Concept

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What is Near Here?

The “Near Here” idea attempts to help answer a common question for pedestrians: “What is good around here?”. To address this question, the Near Here team has developed the idea for crowd sourced, interactive wayfinding boards. The boards are placed at key high-traffic pedestrian areas within select neighbourhoods. Passersby will be prompted to interact with the board, contributing to the board with their own suggestions and directions for places near the board. People can also simply view the board to learn from other Calgarians about what is going on “near here”.

Prototype

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2018 Hackathon

Near Here participated in the City of Calgary’s Hackathon in May 2018, entering the “Play” category, which inspired teams to “create something that helps people use our streets in new ways and encourages community”. Drawing on human-centred design principles, we researched precedents related to guerrilla wayfinding, interactive chalkboard art, and conducted a rapid-prototyping session. Our key insight from the user-testing phase was the importance of the two-way interaction — both the giving and receiving information. Since then, Near Here has received a grant from the Alberta Traffic Safety Fund. With this funding, we are been able to launch a 3-month pilot project beginning in May 2019.

 
We observed and engaged with people interacting with the board on Stephen Avenue, with a low-fidelity version of a Near Here board.

We observed and engaged with people interacting with the board on Stephen Avenue, with a low-fidelity version of a Near Here board.

Categorized sticky notes from our brainstorming session.

Categorized sticky notes from our brainstorming session.

Near Here team members interacting with the public — both young and old.

Near Here team members interacting with the public — both young and old.

 Purpose

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That mainly means walking, biking, and running, but dancing and cartwheeling are highly encouraged.⁣ Calgary is a wonderful city to explore. Near Here’s goal is to help people discover new places that are not only walkable but fun to find and share.


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Your community is a vibrant, dynamic place. The Near Here board helps you explore it. So often there are hidden gems right under our noses in our own community. Sharing these places helps foster a healthily spirit to the area which can increase satisfaction of your experience!

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The pilot project is all about collecting YOUR knowledge. Tell us (and everyone else) all about the great places in your neighbourhood! You know best, we want to learn with you. This pilot will succeed and continue on with the drive of the community and its visitors!

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Our team is just a bunch of data-nerds. Don't worry, you just need to share your favourite spots with us, we'll do the rest! We plan to capture the data on the boards to truly understand what people are interested in and how they interact with the boards.

Locations

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Funded by

Alberta Traffic Safety Fund

Created in partnership with

The City of Calgary

Bridgeland Riverside Community Association

Cliff Bungalow-Mission Community Association

Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association

Kensington Business Improvement Area

Kensington Business Revitalization Zone

Marda Loop Business Improvement Area

Marda Loop Communities Association

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