We have now find a winner for our first challenge sponsored by Frederikssund Municipality. Congratulations to Erin Angell, Hamsa Srikanth and Emily Crabtree for presenting two clever and cost effective ideas for how to reduce vandalism. By adopting a reflective material and place symbol of moral meaning to the bus stop, the team hope to reverse the effect of disengagement, which they hypothesise drive the vandalistic behaviour.

In the last 1.5 year there have been 59 cases of vandalism in the municipality. As a result citizens feel insecure whenever a bus shelter has been exposed to vandalism and resources are wasted in repairing the broken bus shelters. The Municipality therefore asked for help on how ( to prevent bus shelters from being exposed to vandalism by making use of behavioral insights.

A jury consisting of associate professor at Copenhagen University Marco Piovesan, Senior Behavioral Designer Mads Herskind from /kl.7 & Rasmus Burvad, Urban Planner at Frederikssund Municipality have evaluated the ideas and selected the winner. The jury was amazed by the solution´s simplicity and how the winning team critically reflected upon the research supporting their idea. When taking both evaluation criteria from the brief into account, the analytical strength & ease of implementation this idea was clearly the winner.

To everybody who participated. Thanks a lot for your inputs. There have been a lot of great and inspirational ideas and the jury was truly impressed by your work.

The winning idea included two variations of an intervention which the team suggested to be tested both separately and combined. This idea was inspired by a study conducted in 2013 by Vincent et al showing that when people are able to morally disengage, they are more likely to experience positive affect and also more likely to behave dishonestly or against a moral conduct.

The team therefore propose two ideas aimed at sparking people’s morality. The first is to cover the outside of the glass with a reflective material since studies show that “a mirror can reverse the effect of disengagement, as a person’s reflection reminds them of their personal values and brings their integrity closer to the forefront of their brain.“

The other was to a add symbol of moral meaning e.g. a danish flag or another moral symbol to the bus stop. This intervention was inspired by a study where students were asked to either recall the names of 10 books they read in high school, or write down the 10 commandments. They were then asked to do a math exercise. The study showed a significant difference between the students who had recalled the 10 commandments and the ones who had recalled the books. The students who recalled the 10 commandments did not cheat at all, and averaged the same test scores as the control group which could not cheat at all (Ariely, 2009). The team noted “there are circumstances and confounds in an experiment that may call into question its validity, but from this study we learn that when people are reminded of morale and integrity, especially when it is tied to patriotism, they are less likely to be dishonest. We believe that we can draw a parallel here to the bus stop, and propose that if people are exposed to the flag, they will be less likely to destroy something with such a valued emblem on it. The flag does not have to be brightly colored, simply a perforated and dull design that still allows people to looks through it.”

Again congratulation to Erin, Hamsa, and Emily.

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