19 June 2018

SUNDERLAND people will have the opportunity to play an active part in charting an innovative way of highlighting the city’s favourite spots at a unique event this week (22 and 23 June).

The Mak A Map is being created by Sunderland Business Improvement District working with the University of Sunderland, and when completed will highlight the hotspots where people felt a range of positive emotions.

Former Sunderland lecturer Andrew Richardson is leading the project and will be at  the Bridges on Friday and Saturday, when passers-by will be asked to colour in a map, highlighting the areas where they have felt everything from happy to most sociable.

The hard copies will then be scanned onto a digital screen, with the final results showcasing the various areas of the city which people prefer or have had the best experiences at.

At the same time every person who takes part will get a postcard size version of their own unique map to take away with them.

“The project is a completely new way of visualising the city,” said Dr Richardson, who now lectures in Interactive Design at Northumbria University.

“It gives us the opportunity to create a new map based on people’s experience.”

Sharon Appleby, Head of Business Operations at Sunderland BID, believes the scheme will provide a host of useful information.

“It will put a different perspective on the city centre and it will be incredibly useful to see the result of where people have the most positive experiences expressed in such an exciting digital way.”

The scheme is part of a wider piece of work being carried out by Creative Fuse North East, an organisation which brings together the creative, digital and IT sectors across a range of projects.

Andy Bradley, centre director, said he was happy the Bridges was able to support such an interesting project.

“Because of the amount of footfall we have through the Bridges we are perfectly placed to get people involved in making the Mack A Map,” he said.

“It’s going to be a very exciting project and I look forward to seeing the results.”