The Holyoke Walk is a mobile-enabled map of local attractions. The digital Map will be promoted via signs found at attractions. The intent of creating a digital map is to encourage visitors of singular attractions to expand their visits to other local sights by raising awareness of the proximity and ease of travel to nearby attractions.
Current attractions are obvious candidates for Holyoke Walk such as the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round, the Holyoke Children’s Museum, and the Wistariahurst Museum. Other current attractions should be incorporated into the network such as parks and playgrounds. Infrastructure such as parking complexes are also key to incorporate into the map. Further, temporary attractions such as Farmer’s markets or seasonal events can be added based on an ad hoc basis. In order to promote pedestrians to travel in current low traffic areas, new low-cost, crowdsourced attractions should be incorporated in those areas. For example, a public street-art exhibit could be incorporated onto the boarded up windows of vacant buildings. Large garden-sculptures, for example of dinosaurs, can be cheaply installed near public parks or on the canal front.
Each attraction will have a sign with three basic elements: a short description of the attraction, walking times to other nearby attractions with arrows pointing in the right direction, and links and QR codes for smartphone access to the digital version of Holyoke Walk.
Holyoke Walk will be hosted on a website and maintained by the city. Attractions can be added and removed at will by the city, such that temporary or seasonal events are not permanently logged. Businesses can request attractions to be included in Holyoke Walk if they have demonstrated they would encourage pedestrian traffic from one site to another. The ease with which attractions can be added and removed from Holyoke Walk opens up the possibility of the city promoting more temporary attractions.
For example, artists could be offered the opportunity to paint boarded windows creating outdoor street exhibits. If a pedestrian happens to walk by those outdoor exhibits she would be directed by a sign to check out Holyoke Map where other attractions could be listed. Conversely, visitors of established attractions, such as the public library, might visit Holyoke Walk while there only to see that a temporary art exhibit exists just a few blocks away. The result is a reinforcing feedback loop where each visit by an individual to singular attraction increases the likelihood they travel to a different nearby attraction by foot.
Attractions on the Digital Map will have basic information shared as well as links to pertinent websites, social media sites, and review sites such as Yelp or TripAdvisor. The intent with these links to is to promote each site via various digital means. The greater the likelihood someone uses Holyoke Walk, the greater the likelihood they leave a TripAdvisor review, for example.
Examples of New Permanent or Temporary Exhibits to be placed in low-traffic areas
- Seasonal Flowers in public green spaces