Placemaking Spotlight: Place Branding + Wayfinding

Placemaking Spotlight: Place Branding + Wayfinding



Placemaking / Public Realm / Sustainability

The Waterloo Placemaking Strategy identified five key themes for potential interventions that could help celebrate and reinforce the area’s unique character. Responding to various challenges highlighted by both residents and workers, these themes of Identity, Activation, Public Realm, Connectivity and Brand are all viewed as central to the strategy’s delivery. This month’s Placemaking Spotlight combines almost all of the above by focusing on our recent public realm branding and wayfinding projects including new urban seating and colourful signage projects.

Waterloo Is:

Although the strategy largely focused on identifying the positive aspects of Waterloo’s unique place identity, it also uncovered a number of widely held negative perceptions of the area. These included the view that Waterloo is grey, busy and disjointed due partly to the number of busy wide roads that divide the area and interrupt wayfaring. Though not the view of most Waterloo locals that know the area’s wide selection of hidden gems, our research found that visitors and students that enter the area onto Waterloo, Blackfriars or Kennington Road may be less included to explore the area due to these negative perceptions.

Waterloo Could:

Our Placemaking Strategy, therefore, recommended a number of interventions especially targeting brightening up the public realm with our vibrant new brand colour pallet whilst also helping to improve wayfinding and place activation. Pinpointing specific areas of opportunity such as the station exit onto Waterloo Road or the junction outside Lambeth North, WeAreWaterloo is working to bring colourful and playful branding as well as practical wayfinding to these locations and encourage those that visit them to explore the area more deeply.

Make It Happen:

A number of tangible interventions have been completed or are currently underway to help improve Waterloo’s Connectivity, Public Realm and Place Branding:

  • Lampost Banners on Waterloo Road and Kennington Road: We have recently updated the lampost flags on Waterloo Road and will be installed on Kennington Road in the near future. This means visitors arriving at two of Waterloo’s significant entry points (Waterloo Station and Lambeth North Station) will be greeted by bright signage which direct them towards landmarks such as Lower Marsh, The Cut and IWM.
  • Wally’s Glow Up: for those who don’t know, Wally is our electric cleaning and greening vehicle that you’ll often see cruising the streets of Waterloo with his driver José. As such a prominent contributor to the area’s public realm, we felt it was only fair for Wally to be freshly wrapped in our new pink and orange branding. His new look includes advertisements of upcoming WeAreWaterloo events and a scannable QR code for businesses to request their own visit by our cleaning and greening team.
  • Bunting on Lower Marsh: We have recently installed bunting on Lower Marsh to highlight the street’s vibrant character and unique identity. This pop of colour can be seen from both ends of the market street and aims to encourage exploration along the road.
  • Parkly Modular Planting and Signage: We are teaming up with innovative Scandinavian designers, Parkly, to create a series of modular urban planters and signage outside Lambeth North Station. This will extend down Kennington Road to provide wayfinding for both IWM and Lower Marsh Market. The project is due to be installed in the coming months.
  • Parklet Signage: Having recently been presented with the Green Flag Award for our community urban greening initiatives, we have added signage to all the parklets managed by WeAreWaterloo to provide visitors to these green spaces with more information about the project’s history and biodiversity. Look out for our orange logo in the parklets throughout the area.

Read the full Waterloo Placemaking Strategy here or see our previous articles in the Placemaking Spotlights series here.





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