Green Cities Fit for Life

Image by Jean-Dominique Billaud

Bristol, a city where lampposts talk

2nd October 2013

The most recent winner of the European Green Capital Award, Bristol, has been running the “Hello Lamp Post” city-wide platform throughout the summer of 2013, transforming part of its existing street furniture into speaking objects “awoken” using nothing else but participants’ text messages on their mobile phone. From a lamppost to a postbox, from a bus stop to a parking meter; all were involved in this 2013 Playable City Award project, launched by Watershed and a network of organisations as an initiative to exemplify Bristol’s strength in Creative Technologies.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Hello Lamp Post is aimed at rediscovering Bristolians’ local environment, while sharing memories of the city and uncovering stories that other people leave behind. The innovative initiative encouraged citizens to slow down, play and engage with systems that we are usually taken for granted.

By texting the unique codes found on each object, these codes transform into passwords that allow the texter to ‘wake up’ a sleeping object and discover what it has to say. After the exchange of a few messages the talking object asks you to come back and talk some more another day. The more you play, the more the hidden life of the city is revealed.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Over the eight weeks the initiative received wide recognition with over 25,000 texts messages being sent by the 3,956 individual players that have taken part in ‘waking up’ the 1,161 objects.

Bristol European Green Capital 2015

Bristol was awarded the European Green Capital 2015 at the Award Ceremony hosted by the current European Green Capital, Nantes, last June 2013. The city located in South West England received special praise from the Jury for its achievements, notably in terms of tackling climate change, improving air quality and reducing noise pollutions, and most importantly its commitment to act as a true role model for the green economy, in Europe and beyond. It’s exceptionally promising communication and social media strategy was also commended as a true call to action for its citizens.

For more information on the European Green Capital Award click here.

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