Members of Cork City Council have been given an update by officials on the city’s revamp of its wayfinding narrative and the outcome of a recent national funding call. Independent Councillor Kieran McCarthy noted: “there are many tourist signs around the city centre that are dated and run down and which have not been replaced in 2-3 decades; many tourists are unable to navigate the signage currently in the city centre. Currently there are few useful orientation tools at arrival points in the City or city wide and the signage that does exist is scattered and fragmented. The highly walkable nature of the city is not apparent, and visitors can be unaware of all that the City has to offer”.
In December 2019 Fáilte Ireland announced details of those cities and towns, which were successful in their applications under its “Destination Town” funding scheme, which seeks to drive a greater regional spread of visitors and revenue across the country by helping to boost the tourism appeal of cities and towns. Each of those areas selected, including Cork City, will receive between €400 000 – €500 000 to support the implementation of their projects. The final amount of funding is expected to be confirmed in January 2020.
In Cork City the funding will support the development and roll out of a new visitor orientation and wayfinding scheme. Cork City has a compelling year-round offering to international visitors, with a quirky café culture, thriving arts scene, vibrant year-round festivals, a vast array of accommodation and intriguing cultural offering. However, the city centre’s unique island layout, with river channels to its north and south, makes orientation more challenging for visitors.
This project will develop orientation and signage which is unique to Cork and imbued with a distinct sense of place. Visitors will feel welcome, and will find it easy to get around, understand what is available to them within walking distance, or by bicycle or public transport. The incorporation of interpretation, storytelling and animation will enable visitors to understand the city’s maritime character and heritage and understand the sense of place.
Key elements of the project will include: – Gateway and arrival points: Create a warm and fitting welcome at gateway and arrival points (Cork Airport, railway and bus stations, car parks, park’n’ride) with best practice wayfinding and orientation information alongside engaging interpretation that reflects Cork City’s unique maritime character. Orientation, wayfinding and interpretation –
– establish a network of highly visible points throughout the City for pedestrians to orientate and gain insight into the layout of the City. Visitors will be able to easily determine their current location, their on-going journey and continue to explore with confidence.
Cllr McCarthy noted: “The elements of the project will deliver a network of totem and fingerpost signs, located at key arrival and decision-making points throughout the City. Totems will provide key orientation and wayfinding information together with graphic panels. Funding is also being sought from the NTA to support the implementation of this project”.