Fun as a path to sustainability?

30 Apr

Tina Roth Eisenberg over at her swissmiss blog introduced the project walk [your city] a few days ago. Matt Tomasulo and the design company cityfabric started this up, in line with their focus to engage people with their urban spaces through simple (yay, simple!) tactics. Described as a public arts project the aim is to get people walking. Um, walking? That rings a bell for anyone in the food-(related-)business used to hearing all about health, weight gain and obesity development in society.

Any sign for your city – which you can make using their online free application – will indicate the distance in minutes, use a colour code to differentiate the types of destinations and sport a qr-code for smartphoners linking to a ready route on a google map.

Thats sounds like a fun way to get people walking and reminds me of a related project to get people to use the stairs. To entice commuters off the escalators, the stairs at the Odenplan Metro station in Stockholm, Sweden, were wired for sound and decorated to look like a keyboard. Then a camera was set up to observe any behavioural changes. Most people prefferred to be musical… Do yourself a favour and watch the short clip here. In fact, the funtheory-website has more than 30 pages of suggestions for encouraging desirable behaviours, e.g.  making zebra crossings into bubble wrap paths, recycling batteries by using them as pinball-machine-money, bins exchanging doggy dos for doggy biscuits.

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