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How 'guerilla urbanists' made Raleigh more walkable with cardboard signs and QR codes

Walk Raleigh signs

While we're all great fans of modern technology, there's something to be said for simply getting away from the screens and getting outside to walk. That's the mindset of the "guerrilla urbanists" behind "Walk Raleigh" — back in January, Matt Tomasulo and his friends placed 27 signs at three intersections around Raleigh that simply pointed to a local landmark (like Raleigh CIty Cemetary) and said how long it would take to walk there, along with a QR code that could be scanned for easy directions. According to Tomasulo, his project was "just offering the idea that it's OK to walk." He further clarified that "people just don't even think about walking as a choice right now," and that he wasn't necessarily trying to get people to change their behaviors, just to think about the alternatives.

Because of the professional look of the signs, they actually stayed up for a month until the city pulled them down — but they're going back up this week as part of a 90-day pilot program to evaluate the public's response to the program, thanks in part to Raleigh's planning director, who fell in love with the signs after they came down. The initiative is expanding beyond Raleigh, as well, with Hoboken, NJ, considering a similar program. "Walk Raleigh" also recently started a Kickstarter campaign known as "Walk [Your City]" to bring the campaign elsewhere. While this initiative definitely has non-technological goals, it's nice to see it using technology like QR codes and Kickstarter to achieve its goals.

The Verge
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