Sense influencing applications in Holland

In many cities sense influencing applications are deployed in order to suppress nuisances and promote a general perception of safety. Below, some of the applications and their effect in the public space.

Moodwall, Amsterdam

In 2009 a 24 meters long, interactive lightwall was installed in a pedestrian tunnel in Amsterdam. They named it the “Moodwall”. The Moodwall is equipped with motion sensors and responds to passing pedestrians by lighting up in their wake. The aim was to improve the atmosphere in the tunnel and, subsequently, the perception of safety. Dilapidation (graffiti) and an overall sense of insecurity among the pedestrians prompted the initiative. Since the Moodwall has been erected, reports of aggravation and overall lack of safety have decreased significantly.

foto moodwall 1

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Interactive light is following movements of the suroundings.

The Tunnel of the Future, Oss

In 2014 the municipality Oss opened the ´Tunnel of the Future´. This tunnel, meant for bicycle riders, has been outfitted with a system called ´PleasantPass´. When a bicycle rider approaches the tunnel entrance, a question appears on a matrix sign. For instance, what kind of bird sounds like this? Then, after entering the tunnel, a sound or an image is produced. At the exit the answer is revealed. Theoretically this application engages visitors in order to occupy their minds, relieving stress due to fear or insecurity. Basically people are being distracted by the question. (Public Passes, 2014).

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Question at the matrixboard entrance tunnel.

Sense influencing in train stations

Sense influencing has been applied in various train stations in Holland. A good example is Hollands Spoor, The Hague. Using images, color, sound and scent the amount of loiterers has notably decreased and the general traveling experience has improved. The Dutch Railwaycompany even received letters wherein customers praised the general tidiness of the area. All of this achieved with the whiff of a scent!

In Metro Station, Rotterdam Central the local metro company (RET) has conducted various successful experiments using sound, image and scent. The music there is context related. In rush hour the music is soothing. During low traffic hours the music is cheerful and lively. This approach effectively repels loiterers from the metro platform. ´They just don´t like it.´, as one of the RET employees put it. In addition to music an exclusively designed scent is dispersed and the physical surroundings have been adorned with colorful images. Zero tests have shown that travelers perceive the waiting time to be a third of the actual time spent. Evaluation of this project has shown that travelers not only felt more at ease in their surroundings, but that, in their perception, the expiration of waiting time was accelerated. (Sluis, 2015)

De-Escalation project, Stratumseind

The aim of this project is to decrease nuisances associated with certain nightlife areas in Eindhoven. Dynamic light scenarios are employed to suppress violence common in these areas.


Foto: Dynamic light scenarios Stratumseind, Eindhoven

Visibility nightlife Hilversum

Hilversum nightlife areas are equipped with large LCD screens in order to decrease eruptions of violence. The screens show a real time feed of security cameras installed in the vicinity. Employing this method the municipality Hilversum aims to transmit a message to bring about a firmer perception of public safety. In short, we’re keeping an eye on the hooligans! (RTV Noord Holland, 2015)

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Foto: Large LCD screens located in Hilversum nightlife areas

Cheerful music to repel youthful loiterers

To combat the nuisance of youthful loiterers in the vicinity of school areas in Spieringhoek, Schiedam, cheerful music is played; the kind usually associated with theme park rides for children. Ever since, youthful loiterers not only engage less in bothersome behavior, but steer clear of the area altogether or so the school management claims. Initially Bach was played, but apparently the youths were susceptible to the higher arts. Theme park music turned out to be the ideal repellant. (Center for Crime prevention and Safety, 2014).


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