• Avant-Urbanism

    • Pop Pop is a project that predicts collective moods by analyzing the weather and traffic levels and sending messages that will cheer up city pedestrians, bringing them together using their unexpected similarities.

    Street signals with heartfelt messages / 

    When we live in cities, we share similar collective circumstances. Elements like the weather or living standards lay dew drops on our mood, which can be an advantage when it comes to creating impulses that will foster our shared motivations.

    If optimism can be prolonged, then the accumulation of these instants of satisfaction could increase the entire population’s levels of happiness. And precisely this condition could be favored by contextual factors that, consciously or unconsciously, we share with those who also live in an urban setting.

    This premise was taken up by Masters students in the Interactive Telecommunications Program from New York University: Sam Slover, Alexandra Coym and Steve Cordova. They developed the Pop Pop project, which relies on the busiest pedestrian traffic intersections to create positive moods, using basic messages, which might even seem trivial, but that somehow can be well received collectively at specific moments.

    Pop Pop is an interactive pedestrian street signal that does the latter: it measures certain background information, like the weather and the number of pedestrians on the street and types in positive messages that will respond to their collective impressions. If the weather is really hot, and moving around is complex or almost impossible, then Pop Pop emits positive messages that the pedestrian will identify with, favoring the cohesion of collective emotions.

    Currently, one of these devices is working in the popular intersection between Manhattan, Waverly and Broadway streets, conveying happy thoughts and fostering collective communication. The initiative was born from the inexorable need to identify with others through the individual stories of the thousands, if not millions, of people who live in cities, beginning with instants that transcend the way we perceive the present moment and those who share it with us. 

    Tagged: Pop Pop street signals, cities, urbanism