Wayfinding: A Map to Inspire Local Journeys
Grad Student Nick Mellis’s pocket map of Worcester is a passion project
When Nick Mellis was eight years old, he memorized the New York City subway map. He’s been a map and transit enthusiast ever since, majoring in geography as an undergrad at Clark University, and going on to pursue graduate studies in community and urban planning, also at Clark.
In 2020, Mellis launched a project to acquaint his fellow “Clarkies” with the transit system, sights, and open spaces of the university’s home of Worcester, Massachusetts. Mellis researched the best practices of tourism maps, hosted community discussions — and walked, biked, and rode the city’s trains and buses — a lot. The result is a map showing transit routes on one side, recreation and outdoor areas on the other — an especially welcome tool for respite from studies during the pandemic.
“I go on really long walks. It’s my way to de-stress,” Mellis told ClarkNow. “Part of the reason that I wanted to go to all the trails on the map was because I like exploring new places around the city.”
He also sees the project’s response to climate change, encouraging people to seek outdoor locations via public transportation. He observed that many of the students at Clark don’t know where green spaces are, nor how to access them:
A way to get more people around the city and on the bus is to make a map.
Mellis worked with a map printer in Denver to publish 2,500 copies of the map, which are available across campus.
Read more about Nick Mellis’s work at ClarkNow.
Find out about AAG’s network of graduate students at the Graduate Students Affinity Group