Who knew iPods could be useful for a rich urban experience? Well, at least not so soon. Jennifer Coleman, an architect in Cleveland has hit upon a novel idea to implement iPods for city walk narration. CityProwl, the website that lets you download a neighborhood narration [for free!!!] is her brainchild. You can easily install the narration; basically an audio file just like any other MP3 song and listen to stories of the streets as you walk down them. Otis White at Urban Notebook listens to one of her narrations:
Coleman’s first narration is a walk through downtown’s Lower Prospect
Avenue, a business street that boomed a century ago, faded and is
coming back. The tour takes a little less than 40 minutes. In her
pleasant voice, Coleman begins with some rules of safety and courteous
walking (and a legal disclaimer), then sets off down Prospect Avenue
from beneath the awning at Flannery’s Pub (you can hear her shoes
clicking on the pavement).
I hope such narrations are soon available for other cities as well. Each urban area has plentiful stories to keep us busy for ages. At least our spatial experiences or urban walks are complemented by historical insights that make it doubly pleasurable.
Update: Great! Rob has created a narration for a neighborhood in Birmingham, UK. Only if more people joined in this effort, we could have a online library of such audio narrations for neighborhoods around the world.