Springfield TDI Parking Placemaking and Branding Study

The Downtown District in Springfield, MA hosts a number of parking facilities that are disorienting in both quantity and similarity, especially to visitors who are unfamiliar with the area. As part of the Commonwealth’s Gateway Cities Transformative Development Initiative (TDI), Utile worked with branding consultant Visual Dialogue, MassDevelopment, the City of Springfield, Springfield BID, and DevelopSpringfield to enhance these facilities in an effort to make the area more welcoming and memorable.

The project team developed a flexible design toolkit incorporating wayfinding, wall murals, signage, lighting, and landscaping to be utilized by owners of the area’s public and private parking lots and garages. Once these prototypes have been implemented, the participating parking facilities will serve as a branding mechanism for the district and as a visual guide to direct and orient visitors.

In addition to creating a more vibrant and inviting Downtown Springfield, this branding and wayfinding program aims to increase business for lot owners through heightened visibility and accessibility to drivers. These attractive new spaces could be used to host public pop-up events during off-hours to generate new streams of revenue. Specialty lighting, clearer connections to surrounding destinations, and improved paving will also increase safety for users, and potentially promote more business for parking facilities Downtown.

Proposed improvement items for a study parking lot, including a wall mural and updated kiosk graphics.
Street furniture creates a placemaking opportunity within the underutilized areas of the lots.