In Akureyri, Iceland, Heart-Shaped Stoplights Are a Daily Reminder to Smile

Sometimes, something as simple as seeing a glossy red heart pop up in our text messages is all it takes to brighten our day. For the people of Akureyri, Iceland, that little boost of oxytocin is not limited to the whims of loved ones wishing them well, however. All they have to do to get a flash of that universally uplifting symbol is take a trip to the nearest crosswalk.

h/t: matadornetwork


Following the nation’s 2008 financial crisis, Iceland’s second city, which sits on the doorstep of the Arctic Circle, implemented a simple yet elegant approach to lifting the communal spirit: transforming the city’s harsh red traffic lights into radiating red hearts.


The move came as part of the larger Brostu Með Hjartanu, or Smile With Your Heart, campaign. Residents were encouraged to join the morale-boosting efforts by hanging hearts fashioned out of forget-me-not flowers from the windows of their cars, homes, and offices. Around the same time, the city also unveiled a massive heart installation on nearby Mount Vaðlaheiði that was designed to appear as if it was beating with the help of some 400 light bulbs.


More than just a gimmick to get residents through a tough time, the heart-shaped traffic lights have become permanent fixtures of the city. Though the football-field-sized installation on Mount Vaðlaheiði no longer shines, over the years rumors have circulated about reinstalling the quite literally heartwarming display. Perhaps there’s no better time than now.


As the people of Akureyri know all too well, daily reminders of love, hope, and community can have a big impact when things are looking as bleak as an Icelandic winter. For so many of us on lockdown, the thought of traveling as far as the crosswalks in our own backyards seems uncertain, let alone hopping on an international flight to see these feel-good traffic lights in person.


But much as Akureyri has done the impossible by bringing smiles to the faces of those stuck in traffic, maybe, even from afar, these heart-shaped beacons of hope will be just the reminder we need to keep our spirits high today, and keep smiling in the days to come.




(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave Your Comment Below

If you want more awesome content, subscribe to 'Oh, Design You Trust,' our brand new Facebook page! Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

More Inspiring Stories

Incredible Street Art And Installations By Pavel Puhov aka Pavel 183
Norway Builds World’s Biggest Moose Statue
Artist Kanat Nurtazin Creates Drawings By Cutting Fallen Leaves
The Most Amazing Wedding Dress You'll Ever See
This Paper Grocery Bag Doubles As A Backpack
Masterfully Designed LEGO Animals By Felix Jaensch
Artist Shows How To Repackage Junk Food So That Hipsters Would Buy It
People Are Hilariously Roasting 'Target' Fashion Designers By Taking These Pics Wearing Their Dresses
Barber Abandons Plans For Expensive New Flooring... And Covers His Shop With 70,000 Pennies
Giant Hand-Face Sculpture Looming Over New Zealand Freaks Out Its People
Edible Flower Petals Are Preserved In These Unique Lollipops
These Ugly Couches That Everybody’s Grandparents Had In Their Living Room!
Chimeric, Horrific, Cuddly Stuffed Animals
Vladislav Ociacia's Robot Renders Are Works Of Art
Your Beautiful Home In 1974 On A Budget
Delightful Colorful Murals Appear On Roads Only When It Rains
Beachside Bathing Machines During Victorian Era
Using An ‘Alien’ Facehugger As A Protective Face Mask
Thousands of Colored LEDs Turn Dutch Farmland Into Nighttime Wonderland
This Is What Men Should Wear According To Fashion Designer Walter Van Beirendonck
Galaxy Inspired Ceramics That Allow You To Drink From The Stars
"Jane Asher’s Fancy Dress": Over 100 Costumes for Children and Adults and How to Make Them, 1983
Behrad Ghodsi Develops a Range of 3D Printable Footwear
This Instagrammer Turns Nails Into Works Of Art With Cityscape Designs
Russian Craftsman Makes Stunning Candles Inspired By Iconic Sneakers
These Gold Cufflinks Contain Pictures Of Two Different Strains Of Plague Bacterias, Perhaps By Faberge, c. 1900
That's Why We Wanted To Build Communism - To Open Bottles After A Hard Day's Work
With 33 New Looks, Barbie Is Finally Embracing Different Standards Of Beauty
Vampire Hunter Starter Pack: Rag N Bone Emporium 19th Century Small Traveling Vampire Killing Kit
These Tan Leather Boots Are Inspired By Those Worn By Luke Skywalker