Park N' Walk

Banish parking pains. Enjoy your city on foot. Park-N-Walk for a happier, healthier city!

Issue Area: Health & Transportation

Park N' Walk - How It Works

The Idea

At Walk [Your City], we work with communities to create street signs for people that encourage healthier transportation choices (showing minutes on foot vs. miles by car to a destination). Our municipal partners have repeatedly told us just how challenging it is for cities to get people out of their cars. City and county staff, public health agencies, downtown organizations, citizen advocacy groups: all share that they struggle to make it more comfortable and accessible for folks who don’t typically walk to make more active transportation choices. Parking has emerged as a major pain point, as drivers circle in search of parking points right in front of their destination -- neglecting available parking a short (walkable!) distance away.

Parking shouldn’t be a problem. We propose to leverage our success with rapid prototyping of pedestrian wayfinding signs -- powered by our existing tech at Walk [Your City] -- and apply our approach to a new “park-and-walk” model (#parknwalk). Our Park N’ Walk tool will alleviate parking pains in downtowns and emerging neighborhood centers, filling currently underused parking spaces and getting more feet on the street in front of local businesses.

Many cities are already interested in applying a “park-once” model, focusing on central lots, strips, and structured parking. We will automate this approach, overlaying technology to make this model accessible and appealing to drivers -- and simple for cities to implement. Our tech will not only help identify free park-and-walk lots, but will also enhance users’ downtown experience on foot, showing them all of the amenities and attractions they can walk to via a basic web and/or mobile app. In the physical realm, directional signs around the parking lot will point users to areas included in the app.

Our Experience

Through Walk [Your City], we make it easier for folks to take useful walks by creating street signs for people that provide the distance in minutes to community amenities. Ours is a deceptively simple solution to a complex problem: people choose not to walk not just because of our auto-dominated culture / streetscape, but also because of (often mistaken) perceptions that “it’s too far!” to walk somewhere. We offer towns and cities a tech-powered response to this challenge, showing residents that “it’s not too far!” via street signs linked to directional information.

Primary Users

Municipalities, downtown development agencies


  • Matt Tomasulo, MCRP / MLA - founder + chief civic instigator, Walk [Your City], founder of CityFabric, Inc., member of NextCity Vanguard, recipient of three ASLA awards (Raleigh)

  • Maire Dekle, MCRP - communications + community relationships, formerly director of outreach + civic relations at start-up LoMo Market (Raleigh)

The Other Finalists:

  • BlueLight: Improved mobile 911 that shares your precise location, picture, and medical conditions with dispatch for faster emergency response.
  • bluField, Inc: In danger? Instantly broadcast your exact indoor/outdoor location to 911 using your city’s BTLE beacon network and the tourism app, Stroll.
  • CareIT *: A virtual Doctor's office, a medical services marketplace, your online medical home. The perfect complement to high deductible health insurance policies.
  • Community Health TV*: Video-based healthcare programming that educates and empowers minority audiences.
  • Concrn: the compassionate response network. We connect peer responders to people in need of support.
  • HabitatMap, Inc: AirBeam, a wearable air monitor that maps, graphs & crowdsources your pollution exposures in real-time.
  • Knock Software: building better tools to engage citizen advocates and cities around bike infrastructure. Where, when and why are people riding bikes?
  • Memorandum: intelligent mobile messaging to advance health literacy, patient care and chronic disease management for all populations
  • Park N' Walk: Banish parking pains. Enjoy your city on foot. Park-N-walk for a happier, healthier community!
  • WeWalk, Inc: gamifying fitness and encourages kids to learn about their city.

* These two of the finalists were also selected as finalists for funding with our investment partner Jumpstart Foundry.

Ten finalists from across the country!

Cities - Join Us!

Like an idea you see here? Want to deploy it in your city?

  • Pledge $5,000 in payment for a winning technology, if the City chooses to deploy that new technology in its community.
  • Help spread the word about the MCIC opportunity to local entrepreneurial and technology communities (e.g., universities, developer groups, accelerators, co-working offices, startup community, etc.).
  • Serve as a judge to review the submitted idea entries and prototypes.
  • Provide relevant publicly available data to support the development of the technology, if available from the City and State.


  • Work with winner(s) in developing/testing the solution during first year of solution development (if needed).

Want to join as a City Partner?

If you want to join the twenty-five leading local and state governments across the country, let us know.

We are proving that cities and regions can work together with developer, creative, and entrepreneurial communities to improve public and community health and kickstart quality innovation.

National Partners


Demonstrating Local Government as Platform.

©2011 Kristina Servant. CC BY 2.0