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The original challenge was to find a way for citizens of Kolding to discover, accept and involve the new city district with Kolding city center. In reality, what we needed was a meaningful link, a solution that would give citizens a feeling of ownership and a sense of community. Simply put, a reason to venture to Designcity, to interact with the surroundings, and to return regularly. To accomplish this, we developed a concept that focused on user interaction. ”Trees know our story” engages citizens by concentrating on a series of experiences to intiate curiosity, and to encourage active participation in a space that will ultimately become their own.

Trees know our story

How might we nudge citizens to actively participate in the new city district “Designcity”?


Changing behavior through user engagement. To achieve the desired behavior change we took inspiration from the film Inception. By creating a sequence of thoughtful nudges, our aim is to attract the target group: the citizens of Kolding including academics, professionals and families, to become involved with the design district. Nudge I: the countdown Timers strategically placed for full viewing in the city. For instance on buildings, in social outlets, through news media, and on a container in the center. Nudge II: the container The container opens at the end of the countdown into an inviting space, revealing information about the design district. Viewers are presented with a gift box, which contains gardening tools, a map, and a flyer encouraging them to become a part of the community and plant a tree. Nudge III: guiding signs Well-frequented paths will be scattered with humorous signs directed towards the design district. Experience: the opening Participants are guided to plots of land, where they can plant a tree, meet new people, and explore the new design district.


Kolding, where you want to be. The ultimate goal is to make Kolding a more desireable city to live in. To achieve this we need to develop an environment where the citizens of Kolding can establish a mental and physical affliation with the current city center and the new design city.


A forest with no trees. As part of our research, we frequented the Kolding city center to observe the behavior of the users. We observed how many people were present, how they interacted with each other, and how they used the space. Current behavior The city center lacks crowds. Streets are typically sparse and quiet, with few people roaming. When people do appear, they rarely interact with their surroundings. For instance, showing no eye contact. A popular mall located on the outskirts of the city has more lively, and has more people traffic and activity.


Come together right now, over trees. The target behaviour is to get citizens of Kolding to discover, accept, and involve the new city district �Designcity� as a supplement to the existing city center, creating life, activity and community in both areas.


Measuring the impact. Designcity is projected to be completed in 10 years. This means that the results of our proposal is both probable and speculative. That being said, we have included ways of measuring the impact of our concept. Measure I: Opening event The amount of people that participate at the �Trees know our story� event, as well as the container city opening. Measure II: Amount of foot traffic This can be measured by the amount of citizens who use the facilities in and around the container city. Measure III: Participation from beyond The number of non-citizens of Kolding, including tourists, and visitors from neighboring towns, who engage in the new design district.


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