Murals for Road Safety: The Story of "The Act of Slowness" in Heverlee

Using art in public spaces to influence people's behavior is not new. Over the centuries, art has demonstrated the power to change the way we view the world. Today, this power of art is being applied in a very practical area: traffic safety. In Heverlee, a unique mural, "The Act of Slowness," plays an important role in promoting safer traffic in the neighborhood.

The genesis of The Act of Slowness

In Heverlee's Pleinstraat, a sloth and his friend, the hornbill, are the newest residents, thanks to the efforts of the local community and the city project "Stand up for your neighborhood." This mural, a vibrant and semi-realistic work of art full of exotic plants and natural colors, is the result of the creative efforts of Pleinstraat residents Sam Peetermans and Eline Develtere and the support of their neighbors.

Murals for Traffic Safety - Mural on house

The creative process

The idea for this mural began with seeing the side facade of a building as a potential canvas. With the help of "Kom op voor je wijk," an initiative supported by the city of Leuven to help local residents beautify their surroundings, this idea was turned into a project proposal.

With the creative assistance of Treepack, a design featuring a sloth was chosen after a brainstorming session with local residents. More than 100 neighbors cast their votes, with "The Act of Slowness" ultimately emerging as the winner.

Murals as a tool for traffic safety

The sloth, nestled on a branch and surrounded by vibrant purple flowers, looks up from his book, titled "The Act of Slowness," and makes eye contact with passersby. This scene symbolizes the joy of slow living and tranquility, a message that local residents hope to convey to traffic on their street. The idea is that this attractive mural acts as a visual breakpoint that encourages motorists to drive slower and calmer, making the environment more pleasant and safe for everyone.

The impact of the mural

"The Act of Slowness" is more than just a beautiful work of art. It has also become an effective tool for stimulating conversation and uniting the community. It attracts the attention of passersby and local residents, and has become a pleasant meeting place that welcomes everyone in a colorful and cheerful way.

Murals for Traffic Safety - Mural on the Street

Conclusion: The power of murals for traffic safety

It is clear that art, particularly murals, can be a powerful tool to promote road safety. "The Act of Slowness" in Heverlee is a living example of how a creative, well-designed mural can influence driving behavior while uniting a neighborhood. It is more than just a pretty face - it is a symbol of community spirit and a daily reminder to keep life slow and safe.

To learn even more about this unique project in Heverlee, click here!

With the growing recognition of the impact of murals on traffic, we can expect to see more cities implementing such innovative initiatives in the future. And who knows, maybe the next time you drive down a street, a sloth will encourage you to take it easy and enjoy the ride.

An extra amount of color in your community soon? Find out more information here and who knows, we might soon be brightening up the streets in your neighborhood!


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