A new way to map city centres, based on worldwide chain stores.
These new city shapes are formed by ‘connecting the dots’ between the stores of major brands, such as: McDonalds, Starbucks, The Body Shop and others. By linking them and covering the area between, them the image of a city centre changes. The part that is most heavily covered will present the new city centre, based on 17 worldwide chain stores.
It’s a known fact that (major) cities can be a great source of inspiration, unfold fresh thoughts, help you get into a certain mood and create new things. With that said; this concept started when I was strolling through Amsterdam and Berlin in the same weekend. Both great places, each with their own attitude, architecture, touristy things, neighbourhoods and vibes. But obviously they also have a lot in common. And I truly mean, a lot.
I was attracted by the fact that I was seeing the same signs and stores over and over again. This is not exclusively the case in Northern Europe, it applies to a lot of major cities worldwide. Of course cities have their own identities, but you can have a similar weekend in Berlin or Buenos Aires as in Moscow or Kyoto. How? Just by shopping, eating, relaxing and sleeping in the same series of chain stores, restaurants and hotels. Keep that in mind, push away the different vibes and touristy things and you will realize that from that perspective these worldwide metropoles are somewhat identical.
You can have a similar weekend in every major city over the world. The only difference will be the amount and concentration of these chain stores and the distance between them. So when you focus purely on that aspect, this new essence, then what would a map of these cities look like?
With that in mind I made these ‘new’ city maps which you can use if you want to have a predictable city trip by using only 17 worldwide chain stores.