making a mental map of medellin

Getting to know Medellin we found ourselves constructing a mental map of the city, step by step. We reduce this city of millions in our heads to the neighbourhoods and places that have meaning for us, like the neighbourhoods of friends and favourite markets and musea. These places get connected by a mental network of the main roads, cycle routes and metro we use to get there.

These shapes and lines form our personal mental map of Medellin. I decided to visualise it, inspired by this project by Archie Archambault. The use of google maps and gps are said to be a bad influence on peoples ability to navigate independently in any city. Visualising peoples mental maps could be used as a research tool to learn about their perceived city and spark innovation in way-finding, change navigation behaviour.

Our mental map of Medellin shows our go to places like markets to do groceries in Minorista and Plaza America, the modern art museum MAMM and the slum we work in, Moravia. It has more detail close to our home in Laureles, and reduces everything to circles because that just looks better. It is highly personal, but talking with friends we notice it fits their view.

You want to see the complete file? Download here.

get innovative

What would show up on your mental map? How would you use peoples perceptions to improve your city?