Literature review

The City of Sydney Local Government Area is located in the Sydney Metropolitan Area and encompasses the Central Business District (CBD). As a CBD, the City of Sydney attracts extensive flows of pedestrians even late at night.

This study was undertaken by the City Futures Research Centre, UNSW Australia, with the support of the City of Sydney Council. The key purpose of this report is to develop a comprehensive literature review of night-time wayfinding research and practice to inform future decision-making in the City of Sydney. Accordingly, this report: • Outlines the common wayfinding practices based on national and international practices • Highlights the new and emerging technologies in wayfinding; and • Identifies wayfinding strategies and components which can enable different users to navigate through the built environment more effectively at night.

This report can support Sydney’s future developments such as the Sustainable Sydney 2030 vision—A city for walking and Cyclists, a city with night-time economy, a lively and engaging city centre, a cultural and creative city—and action plans like Walking Strategy and Action Plan (City of Sydney 2015b), Tourism Action Plan (City of Sydney 2013b), Open Sydney: Future directions for Sydney at night (City of Sydney 2013a), and Sydney night-time economy roundtable (NSW Government 2016). Moreover, this report can act as a supplementary document for the Legible Sydney: Wayfinding strategy report (City of Sydney 2012) to improve the City’s wayfinding system at night, particularly by means of advanced technology.

Across the world many governments have sought to make cities more legible as well as more pedestrian friendly. Examples include the Legible London, Legible Dublin (Dublin City Council 2004) and Walk New York City Strategy (City of New York n.d.). Central London Partnership (CLP) is providing people with a user-friendly wayfinding system that gives them the confidence to get ‘lost’ in the city and get back on track (Central London Partnership 2006). These practices have recommended an enhanced signage system. There are some studies with performance metrics, but are very limited in scope and have been only applied to small sampled studies. However, there is still a lack of a comprehensive framework to integrate performance metrics to benchmark wayfinding systems for the built environment. Some reasons for this gap can be attributed to the fact that most wayfinding projects are focusing on specific wayfinding approaches, particularly signage design, rather than considering the integration and interplay of varied aspects of the wayfinding system.

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