Lonely Planet Writer

Russian's simple design for metro lines in Paris could be right on track

A Russian art director has spent two-and-a-half years working with colleagues at redesigning the currently complicated metro map in Paris.

Photo by architect Constantine Konovalov
Photo by architect Constantine Konovalov of his simpler creation which uses a more circular approach to solving the problem

The Local reports that the new map is so clear that it could be deemed good enough to replace the one being used at present.  Constantine Konovalov and his team based their new design on a circular pattern to simplify the visuals for travellers. He told the news site that he had initiated the redesign following a trip to Paris. He accepted that many Parisians had got to know the old version by this stage but felt his could become the preferred option for locals and tourists.

A new map for Paris' metro?
A new map for Paris’ metro? Image by Pedro Ribeiro Simões / CC BY 2.0

Mr Konovalov said the traditional map was similar to a labyrinth containing a number of complicated turns. His design straightened out the lines as much as was possible with only half the line bends that were contained in the official map. He said he was still waiting for an official response from the heads of transport on his proposals.

Basing the Paris metro on a circular map has been tried before with British academic Max Roberts using each line to act like a spoke in a wheel.  He told the Local back then that he hated the official RATP map as it was a very poor piece of design. A map of the Metro went viral in 2015 when a listing was made of the walking times between each station.