A sofa revolution

Actually, the throw-the-furniture-in-the-streets model of social protest has a long history, especially in Europe, where narrow streets make barricades easier to set up. Also when “changing the world” means changing your neighborhood, the chances of success are generally better.

A group of frustrated neighbors in the Dutch city of Delft finally got fed up about autos speeding down their street. One night, they dragged old couches and tables into the middle of the road, strategically arranging them so that motorists could still pass—but only if they drove slowly. The police eventually arrived and had to admit that this scheme, although clearly illegal, was a good idea. Soon the city was installing its own devices to slow traffic, and the idea of traffic calming was born—an innovative solution now used across the globe to make streets safer.

from “Changing the World One Block at a Time,” by Jay Walljasper, WorldChanging, 29 July 2008

Originally published at culture-making.com.

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