The London Underground map, created by Harry Beck in 1931, is iconic and has become an emblem of both the city transport system and the city itself. Now, graphic designer Helen Ilus has created a new version, however instead of tube stations, it marks out a network of green spaces around the city for walkers.
1. Greenground Map
In this ‘Greenground Map’ for walkers, Ilus brings the typical transport map above ground, redesigning it to link London’s green and natural spaces and help walkers and cyclists make their way around London. These spaces include forests, parks, cemeteries and waterways, with the map providing distances between them, although it doesn’t give exact route details.
2. First designs
In her effort to get more people discovering London by foot and seeing cities through more than just transport maps, Ilus was inspired by the successful campaign for London to be declared the world’s first National Park city. She decided to share her map design on Twitter, where it was received so well that she has the design printed. She has now sold hundreds of copies in her quest to bring people closer to nature by helping to make these green spaces more accessible for people to visit.
Although Ilus created the map with environmentally aware commuters in mind, she is hoping it will spread further afield and that travelling longer distances by foot or bike will become more popular. Certainly, the pandemic has caused many to reevaluate their local green spaces, and with more interest in active travel as well as people looking for alternatives to busy public transport, there is hope that in future tourists and commuters alike will be exploring London, their ‘Greenground Map’ in hand.