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Hudson Yards: Creating a Solution for the Future of Cities

Aug 16, 2019

6 min read

By: Mappedin

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Hudson Yards is a 28-acre neighbourhood and private real-estate development on the West Side of Manhattan. Mappedin helps their 125,000 daily visitors navigate around the massive venue. 


Smart cities seem to be the retail development of the future. Properties and urban hubs are employing technology for everything from utilities and environmental emissions to IoT and unparalleled visitor experiences. Developing for the future includes thinking ahead on all items to provide a full experience rather than simply letting a physical structure do most of the work. Previously, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) focused on the square footage of their property portfolio. Today, however, in order to keep up with changing purchasing habits and higher overhead costs, developers and REITs alike are turning their properties into holistic experiences; fully sculpting a visitor’s potential journey from top to bottom. 

The Customer

A self-described "engineered city," Hudson Yards is a 28-acre neighbourhood and private real-estate development on the West Side of Manhattan. Officially opened in 2019 and containing everything from restaurants and shops to hotels, offices, and residential buildings, the development also contains 14 acres of open public space and a school. Co- developed by Related Companies and Oxford Property Group, Hudson Yards was imagined as a marriage of digital and physical with an emphasis on the arts and culture in addition to the day-to-day operations.

Hudson Yards came to Mappedin through Intersection, a leading technology and media company, and Related, an innovative real estate development firm, as they were looking for a wayfinding vendor as part of the development project. Knowing the scale and size of the property, it was clear that wayfinding across various platforms would be necessary in order to direct an estimated 125,000 daily visitors to and from their various destinations around Hudson Yards.

Mappedin’s enterprise tools were invaluable in allowing us to present all of the maps necessary to navigate this complex facility. Through their maps and CMS, we were able to create an unparalleled kiosk experience for the visitors of Hudson Yards.

- Rachel Bell, VP of Client Development, Product at Intersection

The Opportunity

The large-scale urban development had many goals in mind to provide space for a wide variety of groups and visitors to intersect. Hudson Yards prides themselves on working towards the future of retail, and interacting and developing as a thought-leader in the industry. This project has created a landmark development in the United States - the first of its kind and the most premium to date.

Related envisions the future of living through mixed-use spaces in a mini city. With retail, offices, play, and commerce all happening in one spot at Hudson Yards, they wanted to be an interactive REIT with a focus on expanding the experience within their property rather than the property itself. The finished development at Hudson Yards not only encapsulates this experience, but is a great physical asset that incorporates a number of different pieces, of which Mappedin has played a key role.

The Solution

As part of the overall digital solution, Intersection needed a leading wayfinding provider to help round out the visitor experience. Mappedin was the first mapping provider to work with Hudson Yards, a client that wanted a very customizable and interactive solution.

Responsive Web App: Fitting into their extensive website, Mappedin’s responsive wayfinding solution for web (Mappedin Web) provides users mapping and navigation on both desktop and mobile devices.

Digital Directories: As the project progressed, both the client and their agency decided that digital directories on the property would add to the digital experience available and allow them to better access data of the varied groups who were moving throughout their property. A package of Mappedin’s Web SDK and Intersection’s interactive display software fit perfectly into the structure and plan for Hudson Yards.

New Features: The complexities of the development, along with creating a digital map for Hudson Yards that accurately reflected the unique and impressive architecture of their buildings, required getting creative with the proposed solution.This included developing a building-to-building navigation feature, a concept we hadn't fully developed in the past. The complexity challenged us to use our tools in a way we hadn't before, in order to best reflect a digital version of the unique physical space.

Our goal was to create and craft the best visitor experience for Hudson Yards, as the community-like feel brings visitors to their venue for many different purposes. Working with Related and Intersection as part of that feel has created a hub with digital touch points that encourage visitors to explore and discover the property.

- Hongwei Liu, CEO at Mappedin

The Results

The project with Hudson Yards and Intersection involved a partner structure with many moving parts. It showcased that having a wayfinding and indoor navigation solution for a large-scale development was an integral part of keeping their visitors engaged and satisfied with their overall experience.

The next frontier: The future of retail appears to be moving towards more mixed-use environments with additional investments in experiential technology. These mixed-use environments might prove to be the most common usage for future projects, regardless of industry. The addition of a sustainable mapping and wayfinding platform for any number of use cases proved to be successful as part of a larger implemented digital solution. Working with Hudson Yards showcased not only what wayfinding can accomplish to date, but also gave clear indicators as to the future of maps, how they can be used, and where they are going.

Expansion of partnership: The Hudson Yards project created an expansion of how Mappedin thinks about its products. Through this partnership, we're continually redefining what it means to be a successful technology provider and partner in the mixed-use space. This has added exciting and important features to our product roadmap and is another integral part of building out the ultimate platform for spaces. 

Looking Forward

As Mappedin continues to work with mixed-use facilities and a variety of industry partners, our product updates will continue to work towards technological advances in wayfinding. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest product updates and company news, or send us an email at