Creating Smiles in Communities

A smile is powerful, whether its something or somebody that makes you smile, it has the ability to transform moods and behavior for the better. So why not encourage more smiles?

Smiles per Hour project, Melbourne, Australia

The Smiles per Hour project has been adopted by seven neighborhoods around Melbourne, Australia. The idea was created following research highlighting that locals wanted a friendlier and more connected neighborhood. A ‘Smile Spy’ walks a stretch of the street and counts the people who smile at them. Each neighborhood is then given a rating and this is documented on a graph to monitor annual performance. Its purpose is to encourage a friendlier local culture.

I wonder whether this idea would work in the neighborhoods of New York City, or would people think you’re weird or hitting on them? Regardless, we need to encourage and see more smiles, whether it’s through the work we do, what we create or how we behave, because smiling matters and connects people.