News 13.07.2022

Need to Know

An urban wellness project transforms a Mumbai highway, Airbnb is funding travellers' wildest property dreams, and global loneliness prevails.

This community space is tucked under a Mumbai flyover

One Green Mile by MVRDV, India
One Green Mile by MVRDV, India
One Green Mile by MVRDV, India

Mumbai – While the Indian metropolis is largely reliant on its sprawling highways, architecture studio MVRDV is putting a community-centric spin on an elevated section of the Senapati Bapat Marg roadway. With the roadway stretching nearly seven miles through the heart of the city, the studio’s One Green Mile project promotes safer travel zones for pedestrians, with bike paths, zebra crossings and enhanced lighting.

Meanwhile, its biophilic design promotes biodiversity, provides a cool break from the city’s high temperatures and dampens noise pollution. Facilities range from play equipment and seating areas to a performance space and reading room. Through this project, MVRDV transforms the ‘necessary evil’ of highways into a space that benefits residents and the surrounding environment.

‘What if we expected highways to give something back to the places they cut through?’ asks the studio. ‘A flyover can provide some shade in a hot city, and creates a small area of land that can’t be developed with tall buildings. It’s not such a crazy idea to make that into a public space.’ In future, more urban environments are likely to build such spaces to mitigate the negative impact of city infrastructures.

Strategic opportunity

Urban planners should take inspiration from this project and explore how it can be replicated in similarly dense city environments. How might such areas also be used to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs?

Nike’s Rebel Girls tie-up empowers young sportswomen

Rebel Girls and Nike, Europe Rebel Girls and Nike, Europe
Rebel Girls and Nike, Europe Rebel Girls and Nike, Europe

Europe – In a bid to amplify women in sports, the sportswear giant is partnering with storytelling platform Rebel Girls to produce a limited-edition book in celebration of the UEFA European Women’s Championship. The book, Rebel Girls: Game-Changing Footballers, presents 12 stories of women athletes, coaches and community leaders. To inspire young women and girls, Nike will distribute 20,000 free copies of the book to children at Nike stores, as well as in various schools across the UK.

As part of the initiative, the two brands will also promote original stories and illustrations within their digital eco-systems. Here, Nike and Rebel Girls showcase the ways in which. the Women’s Football Revolution is evolving in line with Generation Alpha. ‘As we celebrate 12 women footballers from 10 countries with Nike in Rebel Girls: Game-Changing Footballers, we empower girls to see themselves as champions as we amplify the barrier-breaking achievements of women athletes around the world,’ said Jes Wolfe, CEO at Rebel Girls.

Elsewhere, we previously covered a video campaign and nostalgic sticker book that similarly flips the script on the rigid gender associations that are still common in football.

Strategic opportunity

While great steps are being made to shift tired narratives in football, consider the ways that other sports can similarly benefit from greater awareness and accessibility

Airbnb invites its customers to design hyperphysical spaces

US – The rental platform is encouraging people to think boldly about the potential of travel accommodation. Its OMG! Fund is being offered as part of a competition inviting people to submit weird and wonderful property ideas. A panel of judges will then assess the submissions based around four key tenets: originality, feasibility, experience and sustainability. It will then award 100 people £84,390 ($100,000, 99,770) to deliver their ideas.

Through this initiative, the brand is building excitement about its services and the experiential nature of travel experiences. Such a strategy feels especially timely as many consumers are only just returning to tourism in the inter-Covid period.You’ll find our collection of the quirkiest homes on Airbnb,' says Airbnb in a statement. ‘If you have a jaw-dropping idea of your own, send it our way.’

By tapping into the other-worldly, escapist possibilities of travel and hospitality, Airbnb demonstrates how the experiential sentiment of Hyperphysical Stores can be applied to sectors beyond retail.

Airbnb, US

Strategic opportunity

Consumers are seeking experiential activities and hyperphysical activations. How might restaurants and public leisure facilities also put these strategies into practice?

Stat: Global loneliness levels are on the increase

Klarna Culture Calendar by Snask Studio’
Klarna Culture Calendar by Snask Studio’

While pandemic lockdown periods exacerbated feelings of social isolation, Gallup’s 2022 Global Emotions Report reveals that feelings of sadness and loneliness are still on the rise. According to the report, 330m adults go at least two weeks without talking to a single friend or family member.

Meanwhile, one‐fifth of all adults do not have a single person they can count on for help. The study also reveals that loneliness is one of the significant factors in global unhappiness levels, which also include poverty, bad communities, hunger and the scarcity of good work. These insights point to a significant and growing need for collective communities that champion sharing and caring.

Beyond care-driven groups in society, brands and organisations also have an opportunity to facilitate collective health through Synchronised Care strategies that align human needs and lifestyles with the world around us.

Strategic opportunity

Brands must be cautious when promoting community activations, ensuring that such strategies go beyond a surface-level approach. How might you fund long-term support systems or spaces for fostering collective care?

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