Philadelphia’s innovative and visually dynamic
pedestrian sign system designed to help guide visi-
tors in Center City
Conceived in 1995 by the Center City District as
part of the $26 million Streetscape Improvement
Project, Walk!Philadelphia is the largest compre-
hensive pedestrian sign system in North America.
Walk!Philadelphia consists of two major compo-
nents: diskmaps and directionals.
These simplified, diagrammatic maps of Center
City are located mid-block on both sides of the
street. They utilize a “heads-up” orientation which
always place the direction the viewer is facing at
the top of the map. This allows visitors to quickly
orient themselves in the City. If a destination on
the map is toward the top and left on the map,
they simply walk forward and turn left.
The map itself divides Center City into five color-
coded districts each with a distinct, color-coded
icon. Key landmarks and significant cultural and
commercial areas are shown and a “You Are Here”
star indicates the center of a 10-minute walking
radius that helps users determine walking distance
These colorful signs, located at each street corner,
display six to ten listings of nearby destinations.
The double-faced directional signs also display the
name, color and icon of the district the user is in.
Listed destinations include landmarks and areas
shown on the disk maps as well as attractions
within a 2-to-5 block radius. Arrows indicate the
direction of the listed destinations in order of prox-
imity to the sign location.
Since 1998 licensing agreements with the Founda-
tion for Architecture and University City District
have resulted in the expansion of the wayfinding
system beyond its original boundaries.
Walk!Philadelphia now covers Philadelphia from
the Delaware River west to 42nd Street and from
Vine to South Streets featuring 1,368 directional
faces on 684 signs and 870 diskmaps on 435
Elements of the Walk!Philadelphia map have also
been incorporated into:
• Old Ph