“Many people choose options that require minimal effort and less strain. If such a default option is chosen, which means to do nothing, many people will probably find themselves in that option, whether it is good or bad for them”
(Nudge / Richard H. Thaler e Cass R. Sunstein)*
This statement tells us how disinterest, in general, or options that require the least effort, tend to prevail over situations that require demanding choices and actions. Individuals should therefore be stimulated in order to become more diligent and avoid default options.
We have therefore proposed to the municipal administration a Public Utility Campaign in order to raise people’s awareness of good practices, to live better in a shared urban area and make it the more beautiful. The campaign is just one of the many possible spurs, in this case a “slight push” instead of bans or sanctions. A city is a complex system and its image cannot be complete without considering the direct contribution of its citizens, their cultural and behavioral motivations. Their participation, sharing and awereness are fundamental, otherwise all initiatives are unrealistic and short-lived.
A Reminder Post-it
– “The most beautiful city” is the title of the campaign and at the same time it is an invitation addressed to all citizens in order to make their city the most beautiful.
– The campaign’s emblem is a Post-it. It is a familiar and comprehensible sign which refers to something to keep in mind and to do.
– The emblem will graphically be represented by a “yellow square with an oblique edge”. It can be used by the city’s institutions and for advertising purposes. In the institutional form, the emblem will carry the campaign’s name while in the viral form it will contain the claim.
*Thaler and Sunstein’s book refers to the term “Nudge” as creating the conditions, through environments and stimuli, which enable people to subconsciously engage in correct behaviour. For example: my decision to use a small or large buffet plate will influence how much food people take. Those offered smaller plates will take less food than those offered larger plates. Therefore this technique can actually curb food waste. Nudge theorists have even introduced devices to encourage virtuous behaviours: some hotels have installed magnetic key systems with incorporated automatic light de-activation. In California, a waste glass collector awards points, just like in a video game, to encourage separate waste collection.