Vienna, host city of this year’s Eurovision contest, has decided to celebrate the event through the medium of street furniture.
In the run up to the event on 23 May, traffic lights throughout the city have had their “walk” figures replaced with same sex couples holding hands, hugging, or surrounded by hearts. The gesture towards same-sex couples has particular resonance, after Russia’s refusal to screen Austrian winner Conchita Wurst’s performance last year, and a Russian politician’s claim this year that Eurovision is a “Europe-wide gay parade”.
A spokesperson for the city’s lighting department told Reuters that the traffic light campaign’s aims are twofold: to display the city’s openmindness, and to improve traffic safety (the lights are now more noticeable). Afterwards, the city will collect data on whether the campaign made traffic safer in the city; no word on whether they’ll do the same for passerbys’ openmindedness.
Here are a few more of the modified lights: