London Might Become a Friendlier City with Project Talk to Me
An end to lonely tube commutes on dark, frosty mornings?
Anyone who’s spent a frosty morning commuting on the Underground would know that London’s not exactly the world’s friendliest city. Well, not before a beer or five, anyway. In fact, a quarter of city siders report feeling lonely often, if not all the time.
But a group of talkative types has decided that it needn’t be this way. They’ve come up with a project called Talk to Me London. The aim is to encourage a friendlier culture by helping strangers to talk to one another.
The first assignment is a Kickstarter campaign, raising money for London’s first ever ‘Talk to Me’ day. The initial goal of £6,000 ($10,700) has been reached. So, one day this summer, thousands of Londoners will receive ‘Talk to Me’ badges to wear, indicating that they’re ‘up for a chat’. There’ll also be events held in public spaces, like dinner parties in parks and book discussions on tube carriages, lectures on wellbeing and community, conversation-prompting public art, flash mobs to break awkward silences, ‘talk bars’ on train platforms and busking acts that depend on interaction.
Mayor Boris Johnson is a keen supporter. “I love the idea behind Talk to Me London,” he said. “What an innovative and fun way to encourage Londoners to talk to each other. Conversations are a great way to share experiences and stories, increase wellbeing, and bring a greater sense of community in the capital.”
Published on April 28, 2014 by Jasmine Crittenden