CLIMB (City Life is Moving Bodies)

The Giraffe Path serves over half a million residents in Harlem and Washington Heights, extends over six miles long, and travels through 100 blocks of drama.

CLIMB is a community-based initiative founded on the belief that safe parks are essential to community health as they combat problems such as sedentary lifestyles and obesity. CLIMB stands for City Life is Moving Bodies.

CLIMB wanted to develop a community map system for an urban hiking trail that connects Central Park to parks in northern Manhattan, such as the Cloisters and Highbridge Park. Rather than a standard map, the goal was to incorporate community feedback and create a unique map to this path and the New Yorkers who spend time there.

The CLIMB team held its first brainstorming session in early May. On Saturday June 1st, during the annual Hike the Heights event, they held a range of activities to gather input for the urban trail map. During the hike, hikers used temporary markers to mark things they like, things they wish for or things they remember along the trail. The team documented the event and is working toward the final map design. Read more about the event in this Untapped Cities post.

Using a series of participatory events to inform the design of a map and trail markers, the design team helped CLIMB to define the parks’ shared identities and to manifest the path by visual and physical means. The collaboration offers the basis for a set of new ways to make the path by engaging current and future partners and constituencies, printing and distributing a physical trail map, and pursuing the realization of interrelated trail marker strategies.

2013, health issues, neighborhood revitalization, Projects