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An interesting example of nudge applied to public safety in Ísafjörður, Iceland

I’ve developed an interest for the study of nudges after reading the book by Dan Ariely. Nudges can be considered a sub-discipline of behavioral economics (founded by George Lowenstein) and already wrote about it on this blog (see one example here).
To define a “nudge” using my own words, I’d say it’s a design that leads a person towards a particular action. That action should be beneficial for the society if we want nudges to be used for the interest of the majority. The most famous example is probably the fly that was printed in the urinals of Amsterdam’s airport, leading men to use it as a target and better directing their “flow” (if you know what I mean). As a consequence cleaning costs decreased.

Since my visits in Iceland I remained very much connected to this country, following the local news (in English). I discovered on a local website about Ísafjörður, a village where 3-dimensional pedestrian crossing are being experimented (see also video below).

These 3-dimensional pedestrian crossings very much resemble a nudge strategy. This reminded me of the famous often-cited Lake Shore Drive painted lines that were designed as a nudge strategy to reduce car speed and accidents. While doing my homework for today’s article I also found out about other experiments using the same 3-dimensional trick :

  • an experiment in Philadelphia where 3-dimensional road bumpers were painted (more info here)
  • an earlier account of 3D crosswalks in Indian made by two ingenious women (read more here and watch video below)



Image : screenshot from video by Gusti productions

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Pierre-Nicolas est Docteur en Marketing et dirige l'agence d'études de marché IntoTheMinds. Ses domaines de prédilection sont le BigData l'e-commerce, le commerce de proximité, l'HoReCa et la logistique. Il est également chercheur en marketing à l'Université Libre de Bruxelles et sert de coach et formateur à plusieurs organisations et institutions publiques. Il peut être contacté par email, Linkedin ou par téléphone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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