City trips are nice, absolutely when you know it is safe there. Cities like Brussels seem a bit dangerous after the terrorist attacks. Nevertheless, it is not a reason to not visit it, right? Belgium came up with an idea to make people feel safe in their capital.
What is it?
Brussels is temporarily marked by a campaign called #callbrussels. There are placed three phones in the center of the city, where inhabitants can pick up a phone to reassure potential visitors. So if you have planned a holiday to Brussels, in these times of danger, it is possible to get in touch with someone who lives in the city to be sure it is safe there (or have a nice conversation).
People all over the world are able to call Brussels’ locals for advice. But not only make a call, a webcam will film the conversations and broadcast them at http://www.call.brussels. According to Geert Cochez from Visitbrussels, inhabitants are happy the cell phone can show countries another view of Molenbeek.
Why is it cool?
This campaign is a beautiful response to terrorist attacks which are happening at the moment. These attacks make people feel suspicious, scared or even angry. The image of the city of Brussels is ruined. By creating these cell phones, we could get rid off the concerns of people because we are sensitive to people’s opinions. If we get an answer from inhabitants we will sketch a more realistic image than an answer from the press.
Research had shown that only a third of the Dutch people trust the press (CBS, 2015). So calling someone for real advice creates more faith and collaboration that can lead to an open world. People like sharing their knowledge to help potential visitors and to help the city become attractive again. It is a win-win situation, right?
Life goes on, we don’t want to have an future society which is afraid of traveling. The cell phone campaign is a nice first step to keep humans travel.