The brainchild of Senior Lecturer at the University of Sheffield’s Urban Studies and Planning Department Alasdair Rae, Draw Your City invites urbanites to draw the limits of their own urban space using a simple mapping tool. “Sometimes official city boundaries extend far beyond the urban fabric, and sometimes they don’t include very much of it at all. I want to see what people consider to be part of their city, or not,” says Rae on the project’s website.
Although only four cities (London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow) are included on the website’s tabs, Rae invites urbanites from around the world to zoom in and map the limits of their own city.
Draw Your City is inspired by a similar experiment “Where is Western Sydney” conducted by Colin Ross to define the limits of Western Sydney earlier this year, and another project by Bostonography, which invited Bostoners to map their Boston neighborhoods. All three projects use the tools developed by Bostonography’s Andy Woodruff and Tim Wallace.
The project questions who defines a city’s limits – a matter which is often complicated by the proliferation of suburbs, exurbs and slums in many of the world’s fastest growing cities. Rae will compile the results on his blog Stats, Maps n Pix.
While most users focused on British cities like Glasgow, London and Edinburgh – with often widely varying results, others mapped cities across Europe, Asia and the U.S.San Franciscans seem to disagree on both the size and shape of their city, while residents of Mumbai, Moscow and Barcelona demonstrate that they have very different ideas about where their cities end.