and experience of the city through the implementation of identity, information and transportation projects. Bristol Legible City projects include direction signs, on street information panels with city and area maps, printed walking maps, visitor information identity and arts projects. These projects communicate the city consistently and effectively to visitors and residents alike.

Over 40 communication projects have already been implemented, or are in development. The pedestrian signing system helps visitors find their way around the city centre and encourages people to explore the local area on foot or by using public transport. The projects have provided a sense of welcome for visitors and a better understanding of Bristol’s attractions.

Read or print-out the full story
The ideas behind the initiative
More about the projects
Building Legible Cities book
  The city of Bristol
During the mid-90s Bristol saw one the most dramatic periods of development and regeneration in the city’s history. However, The city was difficult to navigate and had poor public information. There was little guidance for the visitor and so the wealth of attractions and commercial opportunities the city had to offer were easily missed.

In 1996 the Bristol Legible City initiative was conceived by Bristol City Council to deliver an information and wayfinding strategy that matched its ambition to be a leading cultural and commercial destination.

A successful wayfinding strategy for Bristol cannot be achieved in isolation, or by one organisation. Numerous stakeholders, with an interest in improving the experience of the city, have been working together to the benefit of commerce, culture and community. Bristol City Council have brought together commercial companies such as Adshel with Local Government departments, Central Government agencies and Development boards to help fund the Legible City initiative.
      Joined up thinking
Visitors need to feel welcome and comfortable whilst moving around the city. They need to feel happy that they can find their way around easily and safely. By providing consistent information from arrival to their destination, Bristol Legible City has given visitors a sense of confidence to explore the city.

The result – tangible and ongoing
Bristol now has direction signs, on street information panels with city and area maps, printed walking maps, on street information kiosks, heritage plaques and arts projects that are bound together by a consistent visual language, naming hierarchy and a unique mapping system. They all share an attention to detail that will stand the test of time.

The future will see Bristol Legible City extend to public transport, highway planning, journey planners, on-street visitor information points and cycle signing.

Bristol Legible City is now recognised as a forward-thinking initiative that has moved beyond rhetoric to make a real difference to the experience and value of Bristol.
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